In Defense of Facebook
It was the beginning of my sophomore year and the entire student body at USC had just gained access to the newbie social networking site. We learned that Facebook originated at Harvard, spread to the other Ivy’s and finally made the 3,000 miles journey west to Stanford, UCLA, and USC. My friends and I carefully crafted our retrospectively primitive profiles by adding birthdays, classes and other basic information. We agonized over the perfect profile picture because if you recall, users were only offered one pixilated representation.
Recently Facebook has undergone scrutiny regarding their privacy settings. It seems that people are suddenly feeling violated by the somewhat complicated privacy options. In fact, recently I have found myself defending Facebook’s honor whenever a disloyal user casually threatens to un-friend the online sphere. I stand by my conviction that social networking will only further infiltrate our society; there is no sense in fighting an inevitable. I’m sure there was much controversy over e-mail in its infantile stage; how impersonal! Can you imagine not using it now?
Honestly, having been a Facebook user for six harmonious years has afforded me the luxury of growing with the network. Mark Zuckerberg and his team have introduced countless changes and tweaks every year, which has made understanding what Facebook is today fairly seamless for long-time members, such as myself.
However, every one of those new additions was met with resistance from users, because people don’t like change. Some people might remember the controversy over the introduction of the news feed about three years ago. The modification took some adjusting, but right on its heels followed its cousin, Twitter.
But back to the privacy uproar of present. Yes, more information is available online; your information to be exact. However, skeptics tend to overlook that users are in full control of how much information is given. The only real requirements are your full name and email, which is a heck of a lot less incriminating than ordering a pair of shoes online.
While the sharing of personal information is admittedly a scary subject, it’s the future. I suppose I just don’t find our future to be bleak. The world wide transmission of information has led to so many wonderful reunions and created an easy way to connect. I personally keep in touch with literally hundreds of people I would have otherwise let fall to the wayside of my life. Aside from personal connections, I feel more connected to the world in general, and I don’t even mind being shown targeted advertisements every three seconds.
Bottom line: Next time you get frustrated/upset because you keep getting Farmville invitations or you just saw that your Ex is engaged…rethink pressing the delete button. The truth is you’ll only end up signing up again once you get bored/curious/over your Ex.