Is Facebook a necessary evil?

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It is hard to believe that Facebook was initially created exclusively for college students. In fact, it had been available only to Harvard University students and other Ivy League schools. In order to join Facebook, students had to receive an invitation from another Facebook member.

In the past, in order to make sure that new users are members of the “permitted” schools, people needed to use their university e-mail addresses to log in, which served as a verification tool. By 2005, a year after Facebook was created, it was opened to high school students, but still by invitation only. Recently, however, Facebook has been open to all, and invitations are no longer necessary.

Most students at Wayland High School are members of Facebook. With so many users at our own school, I can’t help but wonder: How necessary is Facebook?

Facebook has qualities that make it a worthwhile online medium. Facebook’s main goal is to “connect and share with the people in your life,” as indicated on the log-in page of the website. Now that Facebook is open to everyone, not only does it connect students with people in their town, but also with people across the nation, as well as around the world.

Friends I have met at camps are now just a click away. Not only can I communicate with my friends, but I can view the photos, videos, and personal information of others. Many features created on Facebook keep me updated on upcoming events, meeting dates, and other activities. Looking at it this way, Facebook is a valuable tool for staying connected with people I know.

The inevitable evil of Facebook, however, is its addictiveness. It is hard for me (and many others) to stay off Facebook for more than a few days. It has now become part of my daily routine to log into Facebook and check on various updates.

One of the main reasons for its addictiveness is the “Newsfeed,” which provides updates on my friends’ activities. This feature allows Facebook to become almost a type of stalking tool. I have found myself randomly looking at pictures of my friends and their friends simply because I was notified of their new updates through the Newsfeed feature.

Hours of my time have been wasted on Facebook. I could have done more homework or taken care of other responsibilities.

Is Facebook a necessary evil? While I believe that Facebook is not a healthy habit, I also find it useful for staying in contact and catching up with my friends. Whether or not Facebook is helpful or harmful to students, one thing is crystal clear: we will never be able to completely get rid of a social networking site like Facebook. It has become indispensable.

28 Comments

  • avatar Jiacomomo

    How could you call the visiting of a social networking site unhealthy? It seems to me that you need to reevaluate your loyalties. Or email that Mark Zuckerburg fellow.

  • nice article.

  • avatar Anon/gif/

    Are you joking? Facebook is currently in a lawsuit, and you’re forgetting about many other up and coming social networking sites… You heard of Orkut? Also, many people have quit Facebook…. I personally hate all social networkings sites; the internet is not used for telling people that ‘you’re going to go bowling’. It’s a waste of server space, and many other things. If you need to update what you’re going to be doing, at least use twitter.com, it’s purpose is to tell people what you’re going to be doing at whatever time of the day. MICROBLOGGING. Facebook is NOT a microblogging service by any means. I also find it completley unnecessary that it is ‘needed’ to keep in touch with friends. If you HAVE a cellphone, use it. Any in before anyone who posts a comment to this saying that ‘oh we use facebook because it is fun, and it helps us keep in touch’ blah blah blah. If you want to keep in touch, use a stinkin’ phone. Nobody needs to read about what you’re doing, and who you’re dating. Also, Facebook does not have very secure servers, and more and more predators are able to go onto Facebook, fake their name, identity, everything. Check the NEWS once in a while.

  • avatar Ugh, its time for math class

    FACEBOOK IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL!!!
    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • JUST ONE MORE WALL POST
    EVEN A PHOTO COMMENT
    JUST ONE

  • avatar Loyal Fbook fanny

    awesome article sama!

    i feel like some people need facebook in their lives more than others. to many its an unhealthy obsession and its addictive, but many just use it casually to check in with old friends and stuff, but its definitely not a necessity,

    facebook’s intentions are mainly positive,(to connect friends via the internet) but some of its repercussions are negative.

  • avatar Dexter Morgan

    very nice article, totally true. i have the same difficulties as well.

  • avatar save me from the evilness

    i can’t stay away
    it’s evil

  • I’m not sure it’s necessary, since 5,000 years of civilization survived without it.

  • avatar W.B. Jenkinshire

    5,000 years of civilization may have survived without it, but I bet they didn’t know how there friends in another cave were doing because they couldn’t see their status. They must’ve been really bored.

  • avatar Tally Levitz

    I have a facebook, but I would agree that it is overused and overappreciated. Anyone who I don’t want to talk to on the phone or in person is someone who I don’t care about all that much, but still I’m facebook friends with them…
    It is a status symbol to see who has the most “friends” or the most pictures up. Perhaps they shouldn’t be called friends anymore, because there are many people with whom I’m very slight acquaintances that I am so-called “friends” with. Checking up on these friends takes time away from the real friends I actually have and my other pursuits.
    Thoreau once complained that society meets too often since people meet three times a day for meals; now we can “meet” instantaneously at any time–is there honestly anything important to be discovered in it?

  • avatar Chris Baim

    Facebook isn’t necessary, it makes people feel like they are popular and socializing with a bunch of people when really they are sitting alone in their room staring at a glowing box.

  • avatar Samantha Sklar

    I feel that Facebook displays false impressions and friendships, people waste their time perfecting their profile and writing on each others walls instead of answering or picking up the phone and calling someone to socialize. With all the problems in the world right now there are many other things they should be doing during their spare time besides going on Facebook and chatting up nonsense with their friends. I think Facebook is often a waste of time, and has many negative effects.

  • avatar Maggie Davis

    I think Henry David Thoreau would agree that facebook is a necessary evil and taking over the way people communicate and use their time.

  • avatar Mellisa Yu

    I totally agree with Sama about our generation being so dependent on Facebook. I think that HDT would also agree with me and say that Facebook is dominating all of our lives and that it is evil.

  • haha im sooo addicted 2 fb. its sooo much fun!

  • avatar Brianna Ramsey

    Facebook gives you a lot of information that is really none of your business. You get to be too distracted by other people’s lives that you don’t live your own.

  • avatar carrie hecker

    i think that facebook is not necessarily an evil, but it definitely distracts some people more than others. i like it, but i can see how other people think that it is pointless and an bad use of time because of the excess time it can take up.

  • avatar Whitney Fletcher

    Henry David Thoreau would agree that Facebook has become a useless habit which allows people to needlessly socialize with others. He would also say that Facebook has become so addicting that people ultimately ignore their surroundings.

  • avatar Anon/gif/

    Also, if you borrow a friends FB account, so many people post up their phone number. Say somebody got the number of a person they hated. Then said person released the persons they hated phone number on the internet. What next? It’s just a mess waiting to happen.

  • avatar Benjamin Isaac Schattenburg

    Of course Facebook isn’t inherently evil. If you cut through the nonsense and are simply interested in communicating with friends there is nothing wrong with it. It is a waste of time, but the whole internet is one gigantic black hole of time, not just facebook.

  • haha more than half of these comments are only because they had to for english class because they get extra credit. ha

  • avatar Izzy Stern

    I think that facebook can be seen as an unnessicerry evel. HDT would also agree that social networking sites such as facebook can take away from the peaceful solitude that is lacking in so many of our lives.

  • i think its totally not necessary, but its so convenient… its one place where you can talk to friends, view pictures and videos, work on projects, etc.

  • you guys I think that you’re forgetting that the people that post information such as their phone numbers and sns and e-mails are not being careful enough and also there are ways of keeping people you don’t know out. you can change your password every so often. adjust your privacy settings so that only your friends can see your profile, pics, updates, etc. But I do find it necessary because calling people is annoying and a waste of time and if you need to know whats going on with an event it helps you could have missed valuable information. I do agree that facebook is addicting though but it makes getting information easier.

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