Facebook: antichrist of intimacy or savior of relationships?

Facebook: antichrist of intimacy or savior of relationships?


“Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.”

~Max Frisch

It’s funny to me the way that I can trace the evolution of electronic social networking through my own personal experiences. It started in middle school when I discovered AOL instant messenger (or AIM to the cool kids). I remember spending hours sitting in front of the family computer talking to friends from school while watching creed music videos online (yes, creed). Then towards the beginning of high school I was trendy enough to advance myself into the world of Myspace. The flashy colors and “artsy” pictures drove my adolescent mind wild. I had never seen so many attractive girls. How did myspace make everyone look so good??? I now had the ability to talk to people without actually having to talk to people. As if the phone wasn’t non-confrontational enough, now I could talk to girls without ever having to muster the courage to call them. It was awesome, but I was so unready for what was next.

Halfway through high school i made the controversial leap to facebook and life has never been the same since. Hi, my name is jordan and facebook owns my life. I’m going to choose not to describe the way that facebook owns my life because I’m pretty sure that if you’re reading this then it probably owns yours as well. We’re all in it together (or at least, that’s what the news feed says).

What I am here to discuss and analyze are the effects of facebook on relationships. I find it interesting that no one will ever readily admit how much they love facebook. When asked why they have a facebook, the average person responds with, “it’s really good for keeping in touch with friends who live far away.” Yeah, ok. I believe that almost as much as I believe that Fox news is unbiased. While facebook is awesome for keeping in touch with friends who live out of the same town, let’s be real. If we all spent half as much time connecting with old friends as we did stalking other people, the world would be a peaceful and happy place. Let me guess, you don’t stalk people? Sure. So let’s delve into these pros and cons and figure out what we really think…

stockvault_7258_20070301The pros are simple because in my opinion, they are usually the excuses. 1) Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with people. This is very true because there are literally hundreds of people I see on facebook every day whom I no longer speak with on a regular basis. However, most of the time, I don’t care. Let’s be real, do we really have facebook accounts so that we can see what Suzie Q from high school is doing on a wednesday night? No. I will mention that since my family has started to acquire facebook accounts I have had the ability to communicate with them easier than ever before. This is fantastic in the regard that my whole family can contact me through facebook, and not so good because my entire family can contact me through facebook. Let’s just say that living with 4 other college guys, the status’ that are forged are not always family-appropriate. 2) Facebook is the great information spreader. To me, this is the real kicker. What keeps most of us so plugged in to the book of face machine is that we are afraid of losing touch. Facebook has turned into our way of finding out what’s going on in the world around us. If there’s a party, we get an electronic invitation, if our friends went out to dinner, we see the pictures. We don’t even have to remember birthdays anymore because Facebook does it for us. Think about the amount of information that we receive on a daily basis from facebook. Without this information we’d lost and confused puppies searching for friends on cold and lonely streets 3) Facebook helps us to talk to people. This is yet another kicker for me because it hits the relationship nail on the head. It has become astonishingly easy to find people on facebook and to start a conversation. With the addition of facebook chat, it is now easier than ever to instantly communicate with pseudo (thanks corey) strangers in attempt to build relationships out of cyberspace. The idea of cyber-dating is crazy to the majority of the population on the surface, but how many relationships are initiated through comments and chats? Think about it.

Now for the cons. 1) Facebook is the great productivity sucker. Now I’m not going to be the one to shovel the blame of a distracted generation on a social networking system, but geez facebook is distracting! I can’t begin to express how many hours of sleep I’ve lost due to the mindless wanderings through completely irrelevant information. In fact, I guarantee that someone is reading this blog right now instead of doing homework after reading about the blog on my facebook status. That’s a paradox if i’ve ever seen one. 2) Facebook destroys intimacy. Because we have the ability to leave comments and start chats, we have for the most part abandoned our fancy new phones in order to use the less confrontational means of communication. Which is hilarious because I wasn’t sure that we could get less confrontational than texting. I do like the fact that I can talk to so many people through facebook, but If i wasn’t always on it, maybe I would call those people instead of chatting with them. Who knows. 3) All the good things about facebook make it so very addicting. Yes, I admit it. Facebook is my homepage. The first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and turn on my computer is that little red number in the bottom right corner of my screen that indicates how popular I am. We as a generation have become scarily addicted to our social networks. For instance, why is the iphone so cool? Well one reason is that it has wireless internet. Think about that, we now desire a phone which allows us to get on facebook. At this rate, it won’t be long before phones are discontinued in lue of palm-tops (instead of laptops, get it?).

“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”

~Karl Marx

This analysis is far from over, but I don’t like to go over 1,000 words so I’m going to stop here. I want to know what you think. Try and answer the question I barely scratched: is facebook the antichrist of intimacy or the savior of relationships???

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14 responses to “Facebook: antichrist of intimacy or savior of relationships?

  1. 1) Sorry to be this girl, but in the following sentence, “than” is appropriate because you are comparing. Thank you.
    “Which is hilarious because I wasn’t sure that we could get less confrontational then texting.”
    2) The only reason I realized that is because I am, in fact, avoiding a paper by being on facebook and reading your blog.
    3) I think it’s both of the things you mentioned, but I think relationships are the same regardless. Having a sister that lives in Ireland, it is AMAZING to be able to talk to her every day, but it doesn’t take away from the excitement I feel when I actually get to see her, or talk to her on the phone.
    4) I think it adds to the laziness in our society as a whole, but it also keeps relationships going. I would definitely not be talking to half the people I do talk to on facebook if it weren’t for facebook. (confusing sentence, sorry).
    5) Most of the people I talk to on facebook are my best friends that I see daily, so is this a relationship strengthener?

    I’m confused, bye.

  2. 1) Your will has been done.
    2) I actually kind of figured that after reading your status about how you stalked yourself. I just hope you got it done.
    3) That really is awesome that you can talk to your sister that much, I’d say that’s way better than what I use facebook for (farmville).
    4) I think it’s both a strengthener and a weakener because I talk to my close friends online all the time as well and that’s fantastic, but sometimes I think it’s a very shallow form of communication. So for strong friendships it doesn’t hurt, but for new ones, I’m not so sure.

    I’m really glad you read my blog. You’re the best.

  3. hahaha…I just have to comment and say I am reading this instead of doing homework because I saw your status on facebook. That is all.

    Hope you are doing well Jordan!!

  4. This is very insightfull jwhite especially because it’s a first person analysis. The intimacy of relationships is lessened due to the cyber personalities that we create in our subconcious. I’m glad you posted this.
    P.s. You can’t dog fox without doggin CNN. It’s the same situation just different wings 🙂

  5. haha yeah benji I did dog Fox and you’re right it’s the same for CNN. they’ll get a jab next time for sure.

  6. Hokay so, I definitely feel that it is both. I have definitely lost what amount to days of my life because of facebook. On the one hand, it helps me to stay in touch with our group who are now spread throughout the U.S.; on the other, I very rarely talk to any of you guys on the phone save for Carson and Caleb. Kind of depressing but also it enables groups of people to hold a conversation no matter where the individual members are. So often you see conversations held on peoples’ walls or statuses where the people posting are on opposite sides of the country, or world for that matter.
    So far as new relationships are concerned I really think it helps get them off the ground. Say you just met a new person with your group of friends that you thought was cool but you didn’t know when the next time you would see them would be. Well now you can add that person as a friend on facehooker and get a bit of a rapport going so that the next time you see them there’s less empty small talk (which I know you hate) because you’ve already gotten most of it out of the way getting to know each other on facebook.
    With the addition of events and birthdays I find myself constantly reminded of things coming up that I would otherwise forget about or lost track of. With pictures you can see what other people have experienced that you weren’t able to. Be it concerts, parties, lazy days at the park, etc; you can now get a better feel for what is going on in the lives of people you otherwise wouldn’t get to hear about until the occasional group get-together on holiday breaks and summer.
    The main thing I find depressing about facebook is that nothing is official until it makes it to someone’s profile. People aren’t REALLY dating until that relationship status changes, exciting things aren’t happening in their lives until they are posted as someone’s status. You aren’t truly friends with someone until you add them to your friend list and receive their multiple daily updates of “I’m really tired, going to the gym. fml.”, or “facebook owns my life”, or their favorite song lyrics: “It’s a party in the U.S.A.!!!”.

    Facebook is great in that it is our own personal daily newspaper regarding our friends’ lives, it’s not so great in that most of the time we should be the reporters and get the scoop ourselves.

    Whew…

      • We are typing here do we want to get grammatical? With the slang and abbreviations used on the internet, that is a real counterclockwise thing to say. I can see keeping in touch with a family member online so great. But the emotional connection we have with a true voice is better. We can not write how we feel. We have been accustomed to say when someone approaches you asking how you feel. Our answer is usually we are okay. It takes a person who knows that person to actually hear the okay to know they are not okay.
        Getting back to paragraphs, please I am busy it was made for quick connects so do not reply on my writing.
        You know what makes us different than the animal species? We have a proper brain and hands to use. Do you think the brain is shrinking? Well it is. The family unit has been interrupted here. Texting is great for a short message. Facebook is great in so many miraculous ways. We have chances to talk to friends reconnect with old ones and talk to everyone we ever wanted to.
        But are we hearing everything?
        So what is happening to the growth of the individuals? What is happening to the family unit? We all need as humans to grow physically, emotionally and intellectually. You know what separates us from the animals supposedely in a lower species, it is family unit. We do not let our offspring go when they have grown. Proper parenting no matter what a pain we are, it is our job to hang in there and follow our children, grandchildren and greatgranchildren all the days of our lives. No one has to agree what their parent input is. It is okay for it is human to disagree and see what the right way is. It is called emotional interaction.
        It bothered me when I asked a question to someone, they said oh look on facebook you will see the answer. I saw an answer. An answer is what I saw. It was very compact sentence with ok, omg, lol, etc. Did I get a real answer? No!
        Reconncection to others over internet is a great accomplishment for man. It is starting to little by little pick away at who we are and why we are here.
        Please no comments on run on sentences I have a lot of work to do here. I have presents in my garage in boxes galore. I need to wrap.
        Blessings to you

  7. geez corey! that was by far the best comment i’ve ever received in my life. I’m way impressed. You are full of insight my friend.

  8. corey i didn’t make it more than two words into your comment.. i tried.

    well i definitely read this rather THAN (elise i miss you) study for an oh so wonderful spanish composition exam in the morning.

    first of all.. i love your blogs. second. i think it really depends on how much you put into facebook. living out of the country it has become a bit of a lifeline for me. considering physical letters are kind of out and i can’t be reached by phone and most people don’t send correspondent emails anymore i can honestly say i LOVE facebook. i may seem like “that girl” who’s on facebook all the time now.. but it keeps me in touch with my family and my friends so it’s worth it. and i get to do my fair share of stalking 🙂 but i totally agree that it can cheapen relationships. but i think that still is only if you allow it to.

    either way.. liked the blog. miss you jwhite.

  9. im tired and I need to get back to stalking everyone on facebook while they are sleeping. I will post an intelligent comment tomorrow. I have some thoughts on this.

  10. to answer your question j. weezy, i think it is a little bit of both. i really don’t have to explain right now cuz i have to go write a paper about othello that i avoided by reading your blog. p.s. i didn’t want to get attacked with a freakin cantaloupe.

    oh by the way i think facebook is a soul sucker!

  11. 1. “PARTY IN THE USA!!” is my ringtone corey bahah.

    2. I went to college and met people all over the us and I stay in touch with them through facebook and I love it.

    3. I don’t normally talk or stalk people I wouldn’t hang out with in the real world. And thats not just an excuse. Plus I will NEVER (mark my words) post my relationship status on facebook.

    4. I LURV you jordan.

    5. Pretty pointless and redundant comment sorry for making you read it.

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