Friday, December 9, 2011

Taking Over the World 1,851,000 Status Updates at a Time

My psychology presentation group focused on Facebook. I thought it was rather interesting so I think I'll share a few things we discussed. It's amazing how rapidly Facebook has, in a way, taken over the world. I only know about one or two people who don't have their own Facebook profile. Even businesses, bands, companies, etc. set up Facebook groups to advertise. Before I had a facebook, I refused to ever get a Myspace account and I know a few other people who felt the same way.

The Good...
  • I think the main reason I wasn't as hesitant about starting a Facebook account as opposed to a Myspace was simply that the privacy seemed better. You choose your privacy settings and you choose your friends.
  • I think people find it really appealing that you can basically portray yourself as the person you want to be. You create a controlled profile showing your best self.
  • I know that a huge reason I keep my Facebook account is to keep in contact with old friends.
  • Now some of my classes use Facebook as a tool for out-of-class discussions. I find out about school events, mission farewells, friends' birthday parties, etc. on Facebook. It's an easy place to create event invitations.
  • Sadly, I do find out about most news through Facebook. The good part is, at least I find out faster than I would if I didn't have a Facebook...
  • People love having a general place to post/share pictures, videos, music, and quotes. 
  • Honestly, sometimes people ask me what my favorite music and movies are... and I check my Facebook page to remind me. Could be a good thing. Could be a bad thing. But hey, I know other people who do the same thing. So no judgin'.
  • And let's face it. Everyone Facebook stalks other people. People will often be talking to me and say something like "I feel like such a creep because I was Facebook stalking so-and-so the other day." But isn't that the point of Facebook? If they don't want people seeing their pictures and such then they shouldn't be posting them. So don't feel creepy. Facebook stalking is not like stalking someone in person... If you do that, then yes, you are creepy.
 The Bad...
  • It's the best way to waste time. You have homework? Facebook is the perfect procrastination tool! Suddenly you realize you've been on the computer for two hours and you haven't done anything...
  • Self-Esteem. I'll talk about this a little later in the post.
  • Spam/hackers. Don't click the random weird link your friend who rarely posts on your wall just sent you. Just don't do it. 
  • Don't post about your vacation before you leave. When you come back feel free to post pictures and tell your Facebook friends all about it but if you mention before "Guys I'm going on vacation with my family!! See ya in a week!" it's basically an open invitation for robberies. See this article.
  • Like it mentioned in the video above, some people do talk on Facebook more than they do in person. Which of course isn't just a problem with Facebook but also chatting on other sites like gmail and also texting. (Yes, Mom I know what you're thinking about my texting habits...)
  • Some people don't know that you aren't supposed to add friends you aren't personally acquainted with.
Of course those aren't all the pros and cons but you get the idea.

The effects Facebook has on self esteem is a topic I'm particularly interested in. Studies have been done to see how people feel about themselves when looking into a mirror versus their Facebook page. Obviously, people feel more confident after looking at their Facebook profile because they have created that image of themselves and it's the version they want to be. So, my group came to the conclusion that self esteem is heightened by joining Facebook. I agree that it can, in some ways, make people feel more confident because they are seeing the person they want to see... but I also think it can go the other way as well. My friends and I have talked about how seeing other people's profiles makes it easier for us to compare ourselves. Which is not good; basically we are comparing our real selves with other people's portrayal of their ideal self. So, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with that. Comparing yourself to others is really easy with Facebook and can be pretty detrimental to your self esteem. Also, Facebook and other social media can increase the risk of depression. Here's an article.

I've run out of time and I'm sure this is much too long already anyway.


1 comment:

Rob said...

Those are some cool statistics. Who would have guessed that the world would have been changed so much by facebook. You know how on "The Jetson's" they showed people pushing buttons and hot food would pop out, but they still sent letters and had big plug in phones. It is funny how wrong they were. :/