In defense of Facebook

I will be the first to admit it: I’m addicted.

Facebook has found a way to sneak into every single day of my life.

I update my statuses more than any one person should. I upload pictures like it’s my job and I love every cyber-filled second of it.

Whether it’s creeping on the many pictures of parties that I managed to miss, or finding out the relationship statuses of the people I didn’t care to talk to in high school, I have a constant urge to know.

Sure, it’s nosey and it’s creepy. But it’s also a way to keep myself informed about the world I live in, or the world I moved away from.

So what’s all this talk about how Facebook is eating away at society? Or that people are losing all social skills? Facebook, if anything, reminds me when I need to get out and talk to people.

Many people are taking  the “Facebook challenge” to see how long they can go without logging in.

One friend of mine, sophomore Grace Shelton, recently deactivated her account.

“It feels so weird,” she said. “There are some things that are just difficult without Facebook. I saw a link that I wanted to tell someone about, and I just didn’t know what to do. I had to e-mail him. Who does that?”

In the world we live in today, where everyone is plugged in and connected, you can’t disengage that easily and transition periods can last for quite some time.

The benefits of social networking sites are often overlooked and minimized, much to my dismay.

Facebook is more than an outlet for gossip.

A recent article published on socialmediawatch.com said that while Facebook can be used as a time waster or a distraction from homework, it doesn’t have to be if the user uses it wisely and responsibly, using it for its most advantageous purposes.

It tells me when there is a play happening that I want to attend. I don’t spend any time in Lilly Hall, so it’s not often that I see posters for these plays.

It tells me when there is an advocacy movement going on, like the “Wear Purple for Victims of Bullying” day. Facebook helped spread the word.

When I received my roommate pairings before my freshman year, I got on Facebook to see what my roommates like, do and talk about.

Police officers have used Facebook to track down suspects in crime and used it as evidence in cases ranging from theft to murder.

Two men who had stolen multiple credit cards and gone on spending sprees were recently arrested in Florida after officers used a tip from the department’s Facebook page.

Past that, many businesses have Facebook pages to help recruit potential consumers or even future employees.

An article published on oregonbusinessreport.com said that some employers were influenced to hire job candidates after showing creativity, knowledge and “class” on their profiles.

“Social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job opportunities and promote your personal brand across the Internet,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said.

While it is important for people to get off their computers and get out into the real world, there is absolutely nothing wrong with social networking.

Facebook has kept me informed, introduced me to new people and has made sure that I find a way to keep in touch with the people from back home.

That’s my confession. Facebook is my addiction and I’m not sure I want to get help for it just yet.

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