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Communications & Media
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Facebook: Good or Bad (Essay Sample)

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Is Facebook the social glue that the world needs, or is it a distraction that gets in the way of real connection?

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“Facebook: Good or Bad?”
Facebook is a popular name for many people around the globe. Those who have Facebook accounts are using much of their time to connect and socialize with other people regardless of the time and distance. The recent debate about Facebook has been whether it is the kind of social glue that is beneficial to the world or it has gotten into the way of and distracted the community’s real connection. Or in summary, does Facebook stand out as viable communities? And are those people in your Facebook friends’ list your "real friends?" The fact that Facebook serves many advantages and also has disadvantages associated with it, proves the fact that it can and indeed has served both sides. Therefore, Facebook is the social glue that the world needs for its “transformative” connections but can also be a destruction that gets in the way of real connection. As Marshall McLuhan puts it “we shape our tools and then they shape us,” there is a need to think about what we are shaping so as to maximize the best out of Facebook and keep the bad to its minimal.
As earlier stated, Facebook allows for people to connect and socialize regardless of the time of day or where they. Therefore, it allows people to communicate in real time transcending geographical and time barriers. Facebook not only allows its user to search and reconnect with friends they lost contact with for a long time but also permits them to add and make new friendships thus extending their social spheres. However, the fact the people can communicate and actually chat with their relative and friends who may be separated by thousands of miles ahs resulted in the weakening of long distance relationships. This is because people ignore the value of physical presence and assume that by chatting with their family members, relatives and friends is perfect enough for that community. This is however not the case as many families have been broken as a result of curtailed meetings.
Another advantage of Facebook is the fact that it makes communicating with strangers for the first time less awkward and achievable. It takes courage to just say ‘hello’ to a stranger. However, Facebook has reduced this feeling as people can communicate without really having to meet physically. The connection therefore is gradually built from the initial greeting on the first chat to the point where ‘strangers’ actually know each other before they even meet. This is because Facebook allows its users to share information and exchange files including photos and videos. For this reasons, it has proved really good for those who are in it for dating purposes. On the other hand, such a scenario may not be favorable in other situations. This is because such a connection is not supported by physical adjacency. According to Cacioppo, people have the desire to belong as a means for survival and loneliness prompts the desire to affiliate. He says,
"You can have all the 'right' friends in terms of social prestige, in-group cachet, or business connections, or a spouse who is rich, brilliant and fabulous looking, but if there is no deep, emotional resonance, then none of these relationships will satisfy the hunger for connection or ease the pain of feeling isolated" (58).
Therefore, this lack of physical support of this kind of communication and the connections built from it, there tend to exist a social disconnect. This is because the community social life seems to be detached in a way despite the fact that accessibility has increased. The best relationships, regardless of the kind are reciprocal. As Fish says, “If I’m serious about getting to get to know God, I can’t just call Him and hang up, I’ve got to stay on the line.” Therefore, the parties involved should be genuinely interested in each other and this is supported by physical presence rather than the virtual world. The best relationships require both parties involved to be genuinely interested in the other. One cannot simply want a friendship with other people without really having time to listen to their problems and offer to help whenever possible.
In her paper, Findlay suggests that Facebook also takes care of the fact that human beings are social by making it easier for people with similar likes and interests as well as similar dislikes to join together in groups and form their own community. For example, students can check and connect with other students who take the same causes or living in their neighborhood. The Facebook group feature allows individuals to post their ideas or opinions to only specific people and groups. The filtering capability makes such connections transformative as an update may be made visible only to those chosen to avoid angering some people. On the negative side, Facebook has proved not only to be overcrowded but also very addictive. As a result of overcrowding, people mistake acquaintances for friends. This is because one may not have the time to care for all the many people they have as Facebook friends. On the other hand, Facebook user experience rampant addiction as they fight to cater for all their acquaintances.
The Facebook’s vice president for Global Marketing Solutio...
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