Facebook craze: Revolutionary tool or ruining society?

By Matty Gharakhanian

You can be too connected.  Facebook and Twitter are wonderful and all but sometimes I don’t want to know exactly how much alcohol you consumed last night or how many guys you made out with or how many penguins you stole from the zoo.  My goodness.

We are coming into a world where social media is a way of life and basically defines our life (what we do or should do, what we think or should think, what we say or should say).

We are judged by all of these things and make ourselves publically accessible.  I miss the good old days where you could remain mysterious and aloof while leading a double life.

You could go out and perform multitudes of nefarious activities without a friend – thinking it will be a great idea – taking a photo and tagging you on Facebook so all of your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, cats, dogs, catholic priests and that creepy old man down the road can view and judge you accordingly.

I’m putting a kibosh on it all.  Take note of this day as the day that I have made a stand and am no longer a slave to social media.  I will no longer take photos of my meals and put it up for all to see.  I will no longer post statuses abusing the hell out of the English language and I will no longer tag myself at places so my arch-nemesis (Esteban) knows of my exact location at any given time.

According to a study by Gregory Lyons, a senior analyst at iCrossing, Facebook will hit the one billion-user mark in August.  This seems insane, right?  It already hit the 955 million-user mark in June of 2012 as seen on Facebook’s key facts webpage and Twitter now boasts over 140 million active users with 340 million tweets per day (as seen on Twitter’s ‘What is Twitter?’ webpage).

That’s nearly one billion people on Facebook and 140 million on Twitter sharing their lives, whether you want to see their cat in silly costumes or not, or hourly photos because their babies have sneezed or farted or whatever it is that babies do.

It’s not just young people using these social media platforms either.  While 95% of people aged 18-24 are reportedly on Facebook, 55% of people aged 65 and over are slaves to the online craze as well.  Hi, grandma.

Now people have easier and more time-efficient ways of annoying you. Besides, wouldn’t you rather publicly annoy someone in under 5 seconds rather than waiting 3 months for your letter to be delivered across the sea?

The whole world is your playground of debauchery and shenanigans.  You can be in and out of people’s profiles, leaving hate (or boredom) filled vitriolic comments, Mission Impossible style.

When did we become like this?  I may be starting to show my age a little but I’m sure that I was unconscious through this whole transition.  Social media (and access via mobile phones) have been rapidly taking over since I finished high school (2003).

I know what you’re thinking: “don’t you use Facebook and Twitter as well?”  And let’s face it, I do.  The only action I’ve gotten in recent years is being poked on Facebook, so I’m not one who should pass up an opportunity.

I understand that Facebook and Twitter has its uses.  Like where your building is burning down and you’re sending an SOS to your cat’s Facebook page, or you’re in the trunk of a car, needing to be rescued from a gun-toting driver and you can tweet all about it as it happens.  For goodness sakes everyone, learn to hold back a bit on personal information.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good.

So when are we too connected?  Daily photos of your best duck face?  Ugh.  Lovely comments on your grandma’s Facebook page?  Not so much.  When we know every sordid detail of each other’s lives?  Yes.  When we have built our entire lives around it and no longer know how to interact in person?  Definitely yes.

I am almost certain that in future, when friends hang out, they will all be gathered in a circle, tweeting each other because we have all lost the power of speech.

I hate you social media, for all that you have provided for me on my days of boredom.  Now, excuse me while I post this on Facebook and Twitter.

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