The Facebook addiction spreads
April 20, 2012
A new pestilence is sweeping across the land with unremitting virulence. You may have
thought you were safe from it. You may have even thought you would be able to control
the disease-that you were immune from it. No such luck. It has spread to this campus. It
has spread to your homes and offices. It has even spread to your home computer. The
name of the disease: The Facebook.
Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Don't act like you haven't already
spent hours adding friends and joining random groups, including the group entitled "I'm
addicted to Joining Random Facebook Groups." If you actually haven't encountered this
epidemic. Whose side effects may cause grade reduction and sleep deprivation, I will
Facebook is possibly the greatest and most entertaining timewaster disguising itself as a
unifying college community since study groups. Registration is simple; you must simply
have a university e-mail address to join. You can then create your profile, much like a
typical forum Internet site, and start viewing profiles along common interests, joining
groups and adding friends. After that, you can begin to indulge in the witty and highly
intellectual discourse about cartoons and living in a van down by the river. You can
convince yourself that you're doing something productive and noteworthy, especially
when you join or form an organization group, or even meet new people from the many
other colleges hosted on Facebook. But let's face it. Facebook is entertaining and
addictive, pure and simple. Most of the groups center around various movies, TV shows
and hobbies. Even more include what we would call MSU in-jokes, hooking people with
Waffle House, the wave guy, hatred of online homework and various fan clubs for
random unknown individuals.
You do get more than entertainment from Facebook, though. As I was browsing last
night. Presumably doing research for this article. A certain sense of satisfaction crept up
on me. I was seeing people online that I had noticed throughout campus, and even had
classes with a few of them. I saw how people I knew were connected to other people, and
even other people I knew. I was starting to get a sample of just how interconnected this university is.
Not only does everyone know everyone, I began to realize that people were actually
talking and finding common interests outside of their own group of friends. How often
does that really happen walking across campus? We see people every day, and we talk to
people on the cell phone between classes, but where can we find the free discourse of
Facebook anywhere else outside of organizations?
Facebook is a place for unlimited communication-where anyone can talk to anyone
without barrier. And we can do it all on our own time, without leaving our own territory
or comfort zone. And where can you find a place that you only talk about one common
interest. People do not have a sign on their foreheads listing that they're interested in '80s
movies and skeeball. Neither can you simply ask, "Hey, I was looking for someone who
likes Bob Marley and, hey, you look like just the type..." Yeah. That would work. That's
where The facebook comes in. Not only can you join the Bob Marley group, you can also
click the link to Bob Marley in your interests. The site will perform an instant search
through profiles to find all the people who groove to Marley.
And I've only been talking about people from MSU. On this site, we can have the same
type of discourse with college students all over America. Our relatively small community
of MSU can expand to encompass like-minded "scholars" from far and wide. We can
discuss sushi with a guy from Maine. Isn't that fun? As with any form of entertainment, especially on the Internet, we must use moderation
and not have to join the group "Facebook Made Me Fail My Exams!!" We must
remember that with great power, or a great forum site, comes great responsibility. YourBush group can wait until after physics homework. Just keep repeating that to yourself, and you may believe it.