Is Facebook Worth It?
Is Facebook Worth Investing in or Best Left Avoided?
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 16:11
As of July 26, Facebook, the social networking website started by Mark Zuckerberg, was reported to have 955 million active users, just shy of a billion. There are roughly seven billion people in the world. If we take these two numbers into account, about one in every seven people has a Facebook account. It’s pretty safe to assume that people like to stay connected through this outlet.
But what even causes us to even give Facebook a chance?
Admit it, you’ve probably seen “Like us on Facebook!” on at least one thing today. Why wouldn’t you though? It’s plastered everywhere you turn in today’s society, whether you’re staring at your cup from Starbucks or you’re looking at a potential real estate agent’s business card.
It’s almost impossible not to be tempted to enter the strange and mysterious world that is social networking. Is this temptation worth giving in to, or are social networking sites, like Facebook, best left avoided?
The answer isn’t handed to us on a silver platter, unfortunately. Just like with anything you do or have, there are negative and positive aspects to social networking.
And just because I’m an overly optimistic person, let’s start with the pros.
Facebook is a great way to stay connected with those people, whether they are family members or friends, who aren’t just a hop, skip and a jump away from you. With all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s not always as easy or convenient to keep in contact with one another as it once was. It is, however, easy to just log on to your Facebook, scroll through that never-ending news feed and “like” a picture that your grandma in Iowa posted of her cat. It lets you know what’s going on with people’s lives, at your own convenience
We, as humans, are designed to be social creatures. We need social interaction; it’s the key to happiness. The only problem is, not everyone is necessarily a social butterfly. Facebook is an alternate way for those who are less social to interact with people.
As I said earlier, life can get pretty hectic, and it’s easy to get all of that information mixed up and maybe even forget it. Facebook keeps you up-to-date on everything that is going on in with people that you care about. Is it necessary? No, but neither is adding sprinkles to your already decadent ice cream dessert. It’s simply a nice bonus.
The key to social networking is already in the name; networking. Facebook can be very useful; it allows you to stay in touch with people that may be able to help you someday. No matter what you need help with – an apartment, a job recommendation, or even just help on a new art project – if you have a large enough social network, there is probably somebody who can be of assistance.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to end. It’s time to list the cons of Facebook. After all, it’s only fair.
Connecting with all of these new people can seem a bit glamorous. 500 friends? You may have never thought you’d be so popular before. Let’s face it though, how many of those people are just a waste of time? If you aren’t careful, Facebook can go from a fun way to find out what’s going on in old friends’ lives to your news feed being clogged with people who honestly don’t really matter.
As mentioned above, Facebook can be a great way to get in the “need” of social interaction. However, there’s a flip side to that coin. It can take away from the face-to-face interaction that is much more important to us. People may use Facebook as an excuse not to go and see somebody in person, because they’re already so up-to-date with that person’s life. And for some people, Facebook is their only means of social interaction, and that is not a good thing.
Facebook’s biggest con, though, is privacy. Yes, there are settings on Facebook that let you set your privacy level as high as you want. But the truth of the matter is, what you put on Facebook is on the Internet forever, even after you delete it. Facebook can be like playing with fire—there’s a risk involved and the effects can be dangerous. So, be careful with what you put on your page.
All of this leads back to my original question: Is Facebook worth it? If used wisely and properly, yes, Facebook is a fantastic thing to have. However, if put into the wrong hands, such as a teenager with low self-esteem, it could turn into a disastrous occurrence of needing constant reassurance and desperate attempts at compliments, and let’s be honest; nobody wants to deal with that that.
Facebook is a double-edged sword. The things that are good about Facebook are superb, but the things that are bad about it can be terrible. So, my advice to anyone thinking about getting a Facebook is do your best to avoid the wrong side of that sword.
Cassandra is a sophomore majoring in Journalism.