What is the most popular social network in the world? I believe that most people prefer the answer “Facebook”. Nowadays, there are more and more people join the Facebook. You can always see such situations that some people refresh their Facebook when they have nothing to do, and there are some people even only use Facebook to keep in touch with others. Actually, Facebook has already become a part of our life; and it changed our lives in four aspects: it changed our online life, relationships with our parents, relationships with our friends, and also eased our feeling of loneliness.
The first aspect is that Facebook fulfilled our Internet lives. Do you still remember what did you usually do on the Internet before the Facebook was invented? Use my own experience for example; before the Facebook was invented, I only use the basic functions of the Internet, such as check the emails, look for some news on the Internet, sometime I also play some online games. At that time, I prefer to watch TV rather than surf the Internet. However, after the Facebook was invented, my online life changed. When I surf the Internet, the first thing I have to do is check my Facebook, because many of my friends who changed their states everyday.
From their states I can know what happened to my friends. Sometimes I can also share some interesting videos and pictures to my friends, it also made me feel closer with my friend. Actually, not only myself, but also other teenagers have the similar situations. In “Facebook is a major influence on girls, says survey”, Sean Coughlan (2010) reported that there is a survey based on 3000 parents and 1000 children in the UK, and they found that Facebook made a big influence on children, especially on girls. In that survey, children are asked to list three important things in their life.
The result shows that 41% of the girls and 17% of the boys believe that technology is one of the biggest influences, and many girls regard the Facebook as their important part in their life. They believe that Facebook is more important than TV, magazines and even their brothers or sisters. It sounds a little crazy, however, it is true that Facebook has already changed our Internet life. In fact, Facebook didn’t only change our Internet life, but also create a new way to communicate with your parents and friends.
As there are more and more teenage Facebook users, many parents try to communicate with their kids through Facebook. However, is it an effective way to use Facebook to get closer with their child? In “Student’s Facebook ‘friends’: public and private spheres”, Anne West, Jane Lewis and Peter Currie (2009) analysis that most teens feel weird when adults have Facebook. Huffington Post (2007) use a student’s words as example, the student said that if his or her parents know so much about his or her Facebook activities, he or she will has a feel that his or her parents want to know the secrets between his or her friends.
He or she wants his or her parents could understand that Facebook profile is prepared for people who are sharing his or her experience (cited in West, Lewis & Currie, 2009). From this example, we can see that many teenagers don’t like adding their parents as friends. They want a world that they can chart with their friends without worrying about their parents. However, there are still many teenagers believe that Facebook is a good way to communicate with their parents. For instance, there is a girl noted that her mother just got into Internet for few days and her mother likes to see her photos.
The girl believes that it is a good way to keep in touch with her mother (West, Lewis & Currie, 2009). In another case, there is a friend of mine insist on communicating with his mother through the Internet. They believe that add each other as a Facebook friend is a symbol of reliance. My friend likes to update some photos with his friends, and his mother likes to share some tips in daily life with Facebook. With the help of Facebook, their relationship became better and better. As there are more and more people who know how to use Internet, we need to believe that one day, parents can get closer with their kid by using Facebook.
Facebook does not only change our relationships with our parents, but also with our friends. Before the Facebook was invented, maybe the most common way to communicate with others is cellphone. You can text or phone others. However, with the birth of the Facebook, we have a new way to communicate with our friends. In “Me and My 400 Friends: The Anatomy of College Students’ Facebook Networks, Their Communication Patterns, and Well-Being”, Manago, Taylor and Greenfield (2012, pp. 374) did a survey on 400 people.
According to their study, the average time that people spend on the Facebook is a little over an hour, and 80% of the people would log in the Facebook many times a day. Most people would like to update their status a few times a week. Status is most common use of the Facebook. From our friends’ statues we can know more about our friends’ life. To some degree, it is a kind of communication when you see your friends’ statue and leave a comment under their statue. According to Manago, Taylor and Greenfield’s study, the most common statues are others’ emotion condition (51% of participants).
Then the second and the third most common statue is “what you a doing” and “vent frustration”. Therefore, we can easily know something from others’ statue. That is why Facebook provide us a new way to communicate with our friends. Actually, most young people like to use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends. Use my friends for example; Dale and Ronda are young couple with two kids. They like to go vocation in holidays. Each time when they come back they will update their statues and photos. It makes them feel closer with their friends. From these examples we can see that Facebook really changed our relationship with our friends a lot.
The forth aspect that Facebook influent our life is that Facebook can ease our feeling of loneliness. In the article “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? ”, Marche (2012, P. 62) points out that Americans are much more lonely than ever before. In 1950, only less than 10% of the homes have only one person. However, by 2010, nearly 27% of the homes have only one person. From these information we can see that people became more and more lonely, because many of them living alone, they don’t have somebody to talk with them. That is the problem, and Facebook can solve this problem perfectly.
Although you could not live with your friends, you could communicate with them through Facebook. Marche (2012, P. 64) also reported that in 1985, only 10% of the Americans had no one to talk about vital matters. However, by 2004, the year when Facebook launched, 25% Americans had no one to talk to. To solve this problem, Facebook provides a platform that you can discuss important matters with others. Facebook is not only a social networking, but also a “medicine” which can reduce the feeling of loneliness. There are some people argue that the motive for using Facebook may impact on loneliness.
For instance, some people may addict to Facebook, so they prefer to use the Internet to communicate with others but not talk to others in reality. About this point, Mathew Ingram, an excerpt from BusinessWeek blog post, explains that Facebook would not promote connections in real world. He met many friends from Internet. He agrees that there are people became lonelier because of using the Internet, just like many lonely people like to watch a lot of late-night TV show. However, it doesn’t mean that Facebook causes loneliness (cited in Marche, 2012, P. 17). From the information above, we can see that Facebook really changed our life.
In conclusion, Facebook changed our life in many aspects. It does not only add more happiness on your Internet life, but also make your relationships with others better. In the modern world, people became lonelier and lonelier. With the help of the Facebook, we can meet more new friends; we can keep in touch with our old friends, it can also help us to get out from the shadow of the loneliness. Facebook or social networking has already been a part of our life. Therefore, all we need to do is to make good use of the Facebook and let it serve us in a better way.
Courtney from Study Moose
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