When Facebook hit our computer screens in the mid 2000s, the novelty had everyone ecstatic as to the possibilities it held. People joined Facebook by the millions and today it is still the largest social media site in the world. But has Facebook actually achieved the opposite of what we thought it would?
We all thought that Facebook would bring us closer to each other by making contact so accessible and quick. But in actual fact, real social interaction has diminished to a large degree in countries where Facebook is so popular. Because people can connect with—and update—each other on a virtual platform, there no longer seems to be a reason for interacting face to face. People often ask questions at social events only to hear a reply similar to, “Oh, I did post it on Facebook so I thought you knew.” Although this is not an outright blow to a relationship, it does seem to gradually affect the way we interact with each other by diminishing social contact.
If you are upset with someone about something they said or did, you can ‘un-friend’ that person on Facebook and make a statement by doing so. This is slowly diminishing our ability to confront one another with the conflicts we face. Relationships are less likely to be mended if the break in that relationship happened on a silent, virtual platform where nothing was said or done to show the displeasure experienced. This is dangerous ground and we are likely to find ourselves in a position of eventual loneliness unless we learn an old-fashioned way of sorting out our problems with each other.
Facebook has become a medium whereby people post things they believe others will be interested in. It has also become somewhat of a competition to see how many likes we can get for our posts, and how many friends we can accumulate on our profiles. Is there really a point to this silly competition, or is it simply encouraging our vanity, pride, and self-centredness?
It is my belief that the world can do without Facebook. Although there are some benefits to the platform (such as business related perks and a way to share cute content), it has become a social destroyer more than a social conductor. Facebook is here to stay, but let us make a point of connecting with each other in the real world, and leave Facebook for the desperate and lonely.