To be, or not to be… on Facebook.

I joined Facebook in 2007.That’s six years ago, but I doesn’t seem like it has been that long. When I was eleven I went to an international summer camp, where I made lots of friends from different countries and cultures. The summer camp lasted a month and when I got back I had a severe case of reversed homesickness.

The christmas after I sent and received presents from Brazil, Norway and USA. I got my own E-mail address and I wrote letters. Today the idea of writing anything except for lecture notes with a pen and paper seem quite distant.

Then Facebook came along, and I joined. It was definitely easier. Just a click away was most of the camp friends. They had joined Facebook before I did, which was kind of strange, because as I recall I had to sign up with a false date of birth to be able to join, 15 year-olds were not welcome on Facebook back in the days.

However by using the group function on Facebook I reconnected with a lot of the people who I had lost contact with during the years that had passed between then and the summer camp.

I never intended to use Facebook to connect with people whom I met in school everyday. In 2007 our phone bill went trough the roof. I spent hours on the phone with two of my close friends. MSN Messenger was the media through which I connected with people whom I didn’t know well enough or didn’t have bravery enough to call.

Today, I use Facebook daily, I have kept my summer camp friends on my friends list, but we hardly ever speak. But when we do, we are not using the features on Facebook, instead its like an E-mail account. Instead it is the people who I meet in University during the week that I communicate most with. We have our own course page and sub-groups for assessments and so on. It is the people who I meet on a regular basis that I share photos with or whom I send open messages too.

My attitude towards Facebook is split in two; one part of me thinks that it is an absolute waste of my time and space. A distraction rather then a communication tool. I also question the way Facebook enables us to judge people around us, only by what has been posted by them and others on their timeline. In a matter of seconds you can click your way back to when they first joined Facebook and see everything they posted since then.

Then there is the other half of me, who feels very dependent on Facebook. I worry that I would miss out if I deleted my account. Would I get invited to as many events? How would I be able to keep in touch with all of the friends who I no longer live in the same city or even country as?

Here is a video clip from ABC News about a teacher who dares his students to go off Facebook for a week:

And here is a great article by Douglas Rushkoff on why he is quitting Facebook: 

What is your reason for having a Facebook account?


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