The Facebook Generation
Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. Plurk. Friendster. Ah yes, the social networking sites we’re all part of. With the goal of making the world smaller and getting people more connected, most of us engage in these sites to keep in touch.
When Friendster was the most “in-thing” back in high school, I used to throw all of my stuff on my bed right after arriving home to jump to the computer and open my account. I’d relay the latest chika to my barkada and post testimonials and pictures and ask them to do the same. It’s a give and take relationship. I say nice things about you, and in return, you say nice things about me, too.
Now that Friendster is obsolete, and Facebook the new “in-thing”, I’d say things haven’t changed much. I bet there are people who, immediately after coming home from school or from work, would right away turn on their computers to log in to Facebook.
(I can’t say I’m still one of those people because now that I’m attending college in Manila, I seldom have access to the Internet, ergo, I cannot get all jumpy about Facebook anymore.)
In one of the group activites that Sir Barry (OrCom 152) asked us to do, we found that most of us would usually check our online accounts first before even checking our e-mails. One classmate even said that this is because “Puro trabaho kasi ang nakikita ko sa e-mail, kaya Facebook muna.”
Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg
“I’m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share.” –posted on Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page on Facebook
Sharing the latest news and photos from last night’s party to a cousin in the US is as simple as though he were actually beside me viewing the photos from my camera. Uploading the pictures and commenting on them seem like we were just talking and laughing beside each other. I have to admit, I rely on Facebook to keep my relationship intact. I rely on Facebook to breach the oceans between me and my most favorite person in the world.
“I’d rather open Facebook than to face my book.”
So, is this really the underlying theme of my generation? We need Facebook to run our lives, to control our lives? I hope not. Facebook, or social networking sites in general, must not be our number one priority.
If Facebook is the “new way of living”, then does this mean we can just “create” an extension of our lives? We are able
to create our own image using Facebook. We can manipulate and control what we post on our pages, and we can simple build a “cyber self”. We filter, and we create. We also, in turn, create problems for ourselves. People may tend to get overwhelmed with
the information they post online, others may get penalized or reprimanded when parents or teachers find the pictures from a party that was posted by a friend, some may even have filtered or “crafted” too much information about themselves that their “cyber self” is no longer compatible with their “real self”. (Haha, I know of someone who had this kind of trouble)
Still, without Facebook, there will be no Memy to talk to.
As mentioned earlier, my most favorite person in the world, Memy, now lives in the US with his brother to attend college. Because of the time difference, I only get to talk to him when he’s willing enough to stay up late or to wake up early enough to still catch me online. Because of Facebook (and Skype, and YM), my relationship with him has only grown stronger. His being away, too far away, is no longer a problem. We can still talk, we can still share news, gossip, and pictures. We can chat for hours. We can watch movies or series episodes together. It’s really like he’s still just right here beside me. I’m grateful that Facebook was invented.
Aside from keeping personal relationships in one piece, Facebook has fulfilled our basic human need to belong. It has given us a sense of community and togetherness. My friend Diane Famatigan (who is also enrolled in this class and I bet has already finished writing her blog post) shared with me last Friday that her grade school friend who transferred to another school recently contacted all the members of their class for a get-together upon his return to Manila for his practicum. Because of Facebook, the gap that was incurred from long ago can now be bridged. Friendships are restored and memories are treasured.
Ah yes, Facebook. It’s not at all that bad. It’s actually a blessing. 🙂