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Monday, August 6, 2012

Facebook, Twitter, Google, & the Internet

[DISCLAIMER: I have nothing against social media sites, social networking, Facebook, Twitter, and anything related to social media.]

I have a cousin who's obsessed with Facebook. When I say obsessed, I mean he is on his laptop for more than half the day, and is on Facebook at least every five minutes, responding to whatever the hell goes on with his friends. That's a serious obsession.

But I think it's fairly typical of every teenager or college student nowadays. It's just the way things are.

Hard to believe that fifteen years ago, "internet" wasn't even in a dictionary. But I suppose now we don't really use paperback dictionaries do we? Google is the first thing that comes to mind.

It's actually quite interesting to see how common phrases such as:
"Why don't you check the dictionary?"
Have changed to:
"Just Google it!"
When society changed to the digital era, it changed for good. Now if you want to learn something, you don't need to get off your butt and haul yourself over to the library. Just type in a few words, click a couple times, and the information is, quite literally at your finger tips.


Social networking has changed the way our society works as well. Before, when people would meet up outside, maybe exchange phone numbers, addresses, and maybe send some heartfelt, old-fashioned letters, that was just the way things were. That was normal.

Ask for a hand-written letter now, and you'll get a blank look, a chuckle, a pat on the head and the words, "It's called email."

I'm sure the postal service isn't too happy about that.

But even email is being overridden by social media. Facebook and Twitter have taken over the mainstream. Most people, famous or not, have crossed over to the dark side, and been sucked into the websites.

Of course, for celebrities, social networking provides a way to communicate with fans on a scale and level that could never have been matched years ago. As for the awkward fourteen year old who excitedly gets an account, it usually just leads to a series of things that will be listed and sorted into an easy and manageable way:

1. Internet Drama
We've all heard of this one. The case in which some stupid person tells another stupid person some stupid rumor, starting stupid fights, and causing a storm of crap to rain all over your facebook page. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
2. The Superficial "Friends"
On Twitter and Facebook, it's just how it is. People always want to try and up the number of followers they have, or the number of friends they are. For teenagers, this is often the deciding factor for popularity. Never mind the fact that half the people that "friended" or "followed" you, probably aren't even your friends.
And last, but not least:

3. Cyber Bullying
I refer to this as the "new" way to bully others. The Internet gives pathetic bullies a new way to say mean things without having to say things to people's face. They can troll as much as they want, and hurt people as much as they want. After all, on the Internet, you can be a totally different person.
It's really no wonder that I have avoided social media for so long. Having gone through all the troubles of finding who I really am, and avoiding fakeness as much as possible, I just know that going to one of those troublesome websites will probably only get me into a personal identity crisis.

I know that not everyone who goes on those sites are like that, obviously. Of course I have friends who are all on those sites. Even I have involved myself on small scale social gatherings with my close friends; over the internet. But those are people that I've met. And anyone can be sucked into the superficiality that certain sites offer.

Of course Blogger is considered a type of social networking site. But it's nothing like Facebook or Twitter with the insanity and the crazy. I just don't feel the hype.

But that's just me.


(See what I did there? Typical Twitter move!)

~Banana Win

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