North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


April 26, 2012

Facebook: America’s favorite addiction

Facebook: America’s favorite addiction

COMMENTARY — Everything in moderation... isn’t that what your parents taught you growing up. It seems that if we do things in a proper and upright order, then everything goes better. But when things get out of whack and out of order, there is a level of chaos that comes about.

People can take anything to the extreme and make it a bad thing. Some people do this with alcohol, some with exercise and I have been known to be extreme in my eating. So I have no stones to throw. But one surprising thing that has become a topic of excessive behavior is Facebook.

The thought of people going a whole day without getting on their social network is almost paralyzing to some. We live through this means and it seems to dictate so much of so many people’s lives. We figure out how people’s marriages are going, if they are single or not, if they are good parents, if they like their jobs, if they’ve gained weight... the list is endless. Facebook has opened us up to a whole new level of snoopiness. With just the click of a button I can find out how old you are, where you live, what you look like, what your hobbies are and what your religious preferences are. Yes folks, our lives are open books... or at least they are as open as we want them to be.

Some people have completely vetoed the power of Facebook on their lives. They don’t have an account and therefore are uneffected by the evils that may abound.

Facebook, like many other things, can be dangerous if abused. It can cause hurt, ridicule and even relationships to break down. But is Facebook to blame in this situation or are the people who are writing on Facebook to blame? I tend to think that Facebook is a means for people to express themselves, wether that be a good thing or a bad thing.

It can also be a wonderful thing. Take for instance the mom who wants to show her family the Easter pictures of the her children. Facebook is the perfect way to let the ones who may care to check them out, have the opportunity to do so. It also makes news travel fast, I mean really fast. In less than two minutes the world can know that you got engaged or divorced, and then, for some odd reason... Facebook can make it seem official.

Yes, if you want to know how people really are, then look at their Facebook profile. I happen to love to play on Facebook. I put lots of pictures and silly posts about absolutely nothing on there. It has reconnected me to old friends and introduced me to new ones.

Like anything, when used wrongly, it can be dangerous and hurtful, but when used correctly, it can be insightful and uplifting. You can offer condolences, praise and encouragement to people you wouldn’t usually get to see by the click of a few buttons.

I’ve heard it said that if gas prices keep going up, Facebook will be the only way that families will be able to get together for the holidays, and sadly, there may be a level of truth to that. When my parents are in India, some of my happiest times are being able to chat on Facebook for a few minutes in the mornings. It makes them seem so close, when they are really a world away from us.

So if you are scared of Facebook and all of the evils it holds, just remember, it can be as good or as bad as you make it, just like anything else.

Individuals hold the power to make things beautiful or ugly; nice or mean; wholesome or broken. What are you doing with the power you possess over things... Even things as small as your Facebook account?

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