Friday, 6 January 2012

Facebook Fury

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how Facebook quite often is more trouble than good? I think most of us nowadays would admit we’re pretty much addicted to the social networking site.

Whether you catch yourself checking it on your phone as soon as you wake up, religiously visit the site before you go to sleep at night, or regularly hit share on your phone camera as soon as you’ve taken a picture. I noticed recently – on Facebook funnily enough – that somebody said they’d probably spent most of their year looking at their phone screen.

Worryingly I feel the same, I Tweet, I play ‘Words with Friends’, I go on Facebook, I write my blog, I check my blog stats and I text. I dread to think how often I spend on my phone. In terms of looking at a screen, that involves most of my life – I look at screens all day at work, at my phone on trains etc and before I go to bed and then look at a laptop screen when I’m at home a lot of nights. Scary.

However, in all the time using social media, the one site that I’ve seen cause the most headaches – on a personal, not professional level – is Facebook.

I constantly see people update their statuses complaining about someone or having a dig at someone. Or you get people who constantly announce they are coming off Facebook, they are going to have a clear out of their friends, Facebook rules their life, they’ve rejoined Facebook, their sick of people’s updates, their sick of people’s photos, the list goes on and on…

In fact I have been victim to this Facebook Fury myself, as well as other people I know. As much as I love Facebook I do accept it’s a social networking site and thankfully take most things with a pinch of salt. However, for many the site is such a big part of their lives now things on the screen have a big impact on them and how they feel.

People posting photos of a night out could end up offending a friend because they added an image where someone doesn’t look their best, another could write something in their status which a Facebook ‘friend’ of theirs doesn’t like or your contacts may clash with one another. There are all sorts of complications now to consider it seems.

It seems the line between reality and virtual life/friendship is well and truly crossed for many people now, to the extent people don’t speak face to face and arrange events via the site only. If you’re not on Facebook sorry you can’t go as you won’t hear about it. People have children or get married or engaged and announce it on Facebook, often as their first port of call. Arguments are created and friendships or even relationships ended by what people ‘find out’ on the site.

To me – somewhat of a social media addict – I find it all so sad and disappointing. The whole point of social media is to use it how you want, express how you feel in the way you want, you network with people. People you may not meet, people in other countries, people with the same interests as you. It’s not necessarily all about ‘real life’. Somewhere along the line though for some this has been forgotten.

I'm not going to even share this post on Facebook myself to avoid any Facebook issues too. Mad, I know.

People end up arguing because somebody hasn’t replied to their Facebook message, yet have they tried to call the person, text them or speak to them face to face? No. Facebook should be enough they feel. Your friends you’ve known for years but not seen in ages as you live far apart? Just had a baby, you don’t find out until a few days/weeks later because you didn’t get on Facebook on time.

New features like timelines people find too intrusive and constant updates to layouts and how you carry out simple tasks on the site lead to people getting frustrated too.

So is Facebook becoming a bane in our lives and causing too much hassle in life nowadays? Are social networking sites doing more harm than good? Or do people need to recognise the line between reality and the virtual world. Is this what Jamiroquai were predicting in their hit Virtual Insanity? (Okay I’m getting carried away now!) Or is it simply people need to be a bit more mature and responsible about their usage and reactions and remember – it’s just a website!

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