It kind of annoys me when people go on and on about the perils of social networking sites. This is probably a very similar point to the one I made in my post on celebrity culture but I believe if you use it in the way it was intended, it’s actually very beneficial.
For example, on my own Facebook page I have a lot of the people I went to school with. Given the fact they’re now scattered around the country at uni and, even when they’re back, I’m still a good thirty miles away from the action due to having moved out of home to a different county, it’s one of the primary ways of keeping in touch. Sure, I text/call/see some of them quite often to keep up to date with what they’ve been doing but it’s simply unpractical to expect someone to have the time in their day to text 100 different people to see what they’ve been up to. But a simple click on facebook’s news feed allows you to see immediately that x and y have broken up and z has been out on the town etc etc. The beauty of having your friends’ and family members’ lives at your fingertips is something that I think we’ve truly forgotten.
Of course, there are those that go WAY overboard. Updates every twenty seconds along the lines of ‘omg I luuuuuvv u soooooo much, ur my baybey n ur so amazein’ are pretty irritating (although I think everyone went through that phase years ago on myspace (remember that?!)).
Social networking broadens your horizons by allowing your friends to share with you their experiences of other cultures, the new books they’ve read or the amazing music they’ve heard. But also, as a comedian (can’t remember which one) said on a show (possibly 8 out of 10 Cats) there’s the always useful thing of being able to look through ‘200 photos of your ex girlfriend on holiday with her new boyfriend to find one where she has a slight look of regret in her eyes.’ (I may have paraphrased that).
But most of all, it’s FUN. Yeah, spending hours on it when you should be working/revising/sleeping is probably not the most productive use of time but how great is it to flick through all your friends’ pictures of a night out or laugh at a brilliant joke someone’s put as their status.
Anyway, must dash, I haven’t updated my status in about ten minutes and I need to let all my friends know that I’ve just sneezed 🙂