Facebook Under Fire: Is the Site Destroying Relationships?

Monday, 05 July 2010 09:17 Written by  Lisa R. Brown

So. it’s Saturday. It’s cold and rainy so going out is totally out of the question. You’re pretty bored, so you hop on Facebook for the 15-millionth time that day just to see if any of your buds posted anything interesting. You’re about to sign off when you notice your best friend just posted a fresh status. It’s about her having a lot of “fun” the other night and how she got totally wasted.

fbYou look under the status to see there are 11 comments. One of them is from your boyfriend. He says, “Yea, I had a lot of fun too. When you fell down the stairs then threw up in your neighbor’s rose bush, hilarious. LOL.”

Wait a minute—what were the two them doing together last night? Why weren’t you invited? Most importantly, why didn’t he tell you he was alone with her? If it weren’t for Facebook, you may never have known that this night took place.

Facebook has become the new MySpace. It’s as popular as Twitter. It’s a great way for people to connect with friends and family, but it also at times opens the door for chaos to occur. That happens when people use this social networking site for the wrong reasons. So what’s the general opinion of frequent users of this site?

Erica, 22, a business administration major at DePaul University, gets on Facebook at least once a day. She said, “It’s a great way to contact people you haven’t seen in a while. I moved to a different town, so I got in touch with a lot of people.”

Anna L., a bookseller at DePaul, who gets on the site every day, said, “It’s good, not great anymore. It’s good because you can connect with your people even from overseas, especially in my case because I just moved here. So it’s a nice way to keep track and be connected with family and friends from back home.”

Terese Bostick, 21, who gets on the website 20-30 times a week, agrees.

“I like it; I connected with a lot of my grammar school friends and high school friends.”

James Aldridge, 22, logs on daily. He said he feels similarly.

“It’s cool. I actually found a lot of my family and friends, people I haven’t talked to in years, so I like it. It hasn’t caused me any issues.”

Most people agree that the popular site is pretty great and reliable in terms of finding and keeping in touch with important people in our lives. But does it at times hurt the way people relate to each other or cause relationship difficulty?

“It helps as far as people getting in touch with each other, but I think some people take it a little too seriously and rely on it for a lot. People may take comments too strongly,” says Erica.

Anna commented, “Somehow, it’s a place for drama. You would know where people are at. Say you’re looking for someone and they don’t respond to your texts or messages, you just check your Facebook and see. It’s a place for drama.”

Terese feels Facebook makes relationships difficult sometimes. “People start getting in your business and start commenting on things. Then you got the type of people who want to comment on someone else’s page, ‘girl guess what so and so said?’”

Aldridge felt that Facebook definitely helps how people relate to each other. “Maybe you’ve been eyeing someone, hit them up on Facebook. If you’re having a party, you can send that out over Facebook; a charity event, you can send that out over Facebook. It allows you to connect to an unlimited amount of people.”

Facebook seems to open the doors for rumors spreading, fights starting or even people breaking up. This is a huge issue with the site lately.  Aldridge reveals his feelings on that subject.

“I don’t really think Facebook opens the door to that, it just made it easier. I mean, if you’re ghetto and you’re starting mess and you have a drama-filled life, Facebook isn’t anything but another bridge for you to take that chaos on a bigger level. If you’re seriously in a relationship and you let what someone else is saying on a social networking site break you up, it wasn’t anything anyway, if you ask me. Facebook is what’s hot now, before it was MySpace. It’s the most standard site, everyone is on Facebook.”

Bostick felt differently.

“I’ve never seen fights or arguments start. I’ve never been in a fight.”

Erica felt that making assumptions about friend’s pictures or comments was the issue.

Facebook isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It can be addicting. Its goal is to make it possible for people to connect when they maybe had no other way to do so. The site was also created so that ordinary people would have a voice and be able to express their right to have an opinion, be it favored or not.  It is a great site, no doubt about that. When used with caution, it can be a pretty fun and useful. But in the end, is it the site that hurts people or is it people who hurt people?

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-Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery


Lisa R. Brown

Lisa R. Brown

Lisa R. Brown is a 20-years-old student at Columbia College Chicago. She is majoring in Magazine Journalism and chose that field of study because she has always loved reading magazines. Lisa is also a fiction writer, penning short stories, poems, lyrics and more.

She can be contacted at Lisa@glossmagazineonline.com

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