Facebook defeats its own purpose


Kiara Blake-Knight, Staff Writer

Since its beginning, Facebook has created a social world unlike any other. While its goal is to provide members with a means of keeping in-touch with family and friends, this online society has not accomplished its goal.

Ironically, the social networking site, first designed to connect people who were already acquainted in real life, might be the only connection people have anymore.

Many of the friends a person has online seem to stay exclusively on Facebook. For example, I have quite a few fellow Illinois Wesleyan University students as my online friends. But when I pass one of them in the halls, I never get an affectionate “hello” or “what’s going on.” Instead, they usually pass me like I’m a stranger. I’m confused – aren’t we friends?  Or is that only on Facebook?

Another major downfall is that Facebook creates the false illusion of popularity. Someone who has over a thousand friends in the virtual world may only have 20 or 30 friends in reality. Honestly, how many people can say they have spoken to half their Facebook friends?

Maybe I am just old fashioned when it comes to friendship, but I think a real friendship should be a bond between two people who have respect for one another and share interests.

Facebook, while mimicking this concept, does not uphold true friendship. Instead, it only allows its members to inflate their online personalities in order to appear more virtually appealing. This is nowhere near the concept of friendship.

A true friend recognizes you in person or at least acknowledges your existence. They have lunch together, laugh together, fight and make up.  Facebook friends, on the other hand, answer questions about each other in online games, LOL on statuses, or delete each other, never looking back.

Despite popular opinion, Facebook doesn’t really preserve real world connections. Facebook does not and never will create an opportunity to maintain real relationships. With this in mind, I don’t think this is the type of friendship people should engage in. It most definitely should never become the substitution for a real, in-person friendship.

My advice to all Facebook users out there is to stay in reality when it comes to making friends and don’t get caught up in the Facebook Matrix.