Facebook – Devil or Angel?

Facebook – Devil or Angel?

In the article “The Facebook Addiction Spreads” by Angela Adair Flower, she describes the electronic social networking through “Facebook” as a disease and it is spreading around all over the world. The Author thinks that Facebook is wasting students’ time. It is meant to be an online communication platform for chatting and sharing to anyone without barrier. Nevertheless, In fact, the situation may be totally different in real life. Facebook can be easily access, so users can just lay back and chat with others around the clock. Students may not benefit from the information circulated over the forum and chat room but definitely enjoy spending hours or even sleepless nights on the computer to keep the momentum going. There will be effects on health from insufficient sleeping time and issues on academic performance. Students are distracted and cannot concentrate on their studies as they have to keep track on the postings and latest updates. Despite of various negative impacts, the Author is not discouraging users from using Facebook. She wishes to caution all on the adverse consequences and potential addiction if college students are over-spending their time on Facebook. Users should also evaluate issues on social relationship and privacy matters.

Facebook has become a readily accessible platform for users to chat and share information with friends and acquaintances and even strangers. It has become habitual for users to always browse their own or other users’ Facebook to check out updates. It may be out of curiosity or create talking point within their social circles. A lot of time has been spent on the browsing and exchanging information on Facebook. Sometimes, it may just be for jobs hunting or ordering text books. Whatever the purpose is, the time spent on this activity can easily be illustrated by a simple mathematic presentation. One of my Professors advises us to spend at least 12 hours of study time outside of class per week, including doing homework, preparation for the next class and reading. If a student is taking four classes per semester, he or she has to spend 48 hours for studying. This may be the same amount of time spent by some Facebook users per week. If students are on their Facebook for 7 to 8 hours daily (which is approximately 56 hours per week), they will not be able to complete their homework, revision and study for classes. A prolonged use of Facebook will only hinder the study progress and in turn affect the performance of the student.

This also triggers why rampant addiction has become a major problem for countless Facebook users. Facebook can be easily access, so people can just stay in their comfort zone and communicate with others. The electronic platform is widely spread among people over the world and almost 9 out of 10 people have their Facebook accounts. Users usually get to be mouse potatoes and stick to the computer to chat with friends or even strangers for hours. This may constitute a waste of time for meaningless communications and also severely interferes the normal daily lives. That is the reason why most educational institutes and organizations have banned the use of Facebook in their premises, so as to minimize the chance of hampering a student’s educational obligations or an employees output at his workplace. I totally agree with Flower that Facebook is harmful when addiction occurred in the users. They should realize the real purpose of Facebook and not to put themselves in an abyss of Facebook addiction.

In turn, as Facebook users do not need to have face-to-face communications among each other, the value of relationships, mostly long term relationships, is spoiled. For example, people add users online and talk to each other in the cyber world. When they meet each other in the realistic world, people often do not know how to communicate. They may feel so close and yet so far away. That is because they are so used to talk over the computer. This is particularly significant as those relationships are established and maintained through an electronic social platform and lacks the emotional and physical involvement of an unadulterated relationship.

Privacy risk will be another issue of Facebook. It has far too much information provided on Facebook shared among the users. Spammers and scammers would steal those users’ identities for committing criminal and immoral activities. Moreover, there will be cyber stalking in Facebook and increasing chances for personal details landed up in wrong hands. For example, stalker can just go on Facebook and use the information users put on for illegal activities. This put users in situations such as stalkers using users’ name to credit card fraud. This also explains why so many deceiving cases of teenagers being cheated in Facebook through dating.

The author did not discourage the use of Facebook; it is a matter of self-control. The main purpose of Facebook is not getting addicted to it, but to connect with your friends over your leisure hours. Facebook is a website for us to relax and socialize. It is not an essential part of our daily life. Imagine if a person is on an isolated island by himself or herself, what does he need most? Is it Facebook? No, it is water and food. We still can survive even Facebook is permanently shutdown. Think about the time when there is no social network exist. We still have our own way to interact and communicate with others. More and more people are abusing the use of Facebook which we have to change this habit and approach. That is why I agree with Flower that if Facebook is has become an addiction, it is harmful to college students. We can turn it into a Devil or an Angel!!