Since it’s launch in 2004 and now with over 1 billion users, facebook is seen in the homes of many people either on their laptops, desktops or mobiles. People share everything from their exercise routines, pictures showing them pouting like an orangutans bum in the local toilet or in their bedrooms trying to flog you the latest amazing make up that will make you look like 16 again. Pictures of what they’ve had for dinner both before they digested it and after, their relationship status and even their pet’s habits, but is Facebook really a friend or a foe?
In the July 2014 issue of the journal “Computers in Human Behavior” they reported the findings of the study “Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States”
The study concluded that although the it didn’t show if Facebook was directly to blame, the data presented in this study provided evidence that Facebook use was correlated with reduced marital satisfaction and divorce rates. Survey findings
A 2012 study by the University of Bergen and published in the Journal of Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma reinforces, showed that when posting a status or getting likes, the brain reacted in the same way as someone addicted to drugs such as cocaine.
Facebook has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that now we’ve had to create laws to include cyber bullying and making it an offence for anyone to either bully or be part of the bullying of an individual on facebook and other social media sites.
So perhaps this goes some way to understanding why Facebook is so addictive to some people and so important in people’s lives.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, we never had anything like social media and those who were not as fortunate to afford a landline, our only sources of communication was either face to face, writing letters or giving your boyfriend the local payphone number and hoping and praying that when they called, no-one would be on it.
If we argued with someone we just didn’t talk to them for a few days and then you were asked by a mutual friend why you were not talking to them. Now you’re unfriended and blocked on Facebook or if you dare unfriend someone, you’re questioned as to why you’ve done it. It’s like every action you take in life now is queried and questioned out in the open for everyone to see. Although now with the facility to unfollow someone means that I don’t have to see things they post.
So what are the type of friends you have on facebook? You have that friend where you have to think about what you’re writing because you just know they will take offence to it. This is because they have an ego the size of Australia and think everything is written about them or when you do write something they have to reply with something about them.
Or you have that one friend who never comments on anything until you get something wrong and then bam they’re there commenting…. Other types of friends are the ones who never interact with you at all and just like to be nosy at what is happening on your page, however if you have a facebook cull and remove them, they’re the first to challenge your decision.
Facebook has it’s good sides especially for someone like me who lives miles away from family and friends as it means I get to see what they are still up to. I am also a member of groups of things that interest me or where people are in the same situation as me.
So i’ll leave you with the question for you to answer, is Facebook your friend or foe?