The Facebook Generation
The things we used to associate with people who participated in the early forms of social networking is long gone now. Today, the majority of young people belong to one of the many social networking sites. I myself belong to three social networking sites (four if YouTube is considered one) One of the first social networking sites I joined was HI5. I wonder how many people actually actively participate on that website today compared to public favorites Facebook and Myspace. One of the main reasons I joined HI5 was because it allowed me to stay in touch with friends who were living half way across the globe. Many people join these social networks for different reasons. However, once immersed in, it's very hard to get out because it becomes a very important part our daily lives. We rely on it to communicate with our peers, families and coworkers.
Most of my college years have been spent in the last three rows of any classroom I attended. That gave me the great privilege of seeing the active screens of many of my classmate's laptops. I always found it fascinating how many of them are on facebook at the same time (If they are not "facebookin' it ", you better believe they are texting). It is not a simple task. People don't just login check their e-mails and then logout. Not only are you consumed by what's happening on your private profile, you also take the time to browse through friend's profiles and see what they are up to. There is usually a lot going to capture the user's attention for a long period of time. Especially now with the addition of instant messaging in most of these social networking sites, this Facebook generation is spending more and more time online.
I can't help but wonder about how people used to communicate about different things happening in their schools or communities. I think about the many events I get invited to every time I log into my Facebook account. Many people I believe have the same experience. So it's undeniable that these social networks give a great service to a group of friends or a larger school community by providing valuable information. With the introduction of Youtube and other video based sites, there is a whole new dimension to the online community. Now people can interact with each other using an audio-visual medium. I believe the online community is going to keep getting bigger. And I also believe people will start to rely even more on these social networking sites for many things in their daily lives. You might not personally know each one of the 350 friends you have on your Facebook account. However, you still feel comfortable enough to share your current situation and emotion by posting it on your "status" for everyone to see.