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In: English and Literature

Submitted By mattykrows
Words 1520
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Matt Kuczmarski
College Writing

READER ADVISORY Please sit tight, in this presentation I will tell you all why your lives are significantly worse than they should be. Let’s talk about Facebook. Let’s start by asking who here has never been on Facebook? None of you. That’s a shocker. I understand though, in this day and age you cannot go through a day without using technologically. So we turn in some of our social skills in order to be able to use social networking apps and sites. People need to know everything that is going on with everyone. You may be thinking that you don’t use social sites but I guarantee that if you check your history more than 70% is Facebook. But there is something bad about this whole Facebook ran society. Think about it this way, all of the greatest civilizations have managed to survive without using the constant sites we use today. It is not a necessity but it seems as though people today are always “dying” to see what is on their news feed. This is why I am writing a polemic about it. Polemics exist in order to show the ridiculousness of some things. Please, be advised at NO point in this polemic will I be showing the good things that some social sites bring, no matter how view they are. So in turn while reading this understand that this is simply my view on these sites.

If I could have your attention please, could all the people with at least 5000 Facebook friends please rise? Yes, you on the cell phone, yes you girls who have just uploaded a “pic” of yourselves and the guys with the Gucci tags and $500 dollar shoes, please stand. For all of the people who have less than 5000 friends but are on Facebook at least 18 hours out of that day please stand as well. If you could all please look around, yeah, I know some of you know each other, but could you look around and tell the person to your left “you’re ability to have conversations with people is the same as that of a deranged baboon.” After this presentation it will become clear that I’m not talking about your number of Facebook friends: not the number of likes or comments on your pictures, not the amount of pictures you have – or any of the other things on Facebook that make you think you are popular. We are living in a world today where people are slowly becoming more socially inept because of the amount of time and energy going into Facebook and other sites of that nature. Statistics show that 1 in every 9 people on the earth have a Facebook, meaning that you can find practically anyone in the world by just typing a name and clicking on “send friend request.” Apparently calling someone to meet up and have some coffee is now a extinct idea. But still some people now say that “I don’t have enough time to get coffee” or “why should I get coffee with him, if I can talk to him online?” Some people may go as far as saying that they can “learn more from another’s Facebook account than just talking to them.” I am not just talking about meeting new people I am also talking about the fact that young and people and even some older people now are letting technology impact their thoughts, ideas, and the way they “do” life. Back before Facebook people actually had to go to a girl’s house, deal with their respective fathers, and then see if they can ask them out on a date. Online sites are slowly taking away your ability to deal with an interview, or meeting someone new, by letting you message people and give you more than enough time to think of an appropriate response. I am not going to sit here and say that I do not have a Facebook, because I do. I am simply saying that I do not abuse it. Alcohol is good to have every once in a while, in moderation, but overusing it everyday can cause problems. I know this may be tough for some of you who need your group of friends to help you think about things, but please imagine finding yourself in the contradictory position of having chosen not to give in to all these online sites and instead actually talk to people. Think about not having the walls of Facebook to protect you, do you think you would be a more productive and helpful person in society. Rather than spending, oh I don’t know, 7 hours a day on Facebook you could be volunteering, doing work, and just simply socializing with people without using any sort of screen. Imagining these scenarios and thinking about them gives you a dose of where your life is now and if that is truly what you want to take away from it, it can also give you the chance to ask questions about what kind of society we live today, or even in some extremely rare cases the possibility of these imaginations actually having a meaningful impact on you. I would also like to include that, it is not just people that have been born into a technologically run society that abuse these things. Some older people as well are “even acting like their text message crazed children.” Connecting with old friends is fun and okay, but when you stop calling, emailing, and writing people because you are “too busy,” too busy uploading pictures of their children or parties, forwarding inane quizzes, posting quirky, sometimes non sensical one-liners or tweeting their latest whereabouts. It really amazes me how quickly people, who could be the most knowledgeable and well-spoken people, can turn into a highschooler that has just recently started using Facebook. Another point, since this presentation is about how Facebook weakens society, is that even though you can communicate with people by typing, typing still leaves something to be desired as a communication tool; it lacks the nuances that can be expressed by body language and voice inflection. But even though typing still leaves us wanting more, it is what we choose to say on Facebook that really shows how online sites can change our relationship with the people we know. “Oh my God, a friend of mine just updated her Facebook status to ask her friends “if you register to donate your organs do the only take them from you when you die?” That’s strange it seems that the donor’s brain seems to be missing. But even though some posts may be hysterically dumb, people are not really saying much that’s interesting. Which means that we are breaking the cardinal rule of “Thou Shalt Not Bore Thy Friends.” For example, you have friend who is in a motorcycle gang and a heavy-metal band. But this friend posts videos of cute puppies and kittens on Facebook, which he dubs “uber cute.” This isn’t something that would give a real life conversation substance. Two people are not going to sit down and talk about how cute kittens are. When was the last time you walked down the street and had someone great you with a “good morning?” In todays world you are more likely going to be greeted by someone on their phone updating their status. I would put money on some people even being scared to make eye contact. People are no longer going out and doing fun things with their friends. But it the case that they do go out it has to be accompanied by a status of where you are, what you are doing, and whom you are doing it with. It seems as though people are now accustomed to making announcements about their lives and going online and telling their friends about how awesome their lives are. Now then, I apologize for making you all stand for most of this presentation you may sit now. There are many ways that people can manage to make themselves think that they are being social. Today the main thing that people use is Facebook. It is a way to mask the true task of actually having to meet someone face to face and talk to them. But take this presentation as a warning. Even though while you are in your room, on your computer, you will always feel socially inept. It is much easier but still unfulfilling. You do not want to wake up 30 years old and out of work because you managed to fail every single interview you’ve ever had because the only time you’ve ever actually talked to someone outside of a messaging group was at the Starbucks down at the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave. And let’s face it, I doubt that you want your greatest achievement to be getting 200 likes on a profile picture. That’d be sad.

Works Cited:
Kipnis, Laura. Ways of Reading: Ed. David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Boston: Bedford Books, 2011. 390-410…...

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