In the past few years, phrases like “writing on walls” and “poking” have become commonplace amongst college and high school campuses. Even Merriam-Webster added “facebook” as a “word of the year” in 2007. So what the heck is it all about?
It seems these days more people are staying indoors and writing on their friends’ walls instead of calling or visiting them. It’s much easier to join the “Oregon Trail” with your buddies than to meet them for dinner.
Over 166 million people use Myspace and/or Facebook. We apparently don’t see enough of our friends during the day that we have to watch their every move online. With Facebook, the News Feed makes that possible.
It’s true, social networking sites do make it easy for friends and colleagues to stay in touch. However, there is such a thing as “too much.” Wikipedia states that there are on average 250,000 new users daily to Facebook. There are over 1.7 billion photos on the site. Walking into any college class in a computer lab will prove that students are addicted to these sites.
New features are added constantly to both sites in order to compete with the other. Some users are so bombarded with emoticons, bulletins, pokes and the seemingly hundreds of applications that the site almost becomes more about the features than the users.
And with mobile access for both Myspace and Facebook, users can be constantly attached to their online profiles.
So why are students so addicted to these social networking sites? Maybe we like being able to stalk that person we somewhat knew in middle school. Or maybe teachers just need to be less boring in class.