The writing blog of James Christopher Sheppard. I am a 26 year old gay male from London, UK. Here I present my experiences, poems, thoughts and opinions...

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Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Big Facebook Debate

I have several friends that have deactivated their Facebook profiles in recent months and have gone on to adopt an attitude of ‘Facebook is evil and is destroying the world’. There’s videos making the rounds claiming the same thing, and ironically the ones I have seen, have been through people posting them on Facebook itself. Well I have been considering the pros and cons of all these arguments that I am constantly hearing people be so passionate about.

Right then! Facebook is purely a social networking site. Those that are obsessively distracted by it are clearly easily distracted and if it wasn’t Facebook distracting them, it would be something else. It doesn’t prevent social interaction in any way; those that are fulfilled socially by sitting at their computer and not physically seeing people, will be satisfied, Facebook or no Facebook. The rest of us, that still enjoy human contact in the ‘real world’, will still seek it, regardless of having a Facebook account or not.

The insinuation that Facebook is destroying the proper use of the English language by people using written slang and text talk is insane. It’s a tad like saying that paper is also killing the English language. If people don’t spell or punctuate their writing correctly, the chances are that they do it regardless of Facebook. The only thing with them writing poorly on Facebook, is that it is there for us all to see. As for ‘chav speak’, in the vain of ‘innit’, ‘bruv’ etc, the kinds of people that choose to use such language, will use it anywhere that they speak or write. One of my pet hates is poor spelling and punctuation and so it does infuriate me when I see it, but I don’t blame Facebook for what my ‘friends’ write. If people’s awful statuses irritate me that much, I click the little button that gives me the option to hide their updates.

If you are annoyed with people knowing too much about you from Facebook, put less of yourself on there! Likewise, if someone is driving you crazy with their tedious status updates about hating their boyfriend or their cat being ill, DELETE THEM! If you delete someone on Facebook and then see them and they confront you as to why you have deleted them, tell them they were infuriating you and that you would rather not see their updates of this and that and that way when you see them in real life, you will still have some respect for them. You don’t have to have people on your account as your friends. You have the freedom of accepting/declining and, more importantly, deleting and blocking! You can also detag if you hate that picture so much, OR make it so that no-one can see, or even tag pictures of you. Problem solved.

Constant event invitations to shit that is completely irrelevant to us is annoying. Did you know you can click ‘Ignore invites from...’? I did it from all the rubbish ones and now I get very few. Marvellous. The emails Facebook send out whenever anyone does ANYTHING are annoying- so disable them! You can also control what notifications you get- and block applications and games- even Farmville!

If knowing that your ex is on Facebook, and you can look anytime because you are still ‘friends’, plays with your heart too much, delete them, they’ll understand! If they don’t, they aren’t worth shit.

At the end of the day, I have managed to stay in contact, and sometimes regain contact, with people from the past, that without Facebook I would never have seen again. It's also a brilliant way of sending messages to a group of friends, or inviting people to a party or a night out. It is also a brilliant way of gaining support from your friends to your other online ventures, such as this blog, where a lot of my traffic is from Facebook. My family is spread out over the whole country and Facebook is the easiest way for us all to stay in touch and share photos and what we are up to with each other. It’s really not very different from a mobile phone; it is essentially a way of us communicating with each other through written word and photos. People that have extreme anti-Facebook rage, should probably reconsider what they are actually angry about. Facebook is what you make it. If it becomes an issue in your life, in any way, you have big problems. 

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