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Cyber community Facebook connects all college students

Like to find out if that boy in literature class is single? Does that friend at the University of Illinois still like the movie Top Gun? How many people does the girl down the hall know at Eastern?

These urgent questions and many others can be answered thanks to the addictive online phenomenon, new to Eastern, called Facebook. Senior Dan Demers’ interest was sparked by friends at other colleges who discussed the site www.thefacebook.com.

Demers found that a college qualified to join Facebook if enough emails were sent to the Facebook board.

Apparently other students were also eager to access this album and informational resource, because after Demers sent in his email, he received a confirmation email from the makers of the site. He then sent the makers the number of students at Eastern, a list of departments, majors, minors, residences and the format of Eastern’s email system. Demers says he was interested in bringing Facebook to Eastern because “it puts you in contact with people you don’t normally talk to, and you can learn to recognize their faces.”

Eastern’s own Facebook website was set up over winter break as an addition to Eastern’s website and is only accessible to Eastern students, according to Demers.

Eastern’s membership to thefacebook.com is independent of the school’s administration and website, according to Demers.

As a result of this rapidly growing website, college students from across the nation can now constantly check not only away messages, but also entire profiles of personal information.

Facebook can help users to identify their classmates and those who share their major. And with hundreds of other colleges in the network, it can help users keep in touch with other students far away.

Sophomore Allison Stackhouse is a frequent user of the site.

“Not only can you talk to people from Eastern, but you can look for friends from other schools and also people from high school,” she said.

However, because this website is very accessible, users may want to be careful with the information they post.

“If you don’t want everyone to know you, then you should not be on this website,” Demers said.

Listing favorite books, movies and music is just one facet of the Facebook profiles. Users can also create or become members or groupies of clubs such as Education Majors, Eastern Film Society or the Really-Really-Ridiculously Good-Looking-People, according to the Facebook website. Real Eastern clubs and individuals can make their own Facebook groups. Friends from any school can leave messages on a personal message board and also browse a person’s interests, jobs and classes, according to Stackhouse.

It is important for students to know this is also a potential addiction.”People just become obsessed with how many friends they have, even if they aren’t really friends,” said first-year Lauren Baylis.

Still, the website is popular among students.

“It makes me happy,” Stackhouse said.

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