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Facebook: Harmful or helpful?

I’ve heard all the criticisms of Facebook.

Some say that the popular social networking web site is reducing face-to-face human communication. I’ve even read an argument that said Facebook was affecting students’ grammar. Personally, I thought that article was simply absurd. You can’t blame a web site for the way students are writing their essays.

I am guilty of skepticism a when I was first introduced to Facebook. The idea of it didn’t make sense to me. If I really wanted to keep in touch with someone, I could just use a phone.

I came to realize that life becomes too busy in college, and the phone is simply not enough to keep in touch with old friends.

The main reason I now use Facebook is the fact that it makes it easier to stay in touch with multiple people. How many of you have multiple tabs of Facebook chats on the bottom of your screen? I have about ten as I write this right now. It helps that I am able to do my homework and talk to multiple people at the same time. After all, it’s been said that our generation multitasks like no other.

Most, if not all, college students use a computer at least once a day for research and writing papers. It is a valuable tool for communicating with one another, even when it is unplanned. Although cell phones also serve this purpose, they are less convenient for various reasons.

That is where Facebook comes in handy. It is now possible to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues with just a click of a button.

If you don’t feel like responding to a person right away, take your time before you writing reply. There is no time limit, and you don’t have to feel bad for wasting too many minutes per month.

Facebook is also a way to promote oneself, and I use this tool to my advantage. For example, I want to continue my career in journalism. My Facebook friends consist of former bosses from internships, teachers and people I’ve met through networking.

By posting links from articles that I’ve written for the Waltonian, I am able to share my writing.

Similarly, out-of-town family members are able to see my progress over the years. There is no need to e-mail people individually, which risks leaving someone out, as everything is located right on your profile.

Now, for those who are against Facebook, I must ask: Are you naturally able to keep track of every friend in your life? The answer is probably no, which is why Facebook has become such a phenomenon.

When students head off to college, they don’t only leave for an institution that will educate them, but they enter into a busy life of research papers, internships and classes. With all that on a student’s plate, in addition to stress, it may be hard for one to keep track of his friends. That is when Facebook becomes an excellent tool to help you stay in touch.

Of course, too much Facebook usage isn’t good, but when used in moderation, it provides an accessible tool for networking and connecting with friends.

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