He said, She said: The Pros and Cons of the World’s Most Popular Social Network

Him: Tyler Roberts | Staff Writer / Her: Eliza Dillard | Staff Writer

He Said: The Many Wonders of Facebook

Tyler Roberts | Staff Writer

The social network Facebook has become a global phenomenon, and people cannot get enough of it. Between connecting with forgotten friends, meeting new friends or networking with potential employers, Facebook has garnered support from all demographics across the world.

According to Facebook statistics, there are over 500 million active users, 50 percent of which are logged on to Facebook on any given day. It is also calculated that people spend over 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook. That is well over 22 million minutes a day.

It can be said that Facebook is a distraction, and that it prevents people from fully engaging in everyday life. Considering the outstanding statistics, I would have to agree that for some people it may be a distraction; however, when used correctly and in moderation, Facebook can enhance one’s life.

Students can use the social network to make connections with new people. Especially for those new at school, Facebook can be a helpful resource when meeting new people and making contacts. It also provides a sense of community for users through Facebook groups, events and interest pages. Facebook presents its users with ample opportunities to learn about other students, find clubs to get involved in and discover upcoming events in the local area. Instead of inhibiting students from pursuing an active social life, Facebook fosters them.

Critics are quick to point out that Facebook profiles can damage the user’s reputation which may have an adverse effect on future employment opportunities. Of course this is absolutely true for those who are careless about what is posted, but when a profile is set up with the right privacy settings, professional information and a monitored wall, Facebook can serve as an indispensible professional tool. Students that use Facebook to its fullest potential realize that the site can act as a sort of resume. A profile then allows connections to occur at a more professional level.

Facebook is also a great classroom tool. Study groups can be formed through Facebook’s group pages. Furthermore, a student can post study questions that their peers can answer and discuss online. I have also seen students using Facebook for group project discussions. Although this trend has not really taken off at UNCW, it is nevertheless an interesting way to use the site to the student’s advantage.

Aside from the professional and academic uses, Facebook can provide hours of free entertainment. Games like FarmVille are simple yet engaging. Looking through other users’ picture albums lets students relive their best moments in college, and scrolling through wall posts and status updates keeps users informed about their friends’ lives.

Most of the problems I have with Facebook-distraction, privacy, etc.-are not inherent to the site; rather, they are problems that are created by the users. A profile can provide the user with many opportunities to make friends, get involved in school, practice better study habits and network on a professional level. Facebook is addicting, but the drawbacks are minor when the benefits to the user are considered.

She Said: Facebook Not User-Friendly for Students and Job Seekers

Eliza Dillard | Staff Writer

According to Facebook, users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the popular social networking website. If only we could spend as much time doing more important things.

These days, Facebook seems to be the biggest craze. With the new popular movie “The Social Network,” people aren’t denying that they are obsessed with the website. I’ll admit it’s hard to do anything on the computer without simultaneously logging on to Facebook to see what the latest news is. However, although it has its perks, Facebook can cause a lot of harm if the site is abused.

It’s fun to take a walk through the computer area in Randall Library to see how many people are actually being productive and how many people are “taking a break” to check their Facebook accounts. Although I’m guilty of doing this as well, it makes me wonder why people are so addicted to the site.

Remember AOL Instant Messenger? Those days of waiting for a buddy to sign on to chat are out, and Facebook chat has wormed its way into people’s hearts and computers. Maybe people only stay logged into Facebook with the hopes that someone will send them a chat message, sometimes referred to as FIM (Facebook Instant Message). Or maybe other people want to see what their high school friends are up to or see whom an ex is currently dating, or even play absolutely pointless and brain-melting games like FarmVille. Whatever the reason, Facebook is a major distracter that people can’t seem to stay away from. Students spend countless hours a week reading through wall posts and status updates on their newsfeeds instead of doing more productive things like homework and studying.

Not only is Facebook a dangerous tool in the hands of students, it is also dangerous for those who wish to become employed. Recruiters for jobs are checking the Facebook accounts of job applicants in order to decide if he or she should be hired. Incriminating pictures are often times the reason that people get deferred from jobs. If an underage drinker has a picture on Facebook of him or her holding an alcoholic beverage, the employer is a lot less likely to hire that person.

One of the major drawbacks of Facebook is that the security settings on the website aren’t completely fool proof. Just because pictures are set to private doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to get around the security setting. Also, there are multiple ways to view photo albums of people that aren’t even your friends, which is a little unnerving.

While Facebook is great for keeping in touch with new and old friends, there is no question that it’s a risky website that, if used incorrectly, can be detrimental to meeting future goals. The bottom line is that people, our generation especially, need to become Facebook-smart. Have some common sense when it comes to tagged pictures, and stay away from the site when academics need to be a priority. Maybe we can even dedicate our 700 billion minutes per week towards something a bit more worthwhile.