Social associations and the necessity of communication are the two human conditions that are universal. It is a widespread assumption that communication technologies assist in increasing and strengthening social ties (Keller). There are a number of opportunities that are provided by the Internet for social networking. Facebook is one of those opportunities. It is not an untold secret that Facebook has turned out as the most popular online tool. It has made writing letters and phone conversations a practice of the past. According to Pew Research Center, Facebook is used by more than 2/3 of adults who use the Internet. The pervasiveness of Facebook as a social media platform has made it one of the simplest tools to communicate with family and friends (Morse). There is no doubt that Facebook is a great means of communication that allows people to remain connected with their loved ones, no matter where in the world they are.
There are a lot of people who consider Facebook to affect the natural communication. They assert that people spend most of their time on this website and use it to be in contact with their family, friends, and acquaintances. According to them, this consistent practice has entirely changed communication ways as compared to the past. They also consider Facebook as a means of affecting real relationships. They think so because people show more attentiveness and concerned for the virtual relationships instead of spending time with family members and other people in the real world. They also argue that the easiness of Facebook’s use to stay in touch with thousands of people has also dissuaded many people to interact through traditional means. In particular, it has affected the communication skills of teenagers who are needed to have face-to-face interactions for learning social norms. Therefore, the opponents of Facebook communication believe that it does not let young children develop social skills ("Effects of Facebook on Communication - Its Impact and Study"). I believe that the social relationships we have today are not undermined by technology as assumed. Facebook is a great communicating platform due to which personal relationships have augmented. It has increased online communication without replacing telephone and face-to-face conversations. Facebook has added to the mentioned offline forms of communication by “increasing the overall volume of contact” (Masket). Facebook users are able to stay in contact with people they already know. It means face-to-face relationships are enhanced and strengthened when people are able to communicate through this most renowned social media website. Both online and offline relationships and conversations are complemented by each other. Facebook is a medium that makes this interaction possible and stronger. In addition, the News Feed option in Facebook is a way to facilitate its users to remain aware of their contacts. Not only this, the size of Facebook has also been successful in encouraging communication as it facilitates new friendships. This website has increased the probability of communicating with people who share similar interests. Thus, people using Facebook do not have to go outside in order to be in contact with people. They can do so wherever they happen to be.
In addition, it is also believed by many that Facebook has greatly impacted the socialization patterns as its users are more concerned for uploading their pictures and videos, updating minute-to-minute statuses, and commenting on posts and walls. This simply reflects the fact that they consider online socialization more important than gatherings in real life. According to their point of view, the excessiveness of Facebook use has killed communication in real-life. This is because people now prefer to meet on Facebook rather than meeting in person. In short, many people consider Facebook as a real life replacement as it impacts real relationships and strengthens online ones ("How Facebook is Killing Real Relationships?"). However, I do not agree with the above arguments presented by the opponents of Facebook and other social networking sites. I strongly believe that Facebook is serving as an important tool for enriching social lives. Furthermore, communicating through Facebook has also fulfilled peoples’ need for socialization, intimacy, social support, and independence. Profile construction, video and picture sharing, talking through instant messaging provided by Facebook have made it easier for people to continuously create, recreate and hone their individuality. It is worth-mentioning that a majority of Facebook users are teenagers. As they prepare themselves to enter the social world as adults, Facebook provides them an online social environment which allows them to interact with other people from the comfort of their homes (Koltow).
As far as my beliefs are concerned, I think that Facebook has benefitted us in several ways. It is one of those social networks that have made people better individuals and societal participants. Communication through Facebook has helped in the organization of political activities and has also encouraged democracy. This is because people have started to voice their opinions and beliefs through Facebook that impacts other peoples’ mindsets. Social networking and communication via Facebook has allowed people to explore their unique identity. Moreover, it has also assisted in the development and provision of social cognitive skills. For instance, conversing with different people and getting to know their ideas polishes one’s skill to talk with perspective ("Are Social Networking Sites Good for Our Society?”). Similarly, the use of Facebook has reduced loneliness and has also improved wellbeing. It is especially helpful for people who are not good in socializing conventionally (Marshall).
It is particularly helping those people who are separated or far away from their friends and family members. Facebook has brought people together regardless of the fact that they are physically separated. The best example in this regard is that of people who are employed in the armed forces. They use Facebook consistently to be in touch with their loved ones as this social networking site makes it easier for them to see and converse with their near and dear ones. I do not completely disagree with the idea that Facebook has several drawbacks. However, its positives and benefits have outweighed them. Facebook has let people to connect with each other (Lecky-Thompson). There are a lot of success stories including marriages, partnerships, business contracts, and other cheering endorsements that make Facebook a valid platform for communication and social interaction. In short, there is no potential harm in using Facebook as a means of communication. It needs to be understoos that this website is not harmful or damaging itself. It depends on the users that how they use it. It can be said that it is all about a fine and healthy relationship with technology, the Internet, and social media sites like Facebook (Taylor).
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Keller, M. "Social Media and Interpersonal Communication." Social Work Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
Koltow, D. "How Facebook Helps Us Communicate." Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
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Masket, S. "The Internet Is Improving the Way We Communicate." Pacific Standard. N.p., 2 June 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.
Morse, S. "How Facebook Helps Us Communicate." Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
Taylor, J. "The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good of Children's Use of Social Media." The Huffington Post. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.