Friday, September 21, 2012

What Does Facebook Mean to You?

With the new age of technology that we are surrounded by, many of our connections are made online.  Social networking sites like Facebook allow us to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world at anytime.  However, these social sites are used in many different ways.  There are those who use Facebook rarely, and there are those who are always engrossed in something, whether it is posting on someone's wall or uploading pictures. I personally just use my Facebook for things like DMA, keeping in touch with friends I've met at summer ballet intensives, or keeping up with my closest friends from back home.  Other than that, it simply serves as something to do when I want to waste time.

Now, most people know about “friending” people on Facebook, but as the network has grown, so have the numbers of friends.  I myself have over 700 friends, but do I know every single one of them?  No.  So yes, I agree with Robin Dunbar and his belief that a max of 150 friends is very reasonable; however, I don’t think it’s ideal. In everyday life, we may keep in touch with 10-20 close friends, and might personally know 150, but we also have innumerable acquaintances that we interact with. This being said, 150 is reasonable, but having more is acceptable too.  As a member of Facebook, I sometimes find myself feeling obligated to “friend” somebody simply because I met them once or because we have X-number of mutual friends.  In cases like these, it is possible to have more friends, but after a while you can have too many.

On the topic of relationships, things can get even more complicated. From personal experience, online relationships can be extremely different from offline ones.  Facebook serves as a safety net. It is much easier to talk on Facebook, or text, than it is in person at times, simply because Facebook allows time for second thoughts, or revisions to what we want to say.  With this said, being “proficient” in an online conversation does not mean you will be “proficient” in an offline one.  In my opinion, people spend so much time nowadays chatting or IM-ing people that it is affecting their real social skills.  So with that thought in mind, is Facebook really a good thing anymore?  Or is it simply there for the connections it gives us?

So for my project this week, I created a Prezi.  This website is one of the coolest I’ve ever worked with.  It’s a place that can create zooming power point presentations, and it is also a public site meaning that any work done on the site can be shared, borrowed, reused, etc...  (Definitely a place for cultivating creativity!)  I chose to depict the theme of connectivity through Facebook because of the many ways it can be used.  The presentation practically speaks for itself.  Overall, it turned out great (even though I ran into technical troubles and had to recreate it twice).  I hope you enjoy it!

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