Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Facecrack or Internet Addictions of College Age Students

So I can't deny I've had a few people ask me lately about me and Facebook. I assume pretty much anybody that is going to waste their time reading my blog knows exactly what Facebook is. It's a social networking tool. Yep, a tool. I can't deny, I do spend a lot of time on there. All right, all right, I'm being modest. I live on there. It's my life now, I know no other life. You know though, it's funny how it really is most college student's lives. And here's the thing I'll say, I'm really just kidding when I say it's my life. The internet in general does suck me in though. In all honesty, that's what I do while I'm "on Facebook." I constantly keep up with news and blogs.

But I've definitely heard my fair share of the "Facecrack" jokes. That's what my friend Claire often refers to it as. It really is such an interesting thing how a device of interconnectivity does become such a common thing for us to almost defer our lives to. But here's the funny thing as well, Facebook has greatly amplified my social life! It's the truth. I interact with people so much more often because of Facebook and that actually gets me out of the house and away from Facebook.

Of course I can't deny the how pathetic that really sounds because I talk about Facebook almost like it's a person. Of course to some people it might as well be. My friend Carson refers to Facebook rather jokingly as her "boyfriend." So is this really unhealthy? I think not, but like all good things in life it must be moderated. One of the things I've really found about the whole Facebook craze lately is the way it honestly does make things better and more enjoyable for others. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was speaking about the idea of Christian Courage. In his talk he spoke about the idea of some of the negative publicity the Church receives. He stated, "We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment." Now I know his context isn't quite the same, but I believe the principle is still applicable. Really so much of what this is about is having the courage to do the right thing, which includes the idea of the kind thing. The kind thing is to try to keep up on our friends' lives and giving them words of encouragement or finding simple ways to brighten their lives. Lately I've been focusing a lot on the idea of commenting on blogs. I have a number of friends who have their own blogs and some of them update them quite regularly. It's a nice thing to know that people still know you're alive and that they care about you and what you have to say. I think that's something I love about Facebook. So many people are on there and they're on there quite frequently that it presents various opportunities to really brighten people's days. I know it's retarded, but seeing that little red bubble in the lower right hand corner of the screen does make people happy. It's like getting a phone call from a friend or a letter. There's just something special about it because you know somebody cares enough to put forth that kind of effort. Also, those that know me pretty well, know I can get rather silly when it comes to my Facebook habits. I really find that it helps me to release a lot of my inhibitions and just be happier about life. When I'm with my friends I'm more carefree, I'm more myself, and I can have even more fun.

So I guess this really does leave us with a bit of a conundrum. Is this addiction that is "Facecrack" really a nightmare? Or is it a way for us to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others? I guess like so many different things, that's really about us. We've been given a tool, we must choose how to use it. I like to make people and I love it when other people make me happy, so personally I'm glad I can have this interconnectivity with so many others and various times in the day. If that's not quite your cup of tea, that's fine. I'm happy for you. I hope the Facebook addiction doesn't suck you into something that you don't really want in your life. But either way, seek for those simple little ways you can brighten somebody else's day. Whether it be the untechnological means: Go visit or write a letter; the semi-techno means: make a phone call or drop a text message; or the full out internet age: email, write on their wall, comment on their blog, or chat with them through some sort of instant messenger, it all can really brighten a person's day. I think too often we forget to even speak to many of our Savior's sheep, especially when they're reaching out for help. We all need friends and thankfully through technology we can expand that influence and our circle of friends rather easily. We can show so many individuals they are important to us by brief little interactions and we don't have to forget about them. Bringing joy to others will certainly bring us the greatest joys of all.


Rachel said...

Well you express yourself excellently as well as being the master of linkage. :) Scott, I really enjoyed this post because I also look at facebook as an easy way (the lazy way?) to spread a little cyber sunshine and it made me smile how you put into words many thoughts I have had myself. I'm glad you think of it that way. It says a lot about you. And your comments and encouragement really do mean a lot to me, not just because I like to see that little red bubble, but I value your opinion a lot and it makes me happy when you are in any way pleased with me. I hope you are having a thunderously exciting weekend in exotic Provo. Ha! :)

Jack (h2oetry) said...

You have more links than a golf course. Love it - my fave one is the Craig Kilborn clip about the bear falling on a tramp - I remember seeing that on TV when Craiggers was on... Good times.