Facebook, a work experience student’s view on the “social” network

31 Mar

By Andrew Thompson

Taking the shameless selfie seems to be the norm these days… but getting caught in public well, you tell me what you would feel like.

Myself, being a 17 year old student (keep the word student in your mind), find social media like chalk and cheese. It allows me to meet new people, interact with friends and, if used efficiently, can be used in an ample amount of ways to benefit you.

However, without it, an application to Oxford or Cambridge could have been on the cards. The amount of time I’ve wasted by sitting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, with most of the time spent refreshing the same thing over and over again so much you are to find that the next day you can almost perfectly recall what was said that night, is a sickening thought.

Social or Real World

This “social” world is quite ironic as, in fact, anxiety and social awkwardness have increased in a direct manor as social media has grown.

Taking yourself out of the real world and engaging in a “social” world is one of the main reasons why these “networks” have been such a great hit. Think of all those calls you haven’t had to make because you’ve Facebook-ed, Tweeted or Whatsapp-ed instead. What about when you’re busy – it’s much easier to resort to trolling on Facebook whilst the TV mumbles in the background than do the important job that’s waiting for you. Little did we know, or refuse to accept would be a more suited phrase, that at the time this theory does not make the situation better in fact just makes the workload increase.

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Average day

My day, just like any other teenager’s day I would presume, would consist of

  • waking up – check phone

  • lunch time – check phone

  • Get home until bed – phone (with maybe a little school work).

  • Any other spare time I get? You’ve guessed it, phone.

Reading this you may think I have major problems, but think back to your day. Yes, I agree that answers will depend on my audience, but technology these days is just like the go-karts you spent days building and spent hours racing. It’s just like the puzzles you sat down aimlessly connecting pieces to in your front room. OK, I agree these options are the more healthier option and cuts out the sedentary lifestyles that we live today, but that is how society has changed.

Why is it addictive?

So why do we as a society find it so addictive?  The first reason is that with even the most basic technology – most, if not all social media sites are accessible. They are free to join up and free to use, and we all love something that is free!

Another reason is that everyone is on them – over 70% of people in Northern Ireland have a Facebook account so people feel that if they don’t use it they will miss out on something. In reality… this is rarely the case. Like I mentioned before, we tend to just re-read the stories we have already read, yet we still don’t change our ways.

So, after giving social media quite a mixed bowl of bashing and praise – I will leave you with some questions to ask yourself. Would life really be life if social media just vanished? Would it really make you more sociable? Or is it just a sign of the times? Without social networks, would you really use your time on more useful things or would our ability to procrastinate about almost anything find you something else to waste time on?

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