Most of us have come to a consensus about Facebook—we dedicate too much time to it, extracting minimal value from the popular social network.
Although it offers a useful arena for the organizing of communication with friends and the exchanging of photos and videos, it is undeniable that our use of Facebook far exceeds its utility.
A glance through my Facebook feed reveals an amalgamation of boring, stultifying statuses. My cousin tried Corn Nuts for the first time; a friend of mine is stressed about her economics class; another is looking forward to Spring Break in Vegas.
The instantaneity of Facebook and similar websites has brought with it the watering down of our communication—since when were any of these three statuses worth sharing with the entirety of your friends as a stand-alone statement?
As much as Facebook has been criticized for its triviality, many, including myself, have actually turned to the site in search of the worst that it has to offer.
I have to admit that there is something comforting about sifting through the vapid depths of Facebook. It makes me feel eerily connected, and yet somehow superior to, the shallow world that is depicted.
This is not to say that there are not some people who engage Facebook intelligently, but rather that the social norm is the opposite.
Reflecting on the all-consuming, banal nature of Facebook, many have chosen to abandon the site all together.
I believe that the advent of technology should not prevent but rather foment the development of meaningful relationships and communication.
Rather than narrating our lives in a putrid stream of (un)consciousness, Facebook and Twitter could be mediums for more constructive interactions. To this end, I have a few suggestions for the socially networked world.
Allocate a small block of time every day or two to your social networks, but never access them outside of this specific time.
This will allow one to keep in touch without succumbing to the urge to narrate. It may be preferable to do this at night, an ideal time for reflecting on your day.
Also, try asking a serious, thought provoking question to your friends.
I am not suggesting that all communication has to be intellectual, but rather that all communication has to seek to actually communicate something. There has to be intention, whether it be comical, persuasive, inquisitive or informative.
I think we have the last one covered; let’s go beyond that and creatively use social networks to engage in deeper levels of expression.
When you post a status or tweet, do it with a purpose and make your words count.
Nick Hahn/Copy editor
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org