Facebook is the website that a large majority of college students go to immediately when opening their computer or using their cellphones. According to a case study done on facebook, “there are more than 500 million active users.” Each year these users spend countless hours looking at the news feed and stalking their friends’ profiles. But could Facebook actually be hurting our society?
Humans tend to be lazy. Laziness is one of the reasons Hobbes claims that we want to live under a common power. “Psychologist Prof B.J. Fogg, who studies online behavior, says Facebook is designed to make interacting effortless…” With the one click like button and simple access comment box no task is difficult on Facebook. This simplicity and minimal thinking the website creates feeds into each users laziness.
In addition, Facebook provides a cyber world for people to live a fantasy life through. “Abraham Maslow stated that humans have three basic needs, which are for love, affection and a sense of belonging. We might not realize it but that in sharing with our friends our activities and photographs, we are actually seeking for attention and belongingness. We want people to notice us and of course, we feel better when they do and take time to comment on our posts.” Also, Facebook give individuals endless amounts of friends. One does not actually have to be friends with an individual physically to add them. This makes people feel more socially accepted and leads to a higher self esteem. On Facebook any user feels free to say or do much more than they would in a face to face interaction, creating somewhat of a false identity.
In my discussion class we talked about the American Dream. This will be the first time in American history where the individuals of this generation will most likely not be better off than their parents. The people of this generation realize their situation and many have lost faith in the American Dream. Only a small proportion of students raised their hand in my class stating they still believed in it. So is Facebook becoming an outlet for individuals to achieve, what they know they cannot in the real world?
The laziness and fantasy life Facebook creates, can have some serious consequences. Facebook builds a safe space where people fall into a comfort zone that is hard to escape. Consequently, people get stuck in a pattern of sitting behind their computer instead of venturing out into the real world. Even though Facebook is a social interaction site, one could argue it encourages solidarity.