That doesn't really work when those people are 4000 miles away
I have family on the far end of the country who I use Facebook to keep in contact with, along with many friends who have moved around the world and met on various vacations that I'd otherwise have lost contact with over the years. Until recently I used it to keep in contact with my Girlfriend who signed up for the Navy, who I'd barely have had any contact with at all without Facebook due to the costs of phone calls (though actually I could argue that's more of an "against" argument <.<).
I have to admit that I find myself agreeing with a lot of arguments against Facebook and Social Networking sites in general, but I personally believe that most of the problems originating from them are mostly the fault of users themselves, i.e. the [optional] information they include on their profile, i.e. phone numbers, addresses, DOB, places of work, etc etc, and the messages they leave on their own and others "Walls" which they get in to trouble with, etc etc, just to name two things. I mean, people actually expect to be able to write insulting messages about their employers publicly on their profiles without repercussion. Granted, that's a fraction of the worlds population with an IQ south of 25, but still.
I also believe, however, that Social Networking sites get a bad rep mostly due to their popularity. There are plenty of sites on the internet more problematic than Facebook that you'll never hear of, purely because Facebook is a bigger, jucier target. Remember all the fuss over MySpace when it was the most popular SN site? Now you hardly ever hear of it unless you use it yourself.
You don't understand. The beauty of it is that it's available and easy to contact people. Obviously I can't physically visit my friends overseas, and phone calls overseas are so expensive. So, there's Facebook (or Skype, or MSN). Obviously, there's nothing like talking with my friends at school in the flesh, but as far as communication goes, Facebook is pretty convenient.
I do however despise this sub culture of emotionally challenged individuals who feel it is their duty to tell us how unimaginably awful there life is. People who are normally quite friendly and seemingly content in person, seem to transform into whiny emos who seem to be on verge of suicide. Seriously Facebook is not therapy go see someone about rather than dampen my day
Yes, it's an excellent way of keeping in touch with people - I've just left school and without Facebook would probably never hear from 50% of my classmates ever again, and I have friends that have moved out of the country that I have no other contact with.
However it can also be a ruthless place. One of the things I cannot stand but see far too often on my homepage are *****y, whiny statuses that mention no names but you look at them and think 'I know EXACTLY who that's about'. It drives me mad - if you have a problem with someone, confront them personally, don't plaster it all over the Internet. I've also seen some pretty brutal arguments unfold via status comments - people seem to forget that everyone can see what they're saying. And I agree with Elite; I also see a lot of 'I'm so miserable and lonely and depressed' statuses. It perplexes me a little; usually, if you have a problem, you don't like to talk about it, so why the hell are you sticking it on your Facebook? 9 times out of 10 it's just a call for attention.
...I am now starting to wonder why the hell I'm still on facebook xD
I think part of this comes from the social methods of online use. It boils down to the following:
Forums vs Social Sites
It in the reality of it is that both accomplish the same thing. On CHU, we are arguing the fact that social networking is redundant in that you can go outside and do these things. The irony is that we're doing exactly just that even on this website's social forums. The only difference being is that there's this wall of anonymity which you can hide behind and project what you want to show only where as social websites, people on your friend list already know who you are and those ideas are there.
You will find that many people find that their method of communication is stronger with writing than through talking (hence why texting is the norm over talking by phone). With that said, that's why people are more confident in putting angst in writing rather than talking to people about it (in fact it helped to spawn the entire genre of Romanticism in literature. Lots of poetry from that era is pretty angsty and cries for attention). It's not like this is suddenly a new problem, it's existed for quite some time.
The best case scenario for those who don't want to talk about depressing things but are in a "kind of need too" would rather talk to someone they can trust but will never see again. I suppose when people put it online say to facebook, it can always be written off as "oh i had a bad day lol".
In detail for all to see posted for all to read,
Born to the time they die,
On display for all to see,
Name your feen,
Name your drug,
Name your dog,
If only there were an eye to see.
I like being able to stay in touch with family and friends miles away.