The primary use of Facebook and other social networks is to connect with other people. We can connect with an old friend, a new friend, or with people we may not know.
Brett A. Bumgarner is the author of You Have Been Poked: Exploring the Uses and Gratifications of Facebook Among Emerging Adults. Bumgarner mentions the reasons why we are motivated to use Facebook:
“Diversion may be a motivation that is applicable to both Facebook and other SNSs. On Facebook, this motivation is gratified through such uses as browsing through people’s photos or reading their profile.”
I remember times when I would navigate through some of my family member’s pages. I would try to find out who graduated from college, had children, or gotten married. Of course I would always find family and even friends that were married and had children.
The pictures showed beautiful laced wedding dresses, what seems like the perfect husband, and bubbly children. Along with snooping on their pages, came the comparisons.
You then ask yourself the following questions:
When am I going to be engaged?
Are children in my future?
Will I marry the right person?
I later learned that the relationships were the exact opposite of what was shown. Their relationships didn’t last, and the wedding receptions were a disaster–of course they are not going to mention that in the photos.
According to totallifecounseling.com, “Facebook is like a play or the cover of a magazine, and people are presenting their best selves. Facebook is designed for you to share happy things, and the reality is that we are not happy 24/7, we do have frustrations and disappointments, and we’re just not sharing these negative moments on Facebook, such as our financial worries, discontentment with our jobs, and so on.”
Many people spend their entire day on their Facebook accounts. I have seen college classmates throw a fit when they couldn’t check their accounts when they felt the need to. For some, Facebook is their life. I now use Facebook to see what peers are up to, and to stay connected with college friends. I will be graduating this May and will need to stay up-to-date with college buddies. I also use Facebook as a way to network.
If I am at an event, I’ll often tell people to email or Facebook me. Facebook can help you network when it comes to getting a job, but it can also prevent you from getting a job as well. Many companies are even checking the accounts of the people filling out applications. People that are on Facebook showing pictures of wild and crazy nights, might want to be more conscious of what they post.
Facebook has opened many doors for people when it comes to networking, but it’s up to us to know what we are getting ourselves into by uploading information for the public to view. I’m all for Facebook. It is a big factor in many people’s lives, but it shouldn’t be your entire life.