On air: Does Facebook improve your life?

In our meeting today we all were able to come up with a story regarding Facebook. From the case of Anthony Stancl the American teenager who blackmailed fellow students at his secondary school into having sex after using their Facebook images . And to a story here in the UK about Craig Lynch, he is on the run from police after absconding from prison three months ago, but is still finding time to update his Facebook page.

And the list goes on, so what is it about Facebook that makes us put so much information about ourselves?  I guess the main reason is because we use it to link up with friends, but for some reason we seem to forget that that information is not private. 

A few weeks ago Helen from WHYS wrote a blog post about trusting  Facebook, many of you said you didn’t.  But more than 350 million people round the world are active users and the numbers grow all the time, so there must be something we love about it? Why do you use Facebook?

100 Responses to “On air: Does Facebook improve your life?”

  1. 1 Ibrahim in UK
    December 23, 2009 at 15:05

    Facebook is a tool, like a hammer. It can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes depending on the whim of the human wielding it.
    Another question to ask:
    Are humans a force for good?

    • 2 vintner
      December 23, 2009 at 17:04

      I agree with Ibrahim.

      • December 26, 2009 at 09:11

        I agree with Ibrahim too. And I also want to copy here what I just posted to Ros’ facebook page: Enjoy your winter holiday (working or not) in the Carribean Ros…As to whether or not facebook is enhancing our lives, well, it seems to depend on how we use it, what kind of people we “friend” and who “friend” us (a new VERB!), and how much time it takes away from adding comments to WHYS or applying for paid positions as a columnist at one of our dying newspapers.

        Then there is the double edged sword aspect to having so many people with and without a talent for writing who make it more difficult to get through to those who are in a position to hire aspiring professionals like myself.

    • 4 Mark Longton
      December 25, 2009 at 20:15

      Good analysis and good question Ibrahim.

  2. 5 Robyn Lexington, KY USA
    December 23, 2009 at 15:07

    Facebook is like all things in life, can be good or bad. I enjoy all the good, keeping up with people I don’t get to see on a regular basis, especially if they live in other states. I also keep up with two nephews and 3 nieces. I keep in mind that anything I post on facebook can be seen by everyone. Is it good for me yes but I also see the potential for bad things. Its up to us as a community to keep monitoring the bad and remove them from facebook.

  3. 6 patti in cape coral
    December 23, 2009 at 15:24

    Being fairly knew to the cyberworld, I dabbled in a few things and opened a facebook account, but to be honest, I haven’t found it very interesting. I get a lot of invites to play these strange games that win you points, and I don’t really connect with people as much as I thought I would. I find you get to know people much better through blogging. People’s comments don’t always share personal information, but the act of putting your opinions on events and issues allows people to get to know you, suprisingly in a more intimate way than social networks. I guess I just find them fairly superficial, but maybe I’m not using it right. Is it a force for good? It can be, it can also be a force for evil. It’s a tool.

  4. 7 patti in cape coral
    December 23, 2009 at 15:54

    I mean new, not knew. Boy, is my face red.

  5. 8 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    December 23, 2009 at 16:12

    I find Facebook rather tame after spending the past 15 years on Usenet. In fact, the majority of my Facebook friends are people I’ve met through Usenet discussion groups.

    It’s nice to be able to put faces to names, but I must say that the back and forth of a raucous Usenet discussion tells me far more about the people I interact with than a steady stream of status updates.

    As for those who use Facebook for bad (not to say criminal) purposes, I’m sure if Facebook didn’t exist, they’d just find another way to do their wicked deeds.

    PS Patti in cape coral, I new what you meant. Wanna be my Facebook friend?

  6. 10 t
    December 23, 2009 at 16:30

    Used the right way, it can. But like any corporation, if you want change in it, the way to bring about that change is to cut into their profit margin.

  7. 11 A R Shams
    December 23, 2009 at 16:40

    Almost everything has its both positive and negative uses. Take for example, a knife is used for cutting fruits etc. while the same knife can be used for injuring etc. someone. The similar may be with the facebook too.

  8. 12 Julia Bartlett
    December 23, 2009 at 16:47

    All relationships leave us vulnerable. As they are built over time we gradually learn the amount of trust we can place in each individual. The same safeguards apply on Facebook as in all other social areas but can never be totally safe and live life to the full.

  9. 13 Roy, Washington DC
    December 23, 2009 at 17:11

    I know people who post several Facebook updates a day, using it almost like a Twitter account. I know people who play all of the games it has to offer. I know people (like myself) who use it strictly for the social networking aspect, posting updates infrequently but using it to keep in touch.

    Facebook is what you make of it. You can use it for good, you can use it for bad…but it’s still you that ruined that relationship, not Facebook.

  10. December 23, 2009 at 17:24

    Ibrahim says it is a tool and he is absolutely correct. It is one of the many things that you get what you put into. I have personally found it to be an excellent tool for both professional life and personal life. I work for an AIDS services organization and just last week had almost 500 pounds of food donated to our food pantry because of a contact made there. In my personal life, I live 2000 miles away from my family in the US, and it has been an excellent way to keep in touch. I have also found something that I have been searching for literally my whole life – a connection to others who share my heritage as a Romani, and to be quite honest I am the happiest that I have ever been in my life as a direct result. Some people find it boring and for them maybe it is, but as my Mother always says “only boring people always find boredom!”

  11. 15 Tom K in Mpls
    December 23, 2009 at 18:05

    This is like asking if the telephone and phone book was a good thing. Facebook may yet die. If it does, something, or several somethings, like it will replace it.

  12. 16 Anthony
    December 23, 2009 at 18:41

    Why do I like facebook? You can use it to meet up with old people, get to know others, and I end up doing loads of activities using my posts, like more recently swing dancing, hiking, biking, Disneyland, and plenty of others. I will also be using it in the near future for club promotion.

    I love facebook 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  13. 17 Dave Cantrell
    December 23, 2009 at 18:50

    I recently had a facebook account, closed it after a month or so. in the face of futility I had hoped to hear from the 2 people from high school (35 years ago), which was silly since they, like myself, are not prone to reunions and so would not be likely to submit themselves to a social networking service. and that was exactly what Facebook is to me, an invitation to an unending high school reunion, ceaseless chatter. seemed quite similar to running into an old acquaintance at the mall ALL THE TIME. I mean, I heard from a grade school friend that I had had no contact with for something close to 42 years. not terrible, just terribly time-wasting and inconsequential, two qualities that seem to be in abundance when it comes to not only social networking sites but our culture in general. certainly there are aspects of it that can be rewarding-slash-useful, but my sense is that those aspects are the rare exception…

  14. December 24, 2009 at 14:04

    Facebook and the majority commercial PERSONAL INTERACTION NETWORKS are in no way SOCIAL. The story of the American teenager shows how many times these resources are and available field for the performance of antisocial behaviour. As well, the manipulation of information following commercial aims by the owners of facebook, google and other internet resources is equally antisocial.
    On the other hand, great part of the members deliver into such network false information about their own persons, life and social environment. We can not build a “SOCIAL NETWORK” on the base of cheat, mock and abuse.

  15. December 24, 2009 at 14:07

    We had another case recently, when a mother Twitted as his son lay dying.
    Though the concept is is good, its utility depends on its usage.Unfortunately you can not control what is being posted on th net;nor can you stop any criminal actions arising out of it.The more you try to regulate , more the people shall circumvent it.
    So, as with all technological innovations, you have to take with a pinch of salt.

  16. 21 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 14:09

    It’s another tool in the arsenal to help make everyone a bit more narcissistic.

  17. December 24, 2009 at 15:15

    Facebook is fantastic – it keeps loads of stupid people busy and out of trouble. Twitter serves much the same role.
    I always say it’s a good thing there’s such a place as Los Angeles, to keep the people who like it there out of the way. Facebook and Twitter are sort of the LA of the internet…

  18. 23 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 15:24

    If you think Facebook and twitter are bad for narcissism, John, there is WORSE coming out. This guy I knew from high school starts up internet ventures, and his latest idea (which will work, because of how people are today) tells to the internet, like twitter does, how much you spent on your credit card, and where you spent it. So it will be like “Steve just spent $8.65 at Starbucks” or “Steve spent $3325 at the BMW dealership”. So a bunch of insecure narcissists can show off that they are buying things in a fancy restaurant, or that they own a BMW. The sad thing, is that it will do well. It’s already gotten plenty of press here in the US, it’s called Blippy.

  19. 24 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 15:26

    @ Raman

    I think in the case of the mom twitterering her son’s death, she twittered it after it happened, but shortly after. The having 5000 followers and announcing your life is disturbing, but she wasn’t doing that while her kid drowned. Otherwise, parents do other things, they could have been in the bathroom when the kid was in trouble.. But announcing it, that’s really bizarre.

  20. 25 vintner
    December 24, 2009 at 15:33

    Facebook? Too artifical and besides, sooner or later personal information and the profit motive aren’t going to play nicely.

  21. 26 Krzysztof
    December 24, 2009 at 15:43

    Makes easier for sure. I use Facebook as a tool. A tool necessary to communicate easily with friends and colleagues all over the word. I’d use e-mail for this purpose as well, but Facebook is quicker, offers more (it is not an one-to-one communication) and so on.

    I remember it took me some time to register on Fb, I was not convinced about its usefulness, but once I got there I use it! And I enjoy. Yet, I don’t use every application (ie games etc) there and I am really cautious about my personal data or any personal information I publish there.

  22. 27 John in Salem
    December 24, 2009 at 16:04

    And a merry Bah Humbug to you, too!

    People talking to each other on Facebook is no more narcissistic than writing to World Have Your Say everyday to give everyone else the priceless benefit of your opinion.

    • 28 Jenni from NW
      December 25, 2009 at 14:42

      Maybe narcissism is the wrong word. I actually think what Steve was talking about, i.e. showing off how much you spend, demonstrates insecurity. I agree with him, there are people out there (superficial people) who would BUY (LOL) into this.

      People on facebook, with the exception of those who are just mindlessly following the fad, tend to have the mentality, “Hey, look at me. I’ve turned out better than you”. They do see it as an opportunity to show off or at least only present the image of themselves that they want people to see.

      I admit I have checked it out, out of curiosity. I found people I used to know, who I still see around occasionally, seeming to have a completely different sort of life to the one they really have. e.g. someone I know who is in a low paid job, whose photos show him, suited and booted in a casino, in a Ferrari, his posts talk about lots of foreign holidays etc. but this is presented as his normal life. No mention of his real life. Again, I think it boils down to insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. The need to be accepted and congratulated by virtual friends on having “succeeded”, maybe if enough people believe it, they will start believing it themselves. Get a life people.

      The “games” just look like a total waste of time. I can’t believe these “successful”, “hip” and “partying” people have so much time on their hands.

      : Jenni just left a message on WHYS. Everyone NEEDS to know I did this.

  23. 29 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 16:17

    @ John

    People on WHYS are discussing news issues, not what they are eating for dinner, or that they just played mob wars, or are getting ready to go out. Also I haven’t noticed any myspace/facebook style puffed lips pictures of people on here as well.

  24. December 24, 2009 at 16:33

    Steve, do you see any distinction between an exchange of opinon – a discussion – and a mindless mutual ratification of a preference for puppies? If not, you’re absolutely spot on. But if there’s a difference between expressing and defending a point of view and declaring yourself a “friend”* of something like “Cuddly Puppies”, then your comment misses the mark.

    * or is it a “fan”? Not being a facebook user, I’m not up on the way these things are done…

  25. December 24, 2009 at 16:33

    Sorry, previous comment addressed to John in Salem, not Steve.

  26. 32 Chedondo, Johannesburg
    December 24, 2009 at 16:39

    I am one of those old fashioned people who cannot see the need for Facebook. The people that I need to communicate with either already know what I look like or they have one of my addresses. I don’t see the point of advertising myself to the world and claim to have 1001 ‘friends’. I can get all the news I need either from the TV, the radio or BBC News Front page.

    In case you were wondering, I write computer programs for a living so I have not been left nehind by the technology.

  27. 33 Andrew in Australia
    December 24, 2009 at 16:44

    To some degree. I have found some friends who lost contact years ago, though that doesn’t guarantee they will pick up with you.. think about it, why did they lose contact in the first place. It is a useful tool for some people and an outlet for others.

    But bear in mind, this is a commercial endeavour and not an entirely altruistic service for your benefit. Keeping that in mind, and seeing how some abuse this tool, either making problems for themselves or for others, each time I put something there I have to pause before I click changes and think.. Is this going to cause me a problem in the future (once it is out there…) Is this something I really shouldn’t have out there, or something I don’t want people to know.

    Like anything it has good and bad points, but there is always that nagging doubt in the back of my mind that somewhere along the line what I put online in Facebook might just come back to haunt me!

  28. 34 A R Shams
    December 24, 2009 at 16:47

    If anything seems mltiples of times more harmful than useful its use may be considered for banning, if possible.

  29. 35 Isaiah
    December 24, 2009 at 16:47

    In my view, the primary benefit of facebook is the opportunity it affords users like me to say “hi” to more distant friends, and most importantly remember birthdays. It is also a mini social resume that provides more info for useful face-to-face conversation and common talking points. Finally, facebook does expose the few that are addicted to attention (these are the people that use facebook in a self destruct manner). Call me (inquire for phone no via my email)

  30. 36 Eva , Berlin
    December 24, 2009 at 16:47

    I’ve an account on facebook but don’t really like it. When I started on facebook, I found it shocking how many of my friends in real life were suggested to me just upon my email address. I don’t want to expose my private connections publicly. My favourite medium in the “social” web is twitter, and only if it is too arduous telling something with only 140 characters I change to facebook – but the contacs are the same as my twitter “friends”

  31. 37 Tracy in Portland,OR
    December 24, 2009 at 17:14

    I agree with Andrew in Australia. I find myself editing my comment to the point it is really pointless conversation. I started out signing on to keep in touch with a friend that moved out of state. I didn’t set my security high so all these people at work wanted me as a friend, and I felt obliged to add them. I don’t want my co-workers peering in on conversations with my friends. I rarely check my facebook partly because all these co-workers bombard me with request to join games, and endless updates about their, well, boring lives.

    Toby just went shopping.

    Krista is off to the gym.

    Wow, really? Maybe “John is off to bunji jump” would be cool. But I don’t really care if you just bought milk. I’m thinking of getting rid of my profile.


  32. 40 Teejay
    December 24, 2009 at 17:27

    It is difficult to add much too many of the comments above.
    Yes it is a tool and depends on how it is used
    Yes it is a great way to communicate with people who you live far away from or have not spoken with in years.
    I do not enjoy how pervasive it has become as a form of communication. I can walk into any internet cafe here in Costa Rica and the majority of users will be on Facebook. I think it has taken the joy and specialness out of communicating (as have many other current mediums of communication)I have been a victim of mis interpretation that ultimately destroyed a relationship of almost two years. The lack of trust that was seeded due to an innocent comment by a friend, was never recovered from. These days i manage my usage of Facebook where by i do not allow any personal information or comments to be posted and use it solely a a marketing tool. But it was learning curve on how to utilize it properly and safely.

  33. 41 Alan in Arizona
    December 24, 2009 at 17:32

    I find it rather boring compared to MySpace. I like the socializing aspect involving people of like interests. My wife loves Facebook for staying in touch with local and distant family and friends. I would rather talk to that group of people over the phone or via text. But I can see the benefit of keeping in contact with family you just don’t want to talk to. Or maybe they would rather email than talk to you. I know it’s made it easier for my wife to get closer to daughter-in-laws and bridge the age gap and wash away some of the coolness issues between generations.

    It does come down to it’s use for GOOD or EVIL!!! Will this be the down fall of typical social skills or the development of new ones that keep pace with the times, technology and the continued Globalization and integration of the Human Race and it’s divergent and dissimilar genetic groups. Can social groups expand the understanding and acceptance of our planets genetic, social and religious subcultures, allowing us to become a stronger, richer blend of our Global Society?

    Can Social Networking bring our world together, or will it drive deeper wedges between ethnic and religious groups? Will we use social networks intelligently or destructively?

  34. 42 samjam
    December 24, 2009 at 17:33

    Likewise, Facebook is also popular here in Cambodia. The good thing is that I can stay connected with friends and improve my English, but the bad thing is I waste a lot of time every night, especially every weekend, being glued to the computer.

  35. 43 t
    December 24, 2009 at 17:44

    Used the right way, yes it does.

    Like it or not, we live in a social network society. Despite losing money and users do you really think that Rupert Murdoch (the owner of My Space) is going to shut it down? Not a chance. Mnay people are tapping into the revenue streams of “traditional” media corporations. And that’s only going to continue.

  36. 44 t
    December 24, 2009 at 17:47

    Another example: Ashton Kuchner (Mr. Demi Moore). He has his own studio. And social networking tools are some of his biggest weapons in competing against the majors.

    Over 1 million Facebook users. Over 3 million Twitter followers. And that’s just one person.

  37. 45 George in Kenya
    December 24, 2009 at 17:52

    Interesting Eva that you say you prefer twitter to facebook.I prefer facebook to twitter.In fact I hardly ever use twitter.I find facebook more interactive.

    • 46 Eva , Berlin
      December 24, 2009 at 18:58

      Hi George, there are several reasons why I prefer twitter, but actually my main point is, that I like diversification of means and tools with which I keep up the web conversation, because I don’t want one company like facebook get all these informations about me, friends, family, work, interests, fotos etc. And twitter for me is a very fast, effective tool to get certain informations, to get in touch with people and many things more. But I also use telefone, text messages, flickr, mailing lists, even somtimes paper letters…

  38. 47 George in Kenya
    December 24, 2009 at 18:13

    Facebook helps one to improve their social skills,make friends easily and gain knowledge from other people’s notes

  39. December 24, 2009 at 18:17

    Interesting, George, that you consider either interactive. To me, they both seem like a collection of massively parallel monologues. Millions of people shouting, few to none of them listening.

  40. 49 DOLAPO AINA
    December 24, 2009 at 18:19

    Facebook is all about 15 minutes of fame. most pepole would never get famous. so the facebook thing is an avenue,the only avenue to be famous, notoriously, that is.

    Not everyone would be known and since the media is all about self-portrayal, people want to be known. That is why private thoughts, unnecessary comments and pictures are divulged on facebook.

    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  41. 50 archiblad
    December 24, 2009 at 18:20

    Useful to find friends and reconnect, horrible once you do. I have found that the lacking in overall quality of interaction (electronic), coupled with the all too common realization that you have not spoken to many of your “old” friends for a good reason, makes Facebook a huge waste of human effort. Besides, imagine if you called a friend, on the phone every time you did something you thought was important or felt something new. Chances are that they would become “old” friends, real quick.

  42. 51 Mike in Seattle
    December 24, 2009 at 18:30

    At first it was a great tool, but I’m getting tired of the people who try to force themselves into your life.

    One example is my girlfriend. Due to the nature of office politics at her workplace, there is an unwritten expectation that bosses are to be added to one’s friends list. Since I live in the US and we have little in the way of protection for workers, I have to censor every opinion I post on Facebook lest their privacy controls fail and her bosses see something they don’t like and take it out on her.

    I understand the issue of time and place, and there are things you don’t say in front of the boss of one’s significant other. But because of the magic of Facebook, those boundaries are expanding farther and farther and I’m tired of having to give up a useful tool because strangers refuse to respect privacy.

  43. 52 George in Kenya
    December 24, 2009 at 18:35

    Well Jon some people do care to respond on facebook thus dialogue and the more the merrier.a million,a billion the better

  44. 53 George in Kenya
    December 24, 2009 at 19:01

    Ross it is interesting to learn from the article that yahoo is the number one site in Kenya.My top three are Facebook,Google and BBC.I visit these sites everyday.But i understand why most people still yahoo because yahoo is considered more formal than facebook for communication.I always use my cell phone

  45. 54 fedeagua
    December 24, 2009 at 19:06

    looking at the new comments above i would like to add that there seems to be a clear eographic/cultural divide between how people respond to the social interaction that facebook provides. People in africa seem to be more interested in reaching out and finding new friends on line. Something that is reinforced by my own travels in non first world countries. Whereas those in the west whose lives are far more bomabarded on a daily basis by media and who yearn for privacy are more sensitive to finding a control line on their interaction. Personally. I will not accept a friend unless i have looked them in the eye first.

  46. December 24, 2009 at 19:06

    Maybe you’re finding something useful on some of these sites – enjoy it. From what I’ve seen, though, the dialogue looks like a lot of people registering their preferences for one celebrity or consumable or another, followed by a lot of people ratifying that preference. Not for me, thanks.
    Best of luck to all in the next year and the rest of this one, it’s the end of the day for me.

  47. 56 Joseph A. Migliore
    December 24, 2009 at 19:15

    Facebook is an amazing tool that connects people. If you use facebook, primarily as a social network, connecting friends in distant places and from throughout academia, yes it does improve your life.

    More than improving your life, facebook makes communicating with distant friends and university classmates easier, faster and instant. As an example, from the West Coast I am able to communicate with my professor in Milan, a friend working for an NGO in Sanaa, Yemen and a former classmate in Virginia. It improves the communication with people in my life dramatically.

    Although, like anything else which may be used carelessly, facebook has the potential of getting people into trouble. When you start sharing your private life, aspects of your personal relationship or relationships — post who your are dating, who you’d like to date or share who you wish you were dating, then facebook has the potential of getting someone into trouble, impacting your real life friends in a negative way.

    Can we all imagine, if Tiger Woods choose Facebook as a preferred method in communicating with his numerous dating and female contacts as a married man with a spouse at home who had placed her trust in him? Potentially, facebook could ruin a inter-personal relationship.

  48. 57 Mattnew in Texas
    December 24, 2009 at 19:17

    I loved Facebook for the purposes of connecting with overseas friends that I have lost touch with over the years. I spoke highly of Facebook until my father used Facebook to find his high school sweetheart, divorce my mother after 41 years, and pair-up with his someone from his past. Now I understand that Facebook has its benefits and its pitfalls.

  49. 58 Oliver
    December 24, 2009 at 19:18

    Unfortunately, the Facebook in mainland China was blocked by our government .

  50. 59 Mike in Seattle
    December 24, 2009 at 19:18

    One point about the “Facebook is cited in 1/5th of UK divorces” statistic. It seems kind of meaningless to me, because many divorces involve infidelity and infidelity involves communication.

    How many divorces cite the use of e-mail, cell phones or land lines? Outside of the ability for Facebook to connect old flames together, is it really that revolutionary in the context of divorce?

  51. 60 JoLynn
    December 24, 2009 at 19:20

    I resisted signing up on Facebook when a friend “friended” me to join, mostly because I don’t see the point. My circle of friends know how to contact me, they have my address, phone number and email address and I have theirs so we know how to “reach out and touch” each other and do so often enough to know what’s going on in each other’s lives. People who have floated into and out of my life in the past are acquaintances who for one reason or another I did not want to pursue a friendship with. I certainly do not need or want to be discovered by old acquaintances nor do I want to look them up. There is only one person from High School who I’ve lost track of and I’ll either find him or not, but I don’t think I need to join a social networking service to do that. Personally, I think it’s the quality ,not the quantity, of friendships that is important in my life. Maybe I’m just weird, but my ego is perfectly happy without hundreds of people’s names listed as my “friends”.

  52. 61 N.J.
    December 24, 2009 at 19:26

    Like all things, Facebook has it’s good and bad points. On the one hand, it is nice to locate and communicate with old friends, and to make new acquaintances. On the other hand, there is a censorship element which existed in the past, but seems to be more prevalent on social networks.

  53. 62 Paul in Portland
    December 24, 2009 at 19:27

    The “1 in 5 divorces” Facebook statistic doesn’t warrant citation in a BBC program. The statistic — cited in a Telegraph article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6857918/Facebook-fuelling-divorce-research-claims.html — is not from an academic study, but a remark by the managing director of a UK firm called Divorce-Online. As you might guess from their name, they probably cater to a disproportionately online demographic.

    1 in 5 might make for a juicy soundbite, but it’s hardly proof of anything at all.

  54. 63 Eva , Berlin
    December 24, 2009 at 19:31

    There are not only virtual relations that result from social networks, but there are real events coming out of twitter “friendships” like parties, even live readings of twitterature and many things more.

  55. 64 Emily
    December 24, 2009 at 19:34

    I was so pleased to hear that screen-time and young minds are on your agenda today. I would like to recommend: ” iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind” by Gary Small (Author), Gigi Vorgan (Author). I am an International Montessori teacher. The younger the child, the stronger the need to interact with her environment in a way that fully engages the senses. Screen time limits these opportunities. As a result, I have seen a growing need in young children to have opportunities to practice spontaneous face-to-face communications. I can only imagine the effects that parents’ use of screen time have on their relationships with their children.

  56. 65 Tom D Ford
    December 24, 2009 at 19:35

    In my opinion, the business model of social networking sites like Facebook is to gather information about the people who participate, use that information to create advertising to fit each person exactly and then hammer away at them with that advertising. They want to get very specific about who they target with advertising that will exploit the persons’ vulnerabilities the most effectively.

    I like the idea of people communicating more but I don’t like the idea of businesses exploiting those personal relationships.

    So, no thanks, I’ll just keep relating to people online in the ways I have for a long time and without exposing myself to exploitative business people with evil intentions.

  57. 66 Emily
    December 24, 2009 at 19:35

    I forgot to mention that I live in Portland, OR, USA

  58. 67 George in Kenya
    December 24, 2009 at 19:39

    Hi Eva.Sorry I had not seen your second message earlier.I understand you wanting to have your privacy which is perfectly fine.Merry Christmas to all

  59. 68 Inga
    December 24, 2009 at 19:41

    I’ve been making a conscious effort to visit with friends and family without using any social networking account. This is difficult since most of my friends and family spend more time on the computer than finding time to visit face to face.
    I feel that in order to visit with them I have to start a facebook account.
    I feel like an isolated ludite and wish I could have a coffee in a cafe or bake cookies at home.

  60. 69 Kelly, Portland, OR
    December 24, 2009 at 19:41

    I love Facebook. It gives me a bit of alone time to catch up on what friends are doing. I have reconnected with people I lost touch with over the years and get to share their lives once again. I can play a quick game, leave some messages, maybe have a chat with someone, and then go on about my day. I love that I can have a dialogue even with people who may not be online at the times I am. It enables me to keep in touch with friends and relatives and people whose schedules dont jibe with mine.

    People need to learn where their off button is and use it if they find this little box consuming their life.

  61. 70 Rashid
    December 24, 2009 at 19:44

    I’m from Kuwait and I think facebook is a great idea in concept, depends on how you use it really.
    I have many friends all over the world and it makes it easier to connect and keep intouch 🙂

  62. 71 Daniel from the Netherlands
    December 24, 2009 at 19:47

    I am 25 years old and live in the Netherlands, i am a student, i go out and have fun and i have a big network of friends, yet i dont use networking sites by choice. I dont have a facebook page, or a myspace account. I only use Flickr to share my photographs with the world and my page is anonymous, i dont use it for networking.
    I think digital social networks are a bore, superficial and exhibitionist. You never really know who is who and who is reading along.

  63. 72 Anya
    December 24, 2009 at 19:47

    I live in the US and I do not have a Facebook account. I feel like I am living in the cave. I am thinking of signing up for it, but I have not gotten around it. I guess it just has not been that important for me.

  64. 73 J H
    December 24, 2009 at 19:48

    Facebook is a waste of time. Friends who spend a lot of time on it complain about all the time it is taking up in their lives.

    I have never used it and have no intent to do so. Really just can’t see the point.
    I am not a luddite but actually work in a high tech field with computers
    and have done so for 40 years. I don’t believe in new technology blindly
    nor do I rush to adopt things. I just don’t see that it would add positively to my life in any fashion.

  65. 74 chuma chizongo
    December 24, 2009 at 19:49

    iv been on fb only since last friday nyt..i dont think il last much longer. its too bewitchn!

  66. December 24, 2009 at 19:49

    I will never join facebook because of privacy concerns. I also think when young adults joining facebook so they’ll know where the party is going to be etc. Their lives are relatively simple. In my situation I have many different circles of friends. I don’t necessary have to mention something I do that will interest most of my garden club friends but not necessarily my church friends or out-of-town relatives or the bowling club friends etc.

    I also object to the commercial entities getting my information by linking up to my ‘friends.’ Young people especially need to be careful because of what you write when you are 15 may still be out there in the cyber space 15 or 20 years later that you may wish you never have written before.

  67. 76 Alan in Arizona
    December 24, 2009 at 19:54

    So far the best thing on Facebook, was my wife taking our family faces and using an associated site to put together 3 funny dancing Christmas Elves shows. I was laughing so much I cried. My sons in a Country Western dance was so funny!

    Maybe I’ll do one with a few world leaders. Maybe I can get Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, George W. Bush, Vladamir Putin and Osama bin Laden to do the Chicken dance together. Now we are Socializing!

  68. 77 Tom D Ford
    December 24, 2009 at 19:55

    If you want to get out from under unwanted advertising I suggest the Mozilla Firefox browser and the Mozilla Thunderbird email program. I use both and I get to choose and search out what advertising I want to see, instead of some nefarious businessman choosing what advertising they want me to see.

    In my opinion,just say no to Facebook and the rest of that evil social networking ilk.

  69. 78 Eva , Berlin
    December 24, 2009 at 19:58

    Do you realla have to give so many informations about you away like on facebook, to be able to express yourself in the way you are just talking about?

  70. 79 Tom D Ford
    December 24, 2009 at 20:01

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a…

    it is still morning here in Oregon USA, so good afternoon.

    Peace, Love, and best wishes to all!

  71. December 24, 2009 at 20:10

    Facebook is simply a tool and platform and how people choose to use it is entirely up to them. Much like the social gaming aspects of Xbox, Facebook is designed to make each user the center of their own universe. Using social media (ie Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc) to make a better world is a whole different subject, and there are tens of thouands of people around the world doing just that.

    For an interesting look at social media and real world connections and outcomes see the book Wisdom 2.0 by Soren Gordhamer.

  72. December 24, 2009 at 21:10

    Face Book is the best thing that happen in the world of the Internet…. personally I have thousand of friends that I have never met who I value and have strong respect to, you see when I have any problem under the sun I discuss it with them and the fact that I am as anonymous to them as they are to me I feel so free t…o discuss it with them for I know my secret is save with them and the fact that they do not know makes me feel they will give me a honest respond. I have a friend a girl friend on the face book she is from Pakistan, I am the first she told when she discovered that she is HIV positive and through my support she is leaving healthy and positively. She confess she told me of her status because I do not know her and I will not judge her. Believe if it were reversed the situation am sure I will first discuss it with my friends on facebook before even my family.

  73. 82 John in Salem
    December 24, 2009 at 21:18

    Steve, Jon~
    So the discussion and exchange of opinion regarding news issues is worthwhile and meaningful and the discussion and exchange of opinion regarding “Cuddly Puppies” is not?
    I don’t use Facebook either, but I fail to see how what YOU find valuable or meaningful to discuss can be used to measure what other people should find valuable or meaningful to discuss.
    At the end of the day everything that we and they have written will go into archive files sorted by date and topic. No one will have solved the world’s problems or enriched humanity in any real sense – tomorrow we could walk by each other on the sidewalk or get into an argument over a parking spot and never know that the other is someone we have talked with before.
    You might get something out of knowing that other people have read your opinion about the issues of the day and agreed or disagreed with it, but you also have no clue what those other people have gotten from their exchange and your feelings are no more or less valuable than theirs are.

  74. 83 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 21:29

    Interesting example, someone who I went to jr. high school with announced on facebook that she got laid off today, a day before christmas..

  75. 84 steve
    December 24, 2009 at 21:36

    I never understand this privacy thing. what do you have to hide? the pictures of your dog or cat?

  76. 85 Frank Delaqua
    December 25, 2009 at 12:34

    What has happened to the WHYS facebook page the last couple of weeks? The post quality has diminished considerably and I’ve gone from looking forward to reading it, to removing myself as a fan.
    Does anyone else feel the same? Bring back the previous editor!

    • 86 Krupa Thakrar
      December 25, 2009 at 16:07

      Hi Frank. Thanks for your message. The facebook page was launched and is managed by our work experience students. They come from all around the world to get an insight into the BBC and improve their journalistic skills, which is why stylistically things differ a bit. Have a very merry xmas – Krupa

  77. 87 claudine
    December 26, 2009 at 01:36

    No, it doesnt improve my life.
    It has so many frustrating bugs in it.
    I e.g. incidentally sent an invite twice to my niece and since that time I cant see her profile any more.

    Facebook is a little toy you can play with for a while, but no more.

    Worse Twitter. You cant really leave messages because there is usually more to say than 140 characters and you cant really contact people.

  78. December 26, 2009 at 09:49

    I’m enjoying catching up with my great-nephews, great-nieces, neices, nephews, family and friends. I’m from a large family and keeping in touch is not easy, until now. I just leave a message, and they answer. It’s great looking at old and new photos that we put on Facebook. I don’t stay on for hours, but check in and see if anyone has put new photos on and to leave a comment.

  79. 89 Mariappan
    December 26, 2009 at 15:59

    Facebook & Internet as a whole is for loosers who can’t compete out there in the world. We hide here online behind the PC, thinking we a invinsible.

  80. December 27, 2009 at 21:54

    i use it cause most people around me do, so i had to use it too in order to connect and not become marginal: we are the slaves of technology

  81. December 27, 2009 at 22:41

    I don’t think so.But a lot of “youths” do this for many reasons;to be known by others.to know a new faces and so on.facebook is not something really significant they can resort to.i don’t blame the people who use facebook.but i blame them on the way they use it.Facebook could never improve the ones life,in other words it could decrease the values of the users of facbook.

  82. 92 Ahmet Burak Tansu,Zonguldak,Turkey
    December 28, 2009 at 01:59

    Facebook is the geatest social network site on earth.Why do we love it so much?The answer is that people want to share their happy moments and memories with their friends,loved ones and other people.They want other people to know that the are happy.
    I observe that when my friends are sad,the first thing they do is deactivating their accounts.

  83. 93 Michael
    December 29, 2009 at 21:33

    the mystery is –
    how did a site that when it first started required you to login to even get an idea what they could do or see there get so popular so quickly?

    Two years ago i would not have thought that was possible,
    but then again the world of marketing was always a mystery.

    Regarding online discussions, user contributed content, finding friends online or people sharing something about their lives with others this is nothing new… we had since the 80s usenet, bulletin boards, forums, etc. … and since the 90s blogs, media sharing sites, etc

    What scares me currently is the way everything is becoming so centralised around a few large corporations.

    What I find hilarious is all those people complaining about FB bugs…
    What do you expect? … (their permissions structure is so complex and with so much traffic they probably have to cache everything! .. not to mention stuff that breaks in third party apps)
    …and those silly people complaining about “privacy” changes on FB
    (solution is simple – don’t post it on websites if you don’t want people to see it!)

    If you don’t like something about a site out there, there is nothing stopping you from building your own site.

    How about a decentralised social network which any website can be a part of using open standards for data sharing? .

    “Portable Social Network” ?

  84. 94 Oliver Williams
    December 30, 2009 at 02:11

    facebook greatly improve my life and the life of people all over the world cause we got the chance to reconnect with friends and family whom we have not talken to for a very long period of time. facebook is the best among the rest.

  85. 95 Touqeer Chishty (Pakistan)
    December 30, 2009 at 07:51

    Well……… as far as i m concerned Facebook is one the best social network site, i have used orkut but i found it very boring so i left it. I have been using facebook for the last two years and i have been addicted of it lol. It has changed my life style for sure, i have been enjoying my time on facebook with my loved ones, i can’t see anything wrong with it, because i use if for a positive purpose, so i suggest everyone to use Facebook so that your social circle will expand.

  86. 96 ben aloy
    December 30, 2009 at 09:39

    Facebook is utter waste of time. To keep in touch with people the Instant Messenger and Email facilities are quite good enough.
    A study in UK reports FAcebook is cited in many divorce cases. The moron Spuses are cheating on their wives having cyber sex chat with other women.
    Further, the Zynga Games have taken money from unsuspecting users in their games like Farmville.
    Cases have been filed with Pay Pal.
    However, I must admit that log lost relatives were contacted thru Facebook.
    Like Life Facebook has its pros and cons.
    Enjoy your wasting time but be wary of thieves who induce you to lose your money.

  87. 97 ALI RAZA (PU)
    December 31, 2009 at 19:29

    I don’t think so that facebook can play any role to change your life… it’s rather a wastage of time using facebook or such other social networking site….

  88. 98 Aina Azeem (Pakistan)
    January 1, 2010 at 14:31

    well excess of everything is bad…. 🙂
    its doesn’t matters what the thing is…?????

  89. 99 Hasan Journalist
    January 25, 2010 at 19:12

    Face book can have an impact on your public relations, but its up to you how well and purposefully you utilize this platform. …………

    February 28, 2010 at 12:20

    After rejoining facebook after a stint of time. I think now I am belatedly ready for this post. I use it to dialogue with myself a lot though people would believe that I am talking to others. Further more facebook is a much more open forum than BBC because I can say much more without getting bothered with etiquette issues.

    Why I had quit facebook after registering was due to the fact few people ever communicated though you could see their faces. Its not the same case now because that there is some marked level of dialogue – never mind its aim – there are many expressions coming out of there never mind the objectives. Ask yourself – if people do not talk, does it mean that their heads are empty? Is it good or bad? There is no straight answer but I would go for talking – havingyoursay.

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