Column by Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

I really hate the fact that I have a Facebook.

I hate it even more that I can’t seem to pry myself away from the damn thing.

For years now, I have logged on to that blue and white login page, which I have seen undergo many different incarnations, and honestly I can’t find many positive reasons to have an account.

Sure, Facebook allows people to connect from around the world and can be a powerful tool to promote your product, but let’s face it – most of the website is a cesspool for gossip and pictures from the bar last night.

Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality that Facebook has become a necessary evil in everyday life. If you don’t have one you are instantly judged and the stigma of being “weird” for not hopping aboard the social network train is almost unshakable too.  But why?

Why is having an artificially customizable profile on the internet so important? Isn’t there more to me than what those little grey words have under “About Me?”  Shouldn’t you still be able to interact with me even if I don’t “like” every damn status you have?

Facebook is destroying the idea of personal relationships and friendships in this generation. How many times have you met someone, become their “friend” on Facebook and instantly known everything about them? It used to be that you had to get to know someone – and, you know, talk to them – to learn that kind of information.  When you think about it, how many people out there check out your page and know everything about you? The number would probably be unsettling.

Besides that, there are other unforeseen consequences of Facebook and social media in general.

In fact, there have been studies that suggest that teenagers actually become depressed when they look at photos their friends post online. By looking at the parties and all the super-fun times their friends are having, studies show that those not involved become depressed because they feel as if their life is not as fulfilling as their friends” are. Just by postulation here, doesn’t that mean kids might act more brashly at a younger age to help “fulfill” their life?

Communication as we know it is changing because of this website. Remember when e-mail was revolutionary? Now it’s becoming increasingly passé as Facebook has really become the primary way of communication on the Internet. Not only is it easier, as you only have to send a message to one place, it is a place that you know your receiver will check multiple times a day. I can vouch for this, as it has become much easier for me to contact sources for stories through Facebook’s messenger than through my Gmail account.

Don’t even get me started on Facebook becoming a “news source.” How horrifying is that? If someone said their primary source for absorbing the news of the day was from what their pages on Facebook say, I would want to vomit. Is it really that difficult to chisel yourself away from the screen for three seconds and type in another address to BBC or The New York Times or something?

Maybe I’m crazy here, or maybe I’m just bitter because the Internet destroys a lot of things I love and Facebook is the perfect poster child for it. But think about it next time you sit down on your computer, are you logging into Facebook or is Facebook logging into you?