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The Negative Effects of Facebook

Christina Pomoni,

acebook has been criticized for many things, but mostly for being a source of destruction that can turn Facebook users into real social networking addicts. Stalking people, hacking into accounts, getting too much involved with unknown people and being deprived from real life are some of the broadly recognized negative effects of Facebook.


So, there you are, on a Saturday morning with your favorite cup of coffee caressing your senses and relaxing your brain, sitting at your desk and browsing on Facebook. You have 34 new notifications since last night that you logged out, 5 group invitations, 1 suggested page, 2 cause invitations and 3 friend requests, one of which is of an unknown person. You are not new in Facebook. You've been using it for almost two years now. And what you do this Saturday morning is what you've been doing nearly all Saturday mornings since Facebook joined your life. When the weather is nice, you ignore half of the invitations for new apps and you quickly accept the group and the cause invitations so that you go out and enjoy life. Only later, when the weather is bad and you have to stay indoors, you start deleting apps, causes, groups and people. And this goes on and on, relentlessly. Whether you have realized it or not, Facebook is a real part of your life, is a real partner whom you have to see for good morning and kiss for good night. What changes over time is your degree of addiction; as it happens with all love-hate relationships.

You don’t think you are a Facebook addict. Social networking is just a part of your generation that feels more comfortable with text messaging, chatting and online communication. But, hey! Your generation counts nearly forty years already, while Facebook is around the last five. Supposedly, social networking is addressed to the next generation, to your kids. But, if you take a look at your contacts, you will find people who are at your kids’ age. The generation gap is bridged when it comes to Facebook. Facebook can be used for personal reasons or for promoting your business and gain greater exposure. This is the good part. However, most of the people use it primarily for personal reasons because Facebook has so many applications, games and tools that anyone can join for free and lead a ‘social’ life perhaps at a cost.

Your account has been hacked into last month. You’ve lost valuable files from your computer and you had to format your disk and upload all your files, programs and applications from scratch. You lost money, time and above all, your nerves. You felt so insecure that the first three, four days, you swore you would never use Facebook again. But, here you are, at your desk, doing the usual stuff.

The daughter of a colleague has been stalked three months ago. She met someone on Facebook, someone who was a common friend of a friend of hers, they started chatting on msn, at first it was in the morning, then it became at night, until she told him where she lives at and one night, there he is outside her home. He had been watching her for about two months until he attacked her. She was lucky enough not to be raped. When you heard the story, you thought ‘she should never tell him where she lives; this is what I tell to my daughter’.

Your son’s grades have been deteriorating since he opened a Facebook account. He is spending too much time on it, more than what he used to spend on video games and there is not much you can do because he sees you doing the same on Saturday mornings. While you could be doing more important tasks, you surf and browse on Facebook. You cannot teach your children by example if you do not follow one.

The truth of the matter is that as soon as Facebook came into business, you deliriously engaged into a new way of communicating. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Tasting new things that evolve in the world is a sign of progress. However, with Facebook your behavior has changed dramatically.

Everything that happens in your life, you feel like sharing with your contacts on your status line. You post your thoughts and you expect the comment and when the comment comes, you smile if you like it or you frown if it’s not what you expected. All of a sudden, completely strangers are important to you and their comments leverage your value as a person. And unconsciously you classify people into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ without even knowing them. Obviously, as it happens with real friendships, you don't have the same degree of communication and contact with all online friends, but you cannot really tell who is who since you have never met them. Still, you value them like real.

Every time you go out with your family, friends or colleagues, any time you shoot pictures of a special event of your life, you need to upload them on Facebook so that your contacts see where you’ve been and what you’ve done. And from the 200 pictures you’ve shot, you upload only the 50 that you look really good, beautiful and sexy. Obviously, this is what your contacts do too. So, this is another reason why you cannot tell who is who until you meet a person for real.

Your profile page is full of information about you; who you are, where you work at, what is your favourite music, your favourite movies, books and TV series, what are your religious and political beliefs, your studies and your interests. As a matter of fact, you share too much information with other people, who are totally strangers. Some Facebook users take higher risk than you and put on their home addresses and phone numbers on. This is probably how stalkers find their way home without needing to chat first.

Your defense to all the above is that social networking websites cannot replace your real friendships. You don’t really communicate with people online as you communicate with real people whom you can see, hear and touch. However, if you think back during these two years, there have been times that real people were not available in your times of need, while online people were there and supported you; and you did communicate with them.

So, it's not everything wrong about Facebook. In many cases, you can catch up with old friends, find valuable information, promote your work and your business, support really important causes and meet people who can be real friends in the process. What is wrong with Facebook is the ritualistic involvement that turns into addiction and belligerently deprives you from your real life by triggering you to log on several times a day.

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JulieannGuill, 2016-06-16 23:08:06
-- Great Article. piece - I loved the points - Does someone know where my company might get access to a template CA DMV Form REG 156 copy to fill in ?

Almar, 2014-08-26 18:53:36
-- fb has more negative impacts than positive impacts.. you figure out why and how...

sami khan, 2013-05-14 05:47:44
-- I love facebook but carefully.

anders, 2012-09-13 07:08:19

FrikkenA, 2012-06-12 13:34:44
-- Never really thought I was addicted to Facebook or that there was this many issues with it as well. Thank you for opening my eyes to the bigger picture

Stephen, 2012-03-26 19:05:12
-- Facebook and other popular social networks force users to lose the face-to-face interaction that people should have. This new social scheduling network, called Ufree, encourages people to get out, and meet up with their friends. Ufree displays your friends live availability, meaning that you will always have someone to go and hang out with. Check it out at www.ufreeapp.com

nena, 2012-02-14 14:41:06
-- Can facebook really tell if your age on your account is really your actually age ?

ice\', 2012-01-11 20:13:45
-- thanks a lot, this is really a good article and i agree with this,, brilliant...

azam, 2011-12-30 10:42:24
-- niceeeeeeee

aisha, 2011-11-26 03:58:05
-- well i thing everything mentioned above is perfectly RIGHT, but there are also some good features of facebook, other than these....

isha, 2011-11-13 07:07:55
-- it's not everything wrong about Facebook. In many cases, you can catch up with old friends, find valuable information, promote your work and your business, support really important causes and meet people who can be real friends in the process. What is wrong with Facebook is the ritualistic involvement that turns into addiction and belligerently deprives you from your real life by triggering you to log on several times a day.

hahaha, 2011-11-13 03:21:56
-- @suji //[suji, 2011-10-24 08:36:04 -- I have left facebook from 22 november 2011.]// It doesn't make sense dear. Are you from future?

VaBaNa, 2011-11-01 18:51:27

seashell, 2011-10-28 10:02:29
-- Thanks for your insight, I have been on fb for almost 3 years, I de-activated my account several times but could not resist the temptation. Now I found a way where you can delete your account which takes 14 days which is still difficult to stay away. Reading this post confirms it was the right thing to do :)!!!!!

suji, 2011-10-24 08:36:04
-- I have left facebook from 22 november 2011. I got addicted towards so much that I fall in love with someone in facebook but it made me hurt when I came to know she is engaged. And even she started to scold me because I was silent for all the days of chatting for not proposing her and she started to calling me cheat. It made me felt bad and I decided to quit facebook so that never again the same thing may happen. Again and again I don't want to get hurted and even I don't want to hurt someone else. And even I wanted to make my career. So I don't want to think of anymore of facebook. Facebook is very bad if you get addicted towards it. There are difference between me and people I know, they never keep their real life with facebook but if I get into the facebook I become serious and get addicted towards it. It takes me far away from my real life.

niko, 2011-09-21 17:29:45
-- thank you for the insightful information. really appreciate it.

U R MIND, 2011-09-20 04:09:01

naza, 2011-09-15 13:13:47
-- gdhndjn

ruth, 2011-09-07 14:57:53
-- Thanks 4 this informative,excellent aritcle! i dont have a Facebook account....though,i'm still addicted to other sites.. thx. really liked your expressing style.

fatih, 2011-09-07 09:33:20
-- that's a great article, wide range of information about facebook has been perfectly collected.

tristano, 2011-09-02 03:01:43
-- I think this was a poetic, artistic way of writing about Facebook pros and cons. By the way, this was a brilliant way!

mslenient, 2011-08-31 21:47:57
-- Thank you so much for this very bold blog. I agree with every word that is written here.

woohooo, 2011-06-20 02:04:24
-- yup i found u really very real and a gud councillor.... i myself had left facebook abt 5 months ago realising its ill effects.... facebook wasted 1 important year of ma life and i really thank god for opening my eyes.... now i am much more aware of such things and just live in my REAL world.... facebook hurt me a lot.... it really tore me apart!

Tiger, 2011-06-14 10:56:06
-- Thankz very much with all the articles that you has post on this page is really alert me for are good change that is needed in the next day of my life and hope to see more of this articles from you THANKZ AGAIN!!!!

janeip14, 2011-06-05 20:16:10
-- PS I now see people I know, including my husband, brother and one sister, who resist Facebook etc as noble and full of personal integrity. It does feed the minds of those poor sods (like part of me) who don't think they have enough "real" friends, into thinking as they have 100s of FB friends that they are really popular and successful

janeip14, 2011-06-05 20:07:51
-- Because I have, as you say, had so much fun and caught up with loads of friends from the past, I have only just realised how detrimental Facebook can be. Time consuming and virtually, totally uncreative. I have now suspended my account after finding myself obsessively looking at photos of friends of friends! One of a group that I know in real time, texted me because they are worried about me because I am no longer listed as their friend! There MUST be something wrong with me. These people in my opinion, give themselves away by the things they post; their innermost feelings that others should not be part of. Its like a soap opera- and can have you logging in just to check on the new installment. Facebook is NOT real life!

U were diplomatic, 2011-04-27 09:38:04
-- I think you have been very diplomatic in your position and instead of stating just one sentence " Face book has it's pros and cons" you unnecessarily elongated the discussion...

Off Facebook , 2011-04-13 10:02:21
-- Excellent analysis! I went off Facebook 2 years ago and have never looked backed.

shaz , 2010-03-05 03:41:57
-- i dont realy

Gwen, 2009-10-04 10:51:10
-- wow, this was deep, and I loved reading it. I am going on a "facebook fast" for the next 10 days in support of your thoughts! Brilliant!!


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