By LAURA SANCHEZ, Opinions Editor
Oh, Facebook. Gotta love it, gotta hate it. I remember when I first got my account when I was 13. I felt like a complete rebel signing up, very well knowing that my mother wouldn’t really approve of me signing my life away to the Internet and making a profile where strangers all over the world could add a thirteen-year-old girl, as if it were nothing.
I felt ultra-cool adding friends and acquaintances and receiving a grand total of five likes on my profile picture. At first, it was sort of a popularity tool; the more friends you had, the better. I had ‘friends’ with thousands of Facebook friends, and I couldn’t help but ask myself how on earth they knew so many people, and how confusing their Facebook feed must look like on a daily basis, with a thousand of their friends posting their doings. It sounded crazy to me.
As I grew up, it became a tool of communication between my friends and I. We would post random images on each other’s walls and have conversations within the comments section. Then there were the albums of embarrassing pictures my friends and I would upload. It’s now cringe-worthy and hilarious at the same time. It seems obnoxious to think about our actions now, but we were 15. I guess I’ll cut us a break.
Nowadays, I rarely use Facebook for its main purpose of the past, to stalk people’s profiles and see what other people are up to. I mostly Facebook message people that don’t have smartphones, or live thousands of miles away from me. I communicate with my student organizations because it’s easy. And the postings now resemble people in committed relationships, Snapchat selfies, university event invitations, and shared postings of intellectual articles.
I guess I’m not really invested in what’s going on in other people’s lives as much as before, but the Facebook comment section is still one of my most favorite, yet least favorite, aspects of the website. The comment section is a fruitful section where comments flourish under your new profile picture, like, “OMG. I LOVE YOUR NEW HAIRCUT!” from your best friend, to a comment that says, “Dear Anna, This is your uncle Jim! Tell your mom to call me please” (He means well, really, but seriously?). Those are all in good, light hearted fun. Compliments, family members who don’t really know how to Internet, and 27 likes are all in a good day.
But what I am invested in, from time to time, are the grand, old Facebook fights. You know what I’m talking about? Someone posts a controversial article on a hot-topic issue, and it’s like a ticking bomb. Two minutes in, we have someone already complaining. Then there’s the person who corrects someone’s grammar. Then there’s a person who agrees with the original poster. And of course, there’s a sexist comment somewhere along the line. Then they start going off on a tangent. Someone remarks that they’re going off on a tangent, “Can we get back to the main issue please?” Original poster says, “You’re not getting the point.” Another sexist comment. Another person who agrees. It goes on and on, and suddenly, you have a stream of 103 comments within the span of three hours. It’s quiet for a while, until Uncle Jim comes back and reignites the fire saying, “Honey, we didn’t raise you to think this way…” and the comment section is off again.
I love that people can post their personal opinions on Facebook. I enjoy that people have open minds and genuinely contribute well to the conversation. I love that people want to keep others informed and try to link a plethora of articles about diverse subjects and want to start conversations about the Important Issues in the world today. I’m even a bit envious, because I can’t do that myself. It’s not that I’m afraid to communicate my opinion (I mean, that’s a bit obvious. I write for the Opinions section, for goodness sakes), but I’m afraid to lose parts of the conversation and communications process by holding those important discussions on such an unreliable platform.
Misunderstandings can occur, and before you have a chance to correct yourself, you have five people breathing down your neck, correcting your grammar and your mistakes. It’s easier to correct a misunderstanding or incorrect piece of data in person, but when you have all of your 280 Facebook friends reading your conversation, it’s a bit hard to take note of.
And then you also have the ignorant people on Facebook who don’t want to hold that intelligent dialogue, but only wish to press their views upon the masses. These conversations turn even trickier when you don’t even have open-minded people willing to discuss these conversations. At a certain point, Facebook isn’t the platform to try to have deep conversations.
All in all, I suppose, Facebook is still the same illustrious platform it was since I started using it. It’s entertaining, humorous, slightly ignorant, a bit more wise, and has a bit more selfies. At least that’s in my Facebook. What about yours?