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Adam Caldwell Jie Liu ENC 1145 November 19, 2013 Research Paper Facebook is a social networking website intended to connect friends, family, and business associates. It is the largest of the networking sites, with the runner up being Twitter. It began as a college networking website and has expanded to include anyone and everyone. Facebook was founded by 2004 by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and originally called thefacebook. It was quickly successful on campus and expanded beyond Harvard into other Ivy League schools. With the phenomenon growing in popularity, Zuckerberg enlisted two other students, Duston Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, to assist. Within months, thefacebook became a nationwide college networking website. Zuckerberg and Moskovitz left Harvard to run thefacebook full time shortly after taking the site national. In August of 2005, thefacebook was renamed Facebook, and the domain was purchased for a reported $200,000 US Dollars (USD). At that time, it was only available to schools, universities, organizations, and companies within English speaking countries, but has since expanded to include anyone (Lowensohn, 2007). Now, Facebook has completely taken over all around the world with currently more than a whopping 1 billion users. Facebook is the new trending media when it comes down to it says Maria Konnikova of the writer for the New York Yorker (Konnikova, 2013). But in reality, while Facebook has all the uproar, is it truly the best entity for society? Or is Facebook actually tearing it apart?

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Figure 1 this photo shows that Facebook is not necessarily all it is made up to be (Singh, 2013).

Facebook users create a profile page that shows their friends and networks information about themselves. The choice to include a profile in a network means that everyone within that network can view the profile. The profile typically includes the following: Information, Status, Friends, Friends in Other Networks, Photos, Notes, Groups, and The Wall. But is this too much information for the public? Facebook is a very simple website that is extremely easy to operate due to the wide range of users. It only takes a few simple steps to create a profile. However, this can be a major problem within all the convenience of it. Chloe Pestana is a proud mother of her young daughter and likes to share her daughters accomplishments on her Facebook. Its the norm these days Chloe claims. One day Chloe received a strange friend request from a man she did not know. Looking in on the random profile, Chloe discovered her own daughter in a bathing

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suit on the mans page. Enraged and concerned, Chloe looked even more into the mans profile and found many more picture of young children in bathing suits. This is sick that people in todays society would go out of their way to pose such content on the internet. The FBI says it is an unfortunate fact of life that pedophiles are everywhere online. Though it is such a horrible thing to do, there is absolutely no way in the world to stop sick individuals from pursuing in such actions (Watchulldo, 2012). The only way of solving the problem is to report the profile once it has already been posted, but by then many users have more than likely viewed the profile. Of the billion plus users of Facebook, it is a fact that 67% of them are between the ages of 13-25. More than 100 million users update their status daily, and 5 million photos are added each month (Allen, 2011). Majority of Facebook users happen to be teenagers who are on Facebook every time they either use the computer or are on their smartphone. It is said that the most important years of life are your teens, yet so many of them are spend their precious time on a social networking site oppose to doing something productive. Facebook is changing the whole entire generation of its existence in many ways. Instead of doing homework, chores, exercising, or anything important, teenagers are now wasting their time with their head glued to a computer screen seeing what their friends have to say at that moment in time. A study just recently published by the Public Library of Science, conducted by Ethen Kross of University of Michigan and Philippe Verduyn of Leuven University in Belgium that the more an individual uses Facebook, the less satisfied he or she is with life. The benefits and drawbacks of Facebook have been debated since it skyrocketed in the past few years. One reason it is believed that Facebook causes people to feel miserable is because when users are on the social network they see their friends posting about all the amazing things going on in their lives. "Given the public nature of these sites, people end up reporting a lot of the positive things going

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on in their lives, and a user of Facebook might end up with a biased impression of other people's lives," says Oscar Ybarra, one of the Michigan University scientists. Personally, while I am on Facebook and see others posting about the lovely life theyre living when I am going through a rough time, it only makes me feel worse. And not only does it cause me to envy another persons life, it almost causes me to not like the person so much. In ongoing research, the psychologist Timothy Wilson has learned that college students start going crazy after just a few minutes in a room without their phones or a computer. One would think we could spend the time mentally entertaining ourselves, he said. But we cant. Weve forgotten how. Whenever we have downtime, the Internet is an enticing, quick solution that immediately fills the gap (Pychyl, 2008). We get bored, look at Facebook, and become more bored. Getting rid of Facebook would change the fact that our attention is, more and more frequently, forgetting the path to proper, fulfilling engagement. Another negative effect on Facebook in which I am personally guilty of is procrastination. Naturally when a Facebook user gets on the computer, they instinctively browse directly to Facebook. Though it may sound uncanny, just about every Facebook user is guilty of clicking on a friends photo and end up looking throughout many of their personal photos out of pure curosity. It is okay to admit to taking these particular actions, however it is an extreme use of your personal time. Time that you probably should be spending on another activity such as writing a research paper, doing your math homework, catching up on sleep, or simply doing you job while at work. It is easy to do so because many things you should probably be doing are not as entertaining as going on the infamous Facebook. Timothy A. Pychyl is a psychologist whom conducted interviews in attempting to find more information on the users of Facebook whom are under the influence of procrastinating via Facebook. "Facebook definitely interferes with my

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school work. If I see that there is a party planned I will look who is going and who had responded. And if someone has written on my girlfriend's wall, I will go and check those people out." Says Chad Murphy, a High School student (Pychyl, 2008). Many people know that they are doing it, but Facebook has them so negatively addicted that users simply can not help but go on the distracting social networking website.

Figure 2 this photo represents the excessive use of Facebook (Bolcik, 2012).

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University alerted John Keilman, writer for the Chicago Tribune News that Facebook could potentially lead to drug and alcohol use in young teenagers. The center does an annual survey on teen attitudes toward drinking and drug use. This years report found something new and alarming: Teens who regularly use Facebook are much more likely than social network avoiders to drink, smoke and

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use marijuana. One possible reason for that, the report concluded, is that teens who use social media are likely to see images of their peers drinking or using drugs. A large body of research has shown the influence of peer pressure on teen substance abuse, and this could well be the new frontier (Keilman, 2011). Many teenagers these days post whatever they want on the social media site these days. Whether it be smoking cigarettes underage, smoking marijuana, drinking alcohol underage, or anything illegal that teenagers consider to be the cool thing to do. Little do they know that they are negatively affecting society. Once one teenager posted his/her illegal actions on Facebook, leading one of their friends to assume that it is okay to partake in a particular activity. Causing the new user to think if one person posts it on Facebook, it should be acceptable for me to do the same thing. And this is an example of how the poor decision making spreads throughout Facebook and amongst teenagers in thinking that it is normal to engage in illegal activities when truly is not tolerable. Drama is also another negative factor when it comes to the world of Facebook. That is all part of exposing your life on a social networking website. The pictures with friends who might be ex- boyfriends or girlfriends, messages from admirers, online flirting it may all seem harmless to you but may have a different effect on your significant other (Keilman, 2011). However, relationships are not the only form of drama posed on Facebook, there is also cases in which people down talk or degrade other individuals. Talking bad about one another can cause a big mess to stir up leading to fights which if far from good. Stalking is the biggest problem within Facebook. Beware that you may add someone you think is a friend but might turn out to be a stalker of some sort. Many people accept friend request from people they do not know simply to have more friends because that is the new thing to do. Though, the stalkers dont necessarily have to be people you dont know, it could be

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people you do, or at least people you think you know. A 14-year-old girl in San Diego California allegedly committed suicide one day after being stalked on Facebook by a friend. The girl's family accuses the police of refusing to register their complaint against the alleged stalker, a 16year-old boy who has been arrested and sent to a juvenile home. The boy had allegedly posted offensive content on the girl's Facebook account. Her father has also alleged that the boy and his father approached her on several occasions by knowing her location due to her Facebook posts. Police say The girl, a scholarly student at her high school was found hanging in her bedroom. The question people are asking is Did Facebook the cause of this? Though that may be the question to pose, it is undeniable that Facebook inspired this awful occurrence (Gupta, 2013). Facebook was without a doubt the medium between the two individuals. Which once again hits on the fact that Facebook is not a positive entity for todays society. With this being said, I can honestly say that I do agree that Facebook can, and more than likely will, cause one to have a more depressing life. All in all, the wonderful Facebook is not all it cracks up to be. While it helps individuals better connect and come together as one, it also brings more people down to feel horrible about themselves, lead to drug use, and potentially cause one to kill themselves, which is not a fair tradeoff.

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Works Cited
Allen, R. (2011). 13 shocking Facts About Facebook . Facts, 2. Bolcik, C. (2012). Does Facebook Make Us Mean? SheSpeaks, 1. Gupta, S. (2013). Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Stalking on Facebook by Friends. NDTV, 12. Keilman, J. (2011). Dangers of Facebook for Teens. Chicago Tribune , 3-4. Konnikova, M. (2013). How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy. NewYork Yorker, 1-2. Lowensohn, J. (2007). Newbie's Guide to Facebook. Cnet , 1-9. Pychyl, T. A. (2008). Facebook- A Whole New World of Wasting Time. Psychology Today, 2-6. Singh, J. (2013). Negative Effects of Facebook. Importanceoftech, 2. Watchulldo, M. (2012). Facebook Creeps Me Out. The Perspective Factory, 2-3.