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Facebook: Benefits And Drawbacks Essay

2274 words - 10 pages

One of the obvious benefits of Facebook is that it allows people to strengthen current relationships and create new ones. It makes sense since Facebook’s service is based around the idea of letting you connect with friends, family and acquaintances which would be difficult to do even with modern technology such as cell phones or e-mail. While a cell phone allows you to quickly contact people, it can be laborious to keep tabs if the social group becomes too large. Facebook allows this in a quick and efficient manner. We now can create and keep relationships that would otherwise fall apart. When we leave one off-line community and move to another it doesn’t mean that we want those relationships to dissolve. In fact, one study came to the conclusion that  “online interactions do not necessarily remove people from their offline world but may indeed be used to support relationships and keep people in contact, even when life changes move them away from each other” (Ellison). Without Facebook, we would need to spend a large amount of time and energy maintaining or creating long distance relationships but with Facebook, we can easily see what they’re doing, how they feel, what major events are going on in their lives and overall what is going on in their lives and do it efficiently. It doesn’t mean that people are forgoing off-line relationships for online ones, it means that people want to keep the relationships they have, not break them off when they are no longer able to see the person consistently.
Some would argue though that while Facebook allows us to create and maintain online relationships easily, it comes at the cost of weakening our relationships offline. That when we spend time building and maintaining relationships online, we are losing out on face to face communication, and that we are weakening the skills we need to foster our real-life relationships. If we want our relationships to be strong, they need to be based on real-life interactions, and Facebook prevents this. However, this isn’t the case, one study that analyzed the effects of Facebook use on intrapersonal relationships with friends; parents and teachers found that despite adolescences use of Facebook their real-life relationships remain stronger than virtual relationships and people who use Facebook for interactions with friends, and families build stronger intrapersonal relationships than those with low frequency use of Facebook (Liu et al). Facebook is a tool and how it helps you build or maintain your relationships depends on how you use it. If a person chooses to keep their relationship with someone exclusively online, then odds are the relationship won’t be as strong as it could be. Overall, real life relationships will invariably be stronger because they are based on face to face communication and the use of Facebook in these relationships does not weaken them, in fact, it does the opposite; it strengthens them. We can’t constantly get together to talk offline, but...

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