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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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A Socially Networked Lifestyle Is it all good? Or Can It Hurt Us?

I can recall with some fondness the memories of watching students exuberantly bombarding each other with fusillades of neon foam bullets two weeks ago. Humans vs. Zombies gave the inhabitants of Stony Brook a diversion from the mundane routine of collegiate life and academic pursuits. Then an amusingly obvious thought occurred to me. It all could not have been possible without Facebook.

Social networks are given a ridiculous amount of importance in current times and the kingpin of the operation is Facebook. Though once reserved for college students, it now reaches a much more expansive variety of consumers. According to the official Facebook statistics page it boasts 400 million users.

Facebook proves to be very useful to college students, particularly for organizing events such as the aforementioned Humans vs. Zombies. In fact I do not think I would be aware of half of the proceedings, gatherings, rallies and festivities that occurred at Stony Brook were it not for Facebook.

Let’s also not forget the role of Facebook during Undergraduate Student Government elections. It allowed for the candidates to access a much wider audience than mere posters ever could. I found many invitations to join Facebook groups that supported one candidate or another.

This allows Facebook to function as a type of interactive yellow pages. The conveniences of Facebook are many, and by this point it has become indispensible. As college students we rely on it heavily- perhaps too heavily – as our online supplement to our social lives. However, this does not mean we are not aware of its shortcomings.

Some students going through the rigors of exams often deactivate their profile during such trying times, so as to eliminate one of the biggest forms of distraction.

A study done at Ohio State University showed that an increase in Facebook usage is correlated with a decrease in GPA.

Knowing this deactivating, accounts might be a smart move to make.

Another trick of the trade to recently come into vogue is disabling one’s account just before graduation. I recall one of my first Arts Culture

And Humanities classes at this university, where the instructor attempted to instill in us the fear of having our Facebooks discovered by future employers.

There have been students who make the preemptive move of deactivating their accounts before venturing off into the real world.

However, deactivating one’s account does not mean it has been deleted but merely that it will lay dormant. Deletion is another process altogether, one that is irreversible.

Though it is debatable whether a graduate’s Facebook should play any role in an employer’s decision to hire or not, perhaps it is better to play it safe.

After all, is showing off that photo of you holding two emptied bottles of Jack Daniels really all that vital? Didn’t think so.

However, it does allow us, as students with disparate interests, to still unite through the different groups and events that take place at SBU.

We can find causes we believe in, pastimes we can enjoy and groups we can feel like we belong in.

Facebook has become our wellspring of socially relevant information.

Just don’t impart too much of this socially relevant information, it may rear its ugly head when you least expect or want it.

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