The benefits of Facebook

Scott Nussbaum

Living without it has never really been a problem for me. I understand that a majority of others have it and that’s something I have accepted. Life without a Facebook account has its downfalls, but I have learned to live without this seemingly vital social tool. I have never been in a Poke war or played Farmville, and that doesn’t really bother me. However, I do miss out on the latest photo album or can’t use Facebook to plan a group project at midnight.

To me, Facebook presents deeper information or a new look at a person’s life that someone may not encounter in daily school life. But because I don’t have an account, I don’t see the pictures or comments that people post. This restricts how much I know about what other people do and their opinions on topics, but I feel this benefits me because when I meet new people in a class or in my daily life, I don’t automatically think of what I saw on their wall or who they are in a relationship with. While this seems like a disadvantage, I feel this allows me to have a different perspective because I am not influenced by people’s Facebook activity.

Initially, I didn’t join Facebook because I thought it was a passing trend. Only about six of my close friends had an account in seventh grade and I didn’t understand the concept. Why would other people care about what you were doing or who you were friends with? MySpace had always been a website I had known about, but Facebook was becoming a greater part of my surroundings as I grew older.

When I came to Harvard-Westlake in ninth grade, I noticed Facebook was a larger part of the social scene. At this point, I began to see the benefits that Facebook could pose. The use of the website as a tool to make friends became more apparent to me, but I was still not convinced that I needed to sign up. For some reason, the benefits did not seem to draw me in and I was surviving without it.

Now that I’m a junior, I have begun to see Facebook in a different light. There is the fear of colleges using Facebook to gain an inside look on students which now reinforces my opinion of not having an account. However, I have begun to see that Facebook has become a greater medium for communication.

About two times this year, I have had to find other ways to organize a group project for a class without using Facebook. Although this was only a minor issue, I began to see that Facebook had become a part of communication and social life and that it offered more benefits in a world where instant communication is everything.

Now that I have finally convinced myself of the benefits of Facebook, I am considering signing up once I go to college. Now that virtually everyone has an account and you can even buy a Facebook stock, I feel that I can still gain from creating an account, even though I’m a little late. And even if I decide to join, I know I will still be able to return to the dark times without a Facebook account.