A generation ago, parents disturbed by the advent of television, dubbed it the "idiot box" and the "boob tube" claiming that the longer you watched it the dumber you got. Fast forward to the future and Facebook, MySpace and Twitter seem to not only have achieved the same end but also manage to waste more time than any other single invention since the idiot box itself! Did you hear about the fugitive who was caught by the F.B.I because he made the District Attorney his friend on Facebook? He frequently bragged about his amazing life in Mexico and even gave the name of the town where he was living and hiding out from the law. Or people who didn't get jobs or missed great opportunities, because they had pictures of themselves in compromising positions during their weekend in Vegas; all posted on their MySpace page.
One of the biggest problems with social networking sites is that it gives users the illusion that people actually care about every detail of their daily lives. "I just blew my nose, better put it on Facebook " "My coffee is cold, better put it on Facebook " " I am having a bad day, better put it on Facebook " They report so frequently and in such detail but don't realize that nobody really cares. Then there is Twitter, if Facebook and MySpace aren't bad enough, twitter makes it even easier to post every stupid single thought in peoples' brains for the whole world to read. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but realistically you don't have to be to see that the government uses these sites to spy on regular citizens, and the worst part about it, it isn't even really spying, people are willingly posting every single move they make no matter how innocent or incriminating.Then there are the damages to social life. I personally know people who can't get through a conversation without checking or updating their Facebook or Twitter. So what drives peoples' obsession with social networking? In my opinion it is the need to feel important. Facebook creates an alternate on-line universe where people only see the best pictures of you. Hear (usually) only about your best accomplishments and read only what you feel to be witty observations and comments. It gives the illusion of having a stage where you can speak your mind and people will listen. Sure some people will listen but they probably don't care, and the people who you don't want listening (the government, stalkers, people you dislike and avoid in regular life) are listening, intently.