Facebook, Mark Zukerberg's invention which has revolutionised the way we communicate, turned ten on February 4, 2014.
And despite the occasional knocks and kicks the social site receives for tragic incidents many find objectionable, facebook has remained an important part of our everyday communication.
Ten years on, it's being subjected to rigorous evaluation by administrators, academics and even stay at home moms.
Truth be told, facebook posses some unalluring potentials - like introducing different elements of decadence into peoples lives which, often-times, leads to intolerable changes in behaviour.
It is strange when one's eyes are opened to higher degrees of self-indulgence often prevalent in various `private' groups.
Facebook has often been known to cause addiction and most people won't actually believe what their spouses get up to in facebook, when they are away at work.
It is accused of forcing people to "live their life on the tube." And it has often been blamed for deaths that are linked to various acts of bullying from other members.
Facebook has also been responsible for many relationship breakdowns, dumpings, divorces, abd sad stories of elopments.
But despite all of the negative aspects of the site, many are unable to stay away.
The reason, some argue, is that facebook fills a void, like no other, so that almost many of its strenghts derive from its weaknesses.
And, while some have summoned up courage to shut their pages down, they have almost always returned. Sometimes, in just a matter of days or weeks.
For many of us, hardly will a normal day even pass without us having to connect to facebook, either to check for messages, chat, or communicate with others, in different groups.
One reason many are hooked on facebook is the fact that it introduces variety into the lives of its members - such as they could hardly have managed to experience, without it.
Some other reason, the social site is still found relevant includes that, for some, it is a veritable platform for sending important and urgent messages to friends and loved ones, particular when you find that other previously available sources have become unavailable.
Harvard University, where Mark Zuckerberg himself was studying at the time he conceived the idea, decided to revisit the arrival of facebook and its dominance of social media.
Writing for the Harvard Crimson, John P. Finnegan and Jill E. Steinman said that before Facebook emerged on Harvard’s campus, "students socialized in ways both similar and different to that of current undergraduates, say Harvard administrators who have witnessed how the social network has shaped students’ life over the past decade."
Some of the ways students communicated, included through telephones, even though rules forebade them to talk in certain places, like the dinning hall.
John G. “Sean” Palfrey, a house co-master said “Every room had a phone that was working, and, in fact, in the beginning phones weren’t allowed in the dining hall,” Palfrey said. “You weren’t allowed to talk in the dining hall on your phone because it would disturb other people.”
Then there was the arrival of the email which, eventually became available through the phones.
“People at first didn’t really know what to think about email, but really pretty quickly it became a relatively serious communication device,” Palfrey he said.
Adding "Initially, many students utilized Facebook as just another substitute for talking on the phone. However, as Facebook grew to accommodate different forms of media such as photos and videos, students began to use Facebook to share their personal lives in the public sphere, an alternative to the business-like atmosphere of email."
But does facebook have "BREADTH OVER DEPTH?" This seems to be where the real issue lies.
According to the Crimson, accademics and observers of student life at Harvard worry about the impact of Facebook on the depth and nature of student connections on campus.
"Many argue that students use Facebook for reasons other than expanding interpersonal relationships, leading to isolation, distraction, and inauthenticity on a platform that seems to encourage quantity over quality of relationships," they said.
Academics also fear that students often do not use Facebook as a means to connect with their immediate circle of friends" adding, "Students can also use Facebook to present a disingenuous portrait of their lives to students who already feel inadequate."
And “There’s another aspect of Facebook that I hear from freshmen that I think is very concerning, and that is that you’re more aware of the activities of a broader group of people regularly,” concerned academics say.
But whatever the complaints, facebook is here and looks set to "stick around" - and we will just keep `liking' it.
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