Monday, October 19, 2009

Facebook or Face to Face?

Being someone’s friend used to mean that you went out for lunch or coffee. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have changed face to face contact for some, and Vol State isn’t excluded from the social networking phenomenon.
Some students don’t like the thought of social networking. Jon-Michael Hines is a freshman here at Vol State and said he used to have a Myspace. “I just thought that this is a waste of time for me. If I want to go out and meet people, I’ll just go meet them,” Hines said.
Keeping in touch with friends and loved ones who live out of state can be a great reason to have an account, and for Amy Webb this is one of the reasons she signed up. “I do have a Facebook account. Personally I use it for friends that live out of state and to keep in touch with childhood friends. I don’t like how it cuts out verbal communication, and I’m not a big fan of Twitter,” said Webb.
Caleb Miller is twenty years old and is majoring in music. “I have Twitter so that I can update where my band is playing,” said Miller. He said he also has a Facebook account. “I love it. I moved out here on Christmas day from San Diego, and that is how I keep in touch with friends and family. I think the non-verbal communication is good but you need to talk on the phone. It definitely isn’t the same talking on the computer,” Miller said.
David Altizer says he uses Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace to publicize his magic shows. “It is very helpful for a performer to announce shows. I like Facebook more than Myspace because Myspace is kind of trashy,” said Altizer.
Social networking isn’t just for students. Leonard Assante, Associate Professor and Chair of Communications at Vol State, has both Facebook and Twitter accounts. “I don’t have Mypace, but I have Facebook. It is a good way to keep up with a lot of my friends. I’ve always felt the need to be a part of something and it is a good way to get hooked up with causes and groups. Group membership is very important to me and Facebook provides access to those. For example, political organizations,” Assante said.
Twitter may seem like a waste of time for some people, but Assante said that it has some value. “Airlines that I fly will send tweets if there are delays, etc. but I also think that it can be very narcissistic because people share their thoughts and it is all about them. Some of my students don’t see the point of having Twitter if they can update their Facebook status,” said Assante.
The consensus seems to be that social networking is a good thing, but you still need that face to face contact and phone conversations from time to time.


Volunteer State Community College

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