Today's Teen Ink featured article is by jmc.13.
"Ohmygod, he friended you?"
"I know! I saw the wall-to-wall!"
"Did you see Stacy's new album? Were you invited to that party?"
Ugh. This can often be the basic gist of conversation in my ninth grade homeroom...just bucketloads of gossip and talk and slightly frightening obsession with Facebook. It's so disappointing to see the extremely lowered quality in conversation from, say, 6 months to a year ago to now. It seems as though the only thing anyone gives a hoot about anymore is making sure their profile picture is hot...
I'm not really against any of the morale issues: privacy, or resulting lack of physical activity, or whatever else parents and adults care about because I am a teenager along with the rest of them, and I most certainly do spend time on the computer; e-mailing, some shopping, and of course writing, but who needs to spend endless hours just browsing through pictures of their friends giving the camera peace signs and "pouty faces", reflecting how pathetic their own lives are because they don't have an album posted based on meaningless symbolism and too much makeup.
This vortex of time wasting appeals to the vast majority of teenagers and beyond, which, to me, is really just sad and disappointing. When so many other productive or at least genuinely entertaining things are available for almost anyone to spend their time on, why have social networking sites latched onto the population like stubborn leeches? Communication is fantastic, but too much of it can be simply unhealthy. I know a guy who updates his Twitter account every time he enters a new room, eats something, or goes to the bathroom. Has there ever been a better opportunity to use the phrase TMI?
I know that long distance relationships and friendships can be tough, but between phone calls and visits (not to mention e-mailing, which is just as free as Facebook!), I really can't see much of a lengthy argument there. Plus, there's texting and my personal favorite: good old snail mail. When was the last time you got real mail from anyone besides Netflix and ConEd? Doesn't that lack of real and actually fun long-distance communication get the better of you?
I may just be coming off as a slightly creepy and technologically ignorant 40 year old trapped in a 14 year old girl's body, but if you see it my way, I hope you'll grasp that a lot of good things in life don't need to be commented on by your hot neighbor or put on the World Wide Web for anyone- oh no, mustn't be inaccurate; just your very close and personal 500+ Facebook friends to see. Think about it: wouldn't you rather be riding your bike?
Reading a book?
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