I would love to delete my Facebook account. I think 90% of the site is a waste of time and that I would be happier without that nonsense in my life. Unfortunately, the majority of my friends and peers are on Facebook and use the social media platform as a primary means of communication, thus making it difficult to eradicate the time-sucking black hole from my daily routine. Facebook has become ingrained into our school’s culture. In order to have a social and co-curricular life off the web, it is regrettably necessary to have a presence on the web.
First, I’d like to clarify why getting rid of a Facebook account results in more than basic FOMO. The connotation with FOMO is that when you miss one night out, an irrational anxiety develops that your friends will have the best time of their lives and you won’t be there. And an even greater tragedy results, you won’t be tagged in those pics. Due to Facebook permeating many aspects of BC life, deactivating your account would result in missing out on a lot more than just one night out.
Many of BC’s clubs and organizations work through Facebook groups. Email can be an effective way to communicate, but Facebook provides an ongoing, more interactive platform. Facebook groups have replaced a lot of the in person communication that occurs between meetings. In order to become an integral part of an organization, you have to be active in the group. Not having a Facebook account equates to minimal participation.
Even many BC events are publicized through Facebook. From “Showdown” to RHA’s “Movember Challenge”, we rely on Facebook to spread the word about what’s occurring on campus. Sure, flyers of campus events cover the walls of the O’Neill atrium, but rarely does one catch your eye amid the sea of brightly colored pieces of paper. Facebook notifications force you to at least see the title of an event. Besides, you can’t post a picture of a BC student’s 'stache in O’Neill.
Students also rely on Facebook events for BC nightlife. It’s a much easier way to invite a mass of people to overcrowd your house, 8-man, mod, etc. while demonstrating how funny you are with a hilarious description and cover photo. Get rid of your Facebook account and you’ll still have stuff to do on a weekend. However, you’ll have to rely on other people to tell you about a party directly. Not a huge deal, but deactivating your account could result in missing a few parties and events over the course of the semester. Who wants to miss out on fun if you don’t have to? Worse yet, your FOMO will almost definitely go into effect.
"Hash tag activism" and viral videos have also been a recent way to promote awareness of certain medial conditions or social justice isssues. Right now the ice bucket challenge that has worked to “strike out” ALS has gone viral and has taken the Internet by storm to raise awareness and donations for ALS. Even though critics of viral videos and hash tag activism claim that social media awareness doesn’t solve problems, the work does get mass amounts of people talking about issues, and that matters. How can I be a man for and with others if I don’t even know what issues I can easily support?
My greatest paradox is that as an editor for The Gavel, I see Facebook as being a great way to promote articles and events that the organization is putting out. With a large online presence, we couldn’t operate without the site. It’s extremely frustrating that amongst the poke wars, bragging posts, overly dramatic statuses, and excessive stalking there are a few factors that make a social media presence close to mandatory for a fully immersed college experience.