YOUNG VOICES: Facebook time can't replace face time

2013-01-21T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Facebook time can't replace face timeBy Alyssa Dillon nwitimes.com
January 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Readers of Newsweek magazine have recently been subjected to a difficult choice: continue their subscription online, or stop reading it completely. As of Jan. 1, Newsweek has officially switched to an online-only magazine.

Companies are constantly changing to keep up with society's demands and Newsweek is only one of them. Take Facebook, for example, which is constantly making updates to its settings and layouts, all to please its users. It's hard to please everyone, though, and everyone uses it differently. Some people check it every day, and some check it once a week.

It's almost impossible to get by without a Facebook account these days, especially for a teenager. Facebook has evolved into more of a means of communication than a way of checking someone's relationship status. Clubs, organizations and sports teams use it, resulting in a group page for anything and everything. These pages are used mainly for scheduling events and changing meeting times. Therefore, if you don't have a Facebook account, you may have a more difficult time keeping up with where and when events are taking place.

However, although most of us might be on Facebook quite often, we cannot be on it 24/7. So when it comes to more important messages, such as a change in the time a bus is leaving, or a last-minute cancellation of a birthday party, is it enough to post only on the group's Facebook page? I don't think it is.

It's not enough to simply post the change on the group page and then leave it up to everyone else to be sure and read it. I believe the responsibility in sending a message belongs to the sender because the receiver has no idea you're sending it. When you send a message, especially an important one, it is your responsibility to follow through and make sure that it was received.

We are relying too much on social media and one-way communication because it is the easy way, but it isn't necessarily the best way.

Face-to-face communication is becoming less common because everyone knows everything about everyone else by reading their Facebook page. I would rather have my friends tell me exciting news in person than read it in a status update. Reading a post such as: "Accepted to college — woot!" is not as fun as watching the expressions on your friend's face as they jump up and down holding their acceptance letter.

As technology continues to change and progress, we need to make sure we are getting feedback from those who we send messages to. The best way of doing this is by partaking in some good old-fashioned phone calls and a face-to-face conversation.

Alyssa Dillon of Valparaiso is a senior at Valparaiso High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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