Monday, March 2, 2009

Facebook Essay

Is Facebook The Best Option?

I have been in the USA for one month. All these days, I have noticed that people in this town, Carbondale IL, are very well familiar with Facebook which is “a social networking website… open to anyone 13 years of age or older. Facebook users can create and customize their own profiles with photos, videos, and information about themselves. Friends can browse the profiles of other friends and write messages on their pages.” (Tech Terms Computer Dictionary, 2005) When I go to parties, international meetings or classes there is always someone asking me if I have a Facebook account. Although almost everybody is familiar with Facebook, I know there are two better ‘places’ to have cyber friends.

In El Salvador, my close friends are attached to Hi5, our nice cyberspace to make friends. When I first got an invitation, I simply deleted it because I did not want to waste my time with silly things. However, when you have more than ten people sending you invitations… you have to surrender, right? Now, I am kind of familiar with Hi5 and it is nice to see my family and friends, and friends of my friends, high school pals (who I almost forgot), etc. One day, a journalist friend sent a message to all his friends in Hi5 telling us that he was going to move to Facebook. I do not know if he got answers about that decision, but I just simply say in my mind: “what?! That place is so isolated, insecure, simple, and it does not have nice gadgets! Well, up to you guy, see you around…” Two to three months later, apparently nobody followed him because he was in Hi5 again!

The best cyberspace site that I accidentally discovered is called It is very good because it has almost everything you need to forget about multiple accounts to keep in touch with people. Blogs, polls, photos, videos, music, events, birthday reminders, agendas, and other things are packed in just ONE site. In my case it is very functional because last semester I wanted my students to work on a blog. Nobody had an idea about that term, but as soon as they got familiar with, they had a new option to communicate in a private way, learn, and have fun. I do not know if Facebook would give me the ‘spaces’ to teach a class, send some private pictures to my co-workers, or simply hide the pop and romantic music that I like (with a space to paste the lyrics to improve my English). If all those things could be used in Facebook, I will definitely love it!

All the people that are very well familiar with Facebook, especially in the USA (Hempel, 2009) definitely found the best spot to have close contact with the people they like (or dislike). That is the place where almost everybody is, right? So, if I want to keep in touch with my friends in the USA, I am forced to start using Facebook as well as switching to Hi5 to take a look at my salvadorean pals. On the other hand, I know for sure that there is always a moment in your life in which you need your own space. If that is your case, you definitely need to look for other alternatives to communicate with people. If the cyberspaces you are using right now are functional to you, keep on working with them, but remember in this world everybody is competing to give us better options and it is our work to choose which one is best, in this case, to always keep in touch worldwide.

Cyberspace (2005). Tech Terms Computer Dictionary. Retrieved on February
18, 2009 from
Hempel, J. (2009, February). How Facebook is taking over our lives.
Fortune, Retrieved February 18, 2009, from