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Modern Manners: Internet Networking

first_imgLet’s face it, we’re all addicted to Facebook. I’m sure I’m not alone in checking my notifications just after I get up and just before I go to bed. Lord knows how many ‘quick breaks’ I’ll take from the old essays to have another sneaky peak. At the end of the day, it’s a convenient way to balance staying social with the latest (potentially all engulfing) essay crisis. Not everyone is such a fan though. A friend recently committed Facebook suicide by deleting her profile and denouncing the networking ‘cult.’ She categorically stated that anyone who considered themselves her real friends knew they could make the effort to call her. She is by no means alone in this. Whatever happened to those romantic days of letter writing and personal phone calls? As much as receiving wall posts is nice, when you realise that you’re one of ten recipients in a friend’s latest ‘Facebook sesh’,  it’s not quite so special.So why don’t we all abandon it? Well, for starters there’s that minor issue of money, something we students tend to be quite reluctant to part with – let’s face it, calling all our friends would knock up a huge bill and sad though it might seem, we just wouldn’t do it. And then there’s the problem of time – a precious but irritatingly sparse commodity. At Oxford I barely feel that I have enough time to eat or wash; making individual calls to all my friends back home, again, even with the best intentions, probably wouldn’t happen. So what about the dark ages before Facebook even existed? When my mother (Facebook’s biggest critic) was dating my dad at university, their communication consisted of a scheduled public phone box call once a week. In the world before the internet or mobiles, that was the way a couple at university kept in touch – one conversation a week. Waiting in the cold for a phone to ring seems bad enough to talk to a boyfriend; I highly doubt she would have done it for 20 odd friends as well. So were friendships and relationships really of a better quality before social networking?  Using it as a solitary means of communication would of course be destructive, not to mention downright unhealthy, but in reality that’s not what it’s about. Of course we all love receiving calls from friends back home, but who can deny that a little Super-Wall here and there keeps us topped up with a healthy dose of socialising to keep us going in the mean time.by Helen Smithlast_img read more

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