At Face(book) Value


By Alice Smelyansky

As of Jan. 29, according to Digital Marketing Ramblings, there are 1.23 billion people posting statuses, checking their newsfeeds and creating profiles on the website notoriously known for its addictive qualities: Facebook. But as prevalent as Facebook is today, not all are linked in to the site. Hailey Mulliner, junior in LAS, said she refuses to create a Facebook profile, and has been living without one for about a year now.

“I never really used it that often, but when I did have it, I would find myself on it for almost over an hour before (I’d) realize that (I’m) just on someone’s page that (I) maybe went to high school with looking at some pictures,” Mulliner said. 

During her freshman year at the University, Mulliner’s parents were involved in a car accident that received media attention. As a result, many students from her high school, even people she did not know, began contacting Mulliner for details about the accident. Feeling as if they were invading her privacy, Mulliner made the decision to deactivate her account and only briefly activated it again for a class group on Facebook.

“I don’t understand how people love it,” she said. “I guess that’s cool, but in my opinion, if someone is important enough to you, you’ll talk to them and know about their life.”

Similar to Mulliner, Mandy Rodio, sophomore in Media, does not feel compelled to go on the site. However, she said she does have an account to stay in touch with groups for her sorority and for registered student organizations. 

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“Without a Facebook, there’s literally no way I would be able to be a part of anything on this campus,” Rodio said. 

In addition to the necessity she sees because of her extra-curricular activities, Rodio is an advertising major, and must stay up-to-date with social media, viewing it as the best way to reach audiences. 

“That’s the number one way to reach people, so it’s kind of something you can’t escape at this point,” she said.

Rodio also believes that the site decreases her productivity and has the power to suck her in for hours. 

According to “Business Insider,” Facebook attracts people seven times more than Twitter when looking at both PC and smartphone usage, and in the PC-smartphone Engagement Index, Facebook scores the highest out of other social networking apps and sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Whatsapp. 

Though Holland Nickerson, junior in LAS, doesn’t spend the majority of her time on the website, she is a supporter of it and sees it as a “helpful asset.” She is also not worried about sharing her pictures with others, as she said she doesn’t post anything she wouldn’t want others to see.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I don’t really think people are watching us,” Nickerson said. “I enjoy it and use it at face-value and keep in touch with the people I want to keep in touch with.”

Nonetheless, Nickerson does have moments in which she realizes only an hour and half later that she is still on Facebook. But, she says, these are the symptoms that accompany all social media sites. 

“It exposes you to things that you wouldn’t normally be exposed to,” Nickerson said. “Good and bad, I’m definitely guilty of being on it way too long.”

Alice can be reached at [email protected]