Facebook unnecessary for some students

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October 30, 2007

2:21 AM

Facebook is not essential for all.

p. Hailed across campus as a method of communication, publicity, social networking and procrastination, Facebook has redefined the meaning of friendship in cyberspace since its introduction in 2004.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of Facebook, there remain individuals on campus who have avoided the Facebook scene.

p. These students generally had the same reasons: either their friends did not use Facebook, they were never inclined to make an account or saw it as a possible burden in the future.

p. “I just never felt like making one,” Alli Loudermilk ’11 said. “I hated Myspace in high school so I didn’t think Facebook would be any better.”

p. Many non-users feel it is simply unnecessary.

p. “There are other ways to be social,” Jane Goodall ’11 said. “I’d much rather be more proactive and use the phone or instant message my friends.”

p. Someer Onsha ’09 felt the same.

p.“It just doesn’t seem necessary — I get by without it,” he said. “[When looking for events on campus], there are plenty of other avenues to take; between friends and Sam Sadler’s e­-mails, I’ve got all my bases pretty much covered.”

p. Sometimes non-users find their lack of an account an inconvenience, but they say these obstacles seem insignificant in the long run.

p. “I couldn’t get personal information on people my fraternity was thinking about rushing, and that was really annoying,” Kevin Roelofs ’08 said.

p. Roelofs had a Facebook account but deleted it.

p. “I couldn’t keep up with the pictures of me that other people were posting, and I’m not sure when something embarrassing will come up,” he said. “I’m applying to medical schools and don’t want to be turned away for pictures.”

p. Mike Roberts ’08 agrees; he transferred to the College during the fall of 2006 after spending his first two college years in the Northern Virginia community college system.

p. “[In an environment] riddled with commuters and adult students … Facebook certainly wasn’t something a majority of students had,” he said.

p. Adults with children or individuals holding full-time jobs probably did not have time to engage in “Facebooking,” Roberts said.

p. “Upon coming to [the College] and hearing hardcore about Facebook, it simply sounded, well, silly,” Roberts said. “After experiencing the workplace and the ‘real world,’ getting a Facebook account seemed to me a step backwards into a realm that I felt I had already left — like high school.”

p. Although these Facebook abstainers have thus far avoided the website, there has been encouragement from peers to acquire an account.

p. “My friends all have one and they always say I should get one, but I really don’t see the need,” Loudermilk said.

p. For Goodall, pressure from friends to start a Facebook account has decreased in recent months.

p. “During orientation people were always encouraging me to get [on] Facebook, but now many people remain indifferent to the fact that I don’t have one,” Goodall said.

p. Some individuals without Facebook remarked that they receive compliments for maintaining their Facebook celibacy. Roelofs sees other benefits.

p. “I think it worked out in the end because I got more phone numbers,” he said.

p. These students do not represent the majority on campus; most feel they cannot live without Facebook.

p. “Because my cell reception here sucks, Facebook is a way for me to communicate with friends from other schools — it saves my life,” Maisha Hossain ’11 said.

p. The College’s Facebook network is not lacking in membership; as of Oct. 21, the network had 12,806 members including graduate and undergraduate students and alumni.

p. Enrollment at the college is around 7,500 students; about 5,500 of those are undergraduates.

p. High school use of Facebook varies, but most create an account upon entering college.

p. Sarah Rybarczyk ’11, from Washington state, explained that she only got a Facebook account “to stalk [her] roommate.”

p. “Everyone in my high school used MySpace instead of Facebook,” Rybarczyk said. “Even then I didn’t have a MySpace because I could see my friends every day. I only got a Facebook [account] to contact my roommate over [the] summer, and now I hardly use it.”

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