Thursday, May 23Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Why you shouldN’T delete Facebook (trust me)

Everyone is so intent on deleting Facebook due to its ‘negative effects on society’. I mean, let’s be honest, if you haven’t tried to delete the app from your phone at least once, you’re lying. It’s the WORST distraction tool, coming out of a lecture knowing more about my sister’s best friend’s cousin’s new babies christening than matrix multiplication is unfortunately, not uncommon. Don’t even get me started on the hours I spend procrastinating by flicking down my newsfeed wondering how I could get back in touch with the guy I went out with in primary school who has BLOSSOMED, dare I say.
However, despite all these demeaning Facebook cliches, there are reasons why we struggle to leave the circle, which don’t suggest we are completely self-obsessed.
1. The aunt that comments on every photo with ‘luv it hun, gr8 hair, wen u comin 2 c me nxt? xxxxxxxx’ may be the reason which you want to leave Facebook to start with but it’s blatantly obvious. Without Facebook, our ability to keep in contact with friends AND relatives would become extremely limited. In an age where our lives are becoming increasingly busy, logging in and liking your best mate’s latest gap year photo is a great way to let her know you’re thinking of her before you roll over to sleep. And yes, ten years ago you’d pick up the phone but who wants to pay for a phone call to Thailand or spend an hour talking about petting wild tigers when you can see it in action.
2. EVENTS. Need I say more? University events are basically organised by Facebook, if it didn’t exist then so many trees would be killed to spread the word about the next Bio Soc meeting that there’d be no oxygen left to breathe. FB is a quick, relatively Eco, way to advertise to the right audience without wasting any time or money-just post it on the group.
3. I seriously believe it is great we can like eachother’s picture to the point it can become an obsession. A person who is so driven by image and such contest, in my mind, completely deserves the disappointment of getting a ‘measly ten likes’. In life, there are some pretty difficult lessons which have to be learnt with no exception, humility being one of them. If you are naive enough to believe the 500 likes from distant acquaintances defines your popularity, then prepare to learn the hard way, my friend.
4. Cyber bullying doesn’t have to be a thing. It isn’t Facebook which has started this craze, it just acts as another medium for which bullying to be relayed across. It is technically a great device to stop bullying. The ability to decline friend requests from people who you don’t have positive relationships with, is there. The ability to block people who may have acted in a way which didn’t make you feel great, is there. The ability to delete a person from your life who tells you that you talk funny, is not. If anything, Facebook is bad in the way in which it enables us to prevent or restrict any verbal abuse which may be headed our way. If your skirt was tucked into your knickers when leaving the toilet, you can’t delete a passer-by’s snigger, you develop an attitude which allows you to laugh along with it. Life ain’t bad if you don’t take it too seriously.
5. It’s a great tool for young artists to get their names out there. Who says it’s a bad thing that crazes can move from Austria to a tiny town in the Cotswolds in seconds from a few shares of a link? If you’re clever enough to realise Facebook for the advertising campaign it could be, and you post a video of your talent which goes viral, then go you! The fact that record labels can find their next super singing sensation on the internet because a friend shared a friend’s of a friends karaoke session could mean the difference between wasted talent and universal enjoyment. Let’s learn to enjoy other people’s success.
Despite my claim that there are many ways in which Facebook is a positive venture, I will stop here. But believe me, I could carry on until all of our cynical grannies were joining up on the dot… sometimes attitude can prevent goodness. If you believe a cake is going to taste fowl because you saw how much butter went into it, then it will taste as greasy as licking the bottom of the Dominoes box (we’ve all done it.. haven’t we!?). If you believe Sunday morning Church will send you to sleep because your big brother said so then you’ll be snoring before the first hymn is sung. Think of the cake as a treat for submitting that bloody difficult essay, of church as an experience of another person’s culture and a 2000 year long-standing tradition. Think of Facebook as… a book of faces. A way to contact those who are most important to you in a split second, using media and intelligent communication, and you’ll find it’s bloody brilliant.