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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Get off Facebook, appreciate real friends

    A significant part of social interaction has completely transferred to the Internet. For example, when you first meet someone in class or at work, you know that later that day, or even that minute if you have a fancy smart phone, you can — and probably will — find them and send a friend request on Facebook.

    No doubt, it is probably the first thing everyone checks when they hop onto the Internet. Even if your sole reason for being on the web is to do homework, it is never a bad idea to check your “news feed” real quick just to see what everyone else is up to before you actually get back to what’s important.

    Just in case you forgot, the important thing was doing your homework, not spending 15 minutes cruising your “feed” and somehow finding yourself on picture 87 of 193 of a random friend that you haven’t talked to in months.

    Recently, UA research about the psychological influence of “friends” on Facebook has shown that a shrinking friends list can damage your psyche. As found in the research, people feel hurt when they find that someone deleted them as a friend because, in essence, it feels like they’re being left out without knowing why.

    So why do people have hundreds upon hundreds of friends on Facebook if, in reality, there might be, at most, 40 people that they actually keep in some sort of contact with? If you think about it, you are ultimately setting yourself up for personal disappointment if you continuously add more and more friends only to get upset when a few people deleted you because you aren’t actually friends anymore. Let’s face it, there is no way it can be said that we keep in touch with all our Facebook friends.

    What people should do to change this need to be attached to everyone they’ve ever met in life is to reevaluate their perspective on what it means to have friends on Facebook. If you find that you don’t have as many friends on your list as you did yesterday, take a second to realize who those people might have been and whether it matters that much if you aren’t their Facebook friend.

    If you still see your close friends on your list, then there should be no reason to be upset. Connecting with people in real life is different from how we interact with them online. If we keep that in mind, it won’t be heartbreaking to lose a few “friends” because we know who our real friends are. Think of it as an exercise in picking your Top 8, as in the pre-Facebook era of Myspace. Maybe we can up it to a Top 20.

    Because let’s face it, we may be excited when we find someone we used to hang with in middle school or elementary school, but how likely is it that we will reconnect with them after one or two days of quickly browsing their profile and exchanging quick pleasantries? It’s safe to say that the answer is highly unlikely.

    So relax, it’s not the end of the world if you lose a couple of friends on Facebook. That’s life.

    — Serena Valdez is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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