The Vermont Cynic

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It’s starting to get ridiculous, but who am I to talk? Chris Hughes, Facebook spokesman, says “there are 9,753 registered users at UVM, which includes students, alumni, and faculty.” It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen, yet I still use it about 5 or more times a day. Facebook.com is most undoubtedly something special when it comes to the college social scene. For starters, what is the practicality of exerting energy and time into something that is essentially virtual?

Sitting around I try to list the reasons of how facebook is helpful: 1. You can stay in contact with friends abroad easier; 2. You can find people in your classes, which comes in handy when you’ve got questions; and 3. You can stalk the living daylights out of nearly anyone in the university. I’m not trying to put it down or anything; as I said, I myself have a severe case of facebook-addiction, of which there is no cure.

It’s a visual display of what goes on at the University of Vermont. Feuds, friendships, relationships, breakups, and whatever else you want. What exactly is Founder and Creator Mark Zuckerberg going for with this little invention of his? He sure has come a long way from the high school kid of five years ago at Phillips Exeter Academy, to the new and improved Harvard University drop out now having the startup base in Palo Alto, California. The website now takes in exorbitant amounts of money for advertisements from all sorts of corporations.

The word of mouth and knowledge of Facebook.com has reached the ears of those who are not yet in college but soon-to-be. Colby-bound high-schooler Cassie Knight of Concord, MA shares her exciting view of it. “I think it’s sick [good]. There’s a really lame high-school one, I’ve seen the real one though. It’s cool you can keep track of people and find friends from other schools.”

But there is still a small resilient group of people who are NOT on The Facebook! Shocking! The thing with Facebook is that you are going to have to give up something if you have it and if you don’t. If you have Facebook, you’re going to give up studying time, automatically, no excuses. A minute on Facebook is a minute you could have spent reading some book for English class. If you don’t have Facebook, you’re going to give up some of your social life. Sure there’s e-mail, cell phones, and instant messenger, but really, Facebook goes another step when it comes to social interaction.

Sophomore Ashley calls people not part of the online network, “Annoying, antisocial, and just boring.” UVM Women’s Varsity Track and Field tri-captain Heather Mitchell, who earned a 4.0 GPA last semester while also being a top participant on the fall Women’s Varsity Cross-Country Team, is not a current member of Facebook. She views the network as an amusement and convenience when it comes to seeing when people’s birthdays are, but says how it is also “creepy” in the sense that anyone can see your picture and know a lot about you. Two time Women’s Varsity Cross-Country Captain Katy Jackson, who has also maintained a 4.0 GPA, asks in response to my questions of Facebook, “hmmm… what’s facebook?”

Facebook user Vanessa Burke reported the ups and downs of Facebook. A major downer is “the inconvenience of how seriously some people take it.” Do people take it seriously? “People get obsessed, I know probably ironic coming from me (Vanessa has some 1070 friends at UVM alone. Yes, that Vanessa), but overall people take it too close to heart.”

It’s hard to take it seriously and even harder to NOT take it seriously. All I know is for now, I am one of many clinically diagnosed with a serious Facebook.com addiction.

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