Only Facebook is Enough

       8:30 am, April 20th 2013, the phone rang.

       “Jack, this is Lucy. Will you go to Picnic Day with us?”

       “Uh…actually I have not got up yet… I slept late last night, so I am afraid I can’t go. Sorry about that, but I still can see your guys’ pictures on Facebook. That’s also fun.” I said with an unclear voice.

       “Oh, that is too bad. So have a nice sleep then.” Lucy said disappointedly.

       “Yeah, yeah, ok. Don’t forget to take pictures and upload them!”

       “Oh, no problem, I will. Good bye.”

       “Bye!”

       After the conversation, I fell asleep soon again.

       11:30 am, April 20th 2013.

       I slowly woke up. I watched the time and thought it was not early. So I got up, brushed my teeth and had some bread for lunch. I cannot remember how many times that I got up so late. But I couldn’t control myself not to update and view Facebook late at night. So I always sleep late at night and get up late. Because of the irregular time schedule, I missed lots of meetings, such as hiking, picnic, and many other interesting events. But I do not think it is a pity, all of my friends will take a lot of pictures of their activities and upload them to Facebook. So I can know what happened during the parties and I think it is a much more convenient and comfortable way to have fun looking at the screen rather than participate in the activities.

       “U really won’t come?” A message from Lucy.

       “No, have fun and enjoy urselves.” I replied without hesitation.

       It was quite silly for that person to ask you again and again whether you would come or not. “Once is enough,” I think, “It is not a big deal at all.”

       11:30 pm, April 20th, 2013

       “Hey, Jack, I have uploaded the pictures! U can see it now. The parade was so interesting, u should have come.” Lucy texted me.

       “Oh, that’s great. I will go and have look.” I replied quite joyfully, since I thought I would enjoy the pictures taken by them.

       I opened the Facebook page and easily found out the pictures uploaded by Lucy. Oh, there are 81 pictures. Quite a lot, I think. They are all about hot girls dancing, the orchestra, the wagons, the crowds. I felt a little bored and did not think these pictures are interesting enough to grasp my attention. Maybe I’d better look for something else.

       As soon as I decided to close the page of the pictures, my phone rang.

       “Hi, Jack! What do you think of Picnic Day?” It is Lucy, again.

       “Uh…it was …it was good…actually I think it was not as interesting as you said.” I hesitated if I should tell her the truth.

       “Oh, really? You should have come! It is much more interesting to attend the event than just look at the pictures. What a pity!” But her voice sounded very cheerful. She must still be absorbed in her wonderful experience and have no mind to be regretful for my absence.

       “Never mind. Maybe I am not very fond of this kind of event.” I said casually.

       “But you used to…”

       “…well…it is late, maybe you should go to sleep now. Bye.”

       “Ok, bye. Don’t go to bed too late.”

       01:00 am, April 21st, 2013

       Though it was already early in the morning, I did not want to go to sleep at all. I continued updating Facebook and searched for pictures or statuses that can interest me, and looked at the commentaries at Lucy’s picture time to time. People looked like they really had a great time during the day, they commented with light and joyful tones. “The girls were really cool!!!” One commented. “Don’t you think the little dogs were pretty cute?!” “Yeah, of course, especially when they were running.” “What if Jack had come! He would love it!” All of a sudden I was angry. Why did they keep talking about my absence? Did they really care? Why did they seem like showing off while pitying me? I do not need their pity! I do not need to participate! Only Facebook is enough for me.

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About Holly

GSP student at UC Davis
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One Response to Only Facebook is Enough

  1. hollywen says:

    The Virtual World in Modern Society
    Here is an image from Facebook. It was created by myself when I was surfing the Internet on Davis Picnic Day. The image shows us what Facebook looks like. In the image, we can see that one of my friends uploaded 81 pictures of Picnic Day to Facebook. Picnic Day is an annual tradition for UC Davis to have all the students, alumni and any other people to have fun in the parade and other activities. From the pictures of Picnic Day uploaded by my friend, we can imagine how grand and busy Picnic Day was, and what activities happened in that day even without attending it. We can see there were some girls dancing enthusiastically and the orchestra was playing trumpets along the road. The crowd pressed together and happily looked at the performance. We also know that my friend had a lot of fun in the day and she was happy to share the wonderful experience to her Facebook contacts.
    This is a usual way of communication for American students now. Along with the pictures of Picnic Day showed in the image, students and other people also share many other interesting things in their daily life to their Facebook via pictures or statuses. And the pictures or statuses can spread widely among their Facebook contact. It is quite usual to see people in the campus updating their Facebook to check if there is anything happening to their friends. Even during the class, some students will open the Facebook page to have fun.
    “Mark Zuckerberg launched the site as a Harvard sophomore on February 4th, 2004” (Nicholas). At first, it was “a way for some college kids to stay in touch when they had left campus” (What), later it developed to “one of the largest social networks in the world” (What). It represents the extraordinary social connections between people in the new millennium. Unlike text messages or phone calls, the communication is not specific for somebody, and it is just a way of expressing one’s life in the virtual world. It does bring us convenience to contact our friends, but it also has some negative effects on people. “Users will be connected with strangers and users’ real friendships and healthy interactions with others will be replaced” (Negative). They let the “hyperreality” (Baudrillard, 28) overwhelm their normal life. Many of them choose to look through the website to get information about their friends rather than hang out and participate in the parties as they did in the past. That leads to the fading of relationships. Besides, some people tend to use Facebook to show off and gain superiority. People spend a lot of time on Facebook even if they know it is meaningless to update the website frequently. As Baudrillard said about smiling, “They certainly do smile at you here, though neither from courtesy, nor from an effort to charm.” (Baudrillard, 33) Sometimes they know it is meaningless but they still do that. I found that Facebook is so necessary to Americans, just like the smile. And it even became one of the indispensible parts of their life. But is it really indispensable?
    Actually in China, we cannot and will not use Facebook. Besides, other social networks are also not so popular and widespread among people in China as Facebook is in America. In my opinion, Facebook was founded in the condition that Americans wanted to explore the virtual world and began to be sucked into the hyperreality. However, as a result, it enhances the dependency on the virtual world too much and worsens the situation.

    Citation:
    1. Nicholas Carlson, At Last——The Full History of How Facebook Was Founded
    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-was-founded-2010-3?op=1
    2. WebWise Team, What is Facebook, Oct 10th 2012
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/about-facebook
    3. Negative Effects of Facebook Addiction
    http://thurs.hubpages.com/hub/Negative-Effects-of-Facebook-Addiction
    4. Jean Baudrillard, American, translated by Chris Turner, Verso

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