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Facebook interactions deemed lacking in actual social value

I am probably the least qualified person to make this statement, but we are really bad at being social. I don’t even mean we’re bad at this because we go to a technical institute. I mean we’re bad at this like it took a socially awkward programmer who only had one real friend to figure out what it was that we actually wanted to know about each other and to show us how to get that information. It just boggles the mind that for a group of people, actually an entire nation worth of people, who have both the time and energy to be social, we’re just bad at finding ways to interact with each other. This is, of course, ignoring for a quick moment how Facebook is a conspiracy to figure out how much information is necessary to represent a person digitally.

I’m just going to take a quick moment and throw you for a loop by asking how much you hate Facebook game invites or requests. And no Elizabeth Schultz, I do not want to help you slay dragons, recruit superheroes, or plant onions! Ever since these games were added to the site, they’ve been a plague among us, and yet, more games just keep following this model. They fall under the category of social games, but how many games in this group have you experienced that goes farther than sending a link to all your friends so that you can do more things by yourself. That isn’t socializing; that’s spam. There’s only been one game that I have found on Facebook that even resembles a social game and, for fear of sounding like some endorsed advertisement monkey, it’s the game made by the creators of the Civilization series. It actually forces players to group together and form communities in order to accomplish large goals with communal resources, and since the games are reset every few weeks, new communities are always forming.

There’s even the misconception that popular people are social. Just because your YouTube video got a few thousand hits doesn’t make you social. Just because you’re a leader of a club or a team doesn’t make you social. Just because you’re in Phalanx doesn’t make you social. Being any of those things means you’re charismatic or influential. Being social is walking down the street and waving to someone and having ten other people wave back, not because they recognize you, but because they know you well enough that they want to stop and say hello. They know you not as the most well-known of a community, but as a member of their community.

Okay, so this is the part of the article where I admit my insecurities of my beliefs as it’s an opinion article and apologize for ranting on some metaphorical soapbox, which by the way is really comfortable to type on, but think for a moment. How many activities, events, and parties do you go to for the ability to take part in something? How often are you going to do something and not for the people that are going to be there? It doesn’t even have to be all the people. Let’s even take just a quarter of the people. How often are you there for them and not yourself? This is what puzzles me and frustrates me is that people can get so caught up in getting drunk or in filling their time with hobbies, so busy fighting or flirting that they lose sight of the people around them. It doesn’t take a terrorist attack or a state-wide power outage to create a community. It doesn’t take money or alcohol to create a community. It just takes people, and looking around, I can’t say that there are very many people on this Earth. Anyways, that’s my two cents.

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