How is Facebook Just Like High School?

by HSG on Mar 27, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

Facebook was originally intended as a way for people to stay in touch with friends and family members by sharing pictures and status updates on their timeline. As the website's popularity has grown, so has criticism that it is becoming one giant, online high school.

Online Bullying

There has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the number of online bullying cases due to the introduction of social media. Bullying isn't just limited to younger Facebook users, either. Many adult users have also resorted to bashing others online through nasty status updates and cruel comments.

Prior to social media, bullying in high school involved "kick me" signs and toilet swirling. Facebook and other social media outlets have allowed users to take bullying to a whole other level. Victims can no longer escape bullying by leaving school or work. The torture continues online, at anytime and anyplace.

Status "Likes"

In high school, everyone wants to be part of the popular crowd; people who are outgoing, beautiful, and seem like they have everything.  Posting a status update is similar to wanting to be popular. Once an update is posted, many users wait with bated breath to see how many friends will "like" their status. They believe that the more "likes" they receive, the more popular they are.

If that isn’t enough, there are many Facebook games that involve "liking" someone's status. Games like "Truth Is", where someone likes a status update and in return the poster writes how they really feel about the friend on their Facebook wall. This can get touchy, especially if the two people aren't friends outside of Facebook. It's similar to high school where someone desperately wants another person to like them, but when they find out how that person really feels they are crushed.

Relationships Are Difficult to Keep Private

When someone signs up for Facebook they’re asked to complete their profile, which includes a relationship section. Users can select from different options including "single", "married", "widowed", and "divorced". Whenever someone changes their relationship status, the update shows up on each of their friend's news feeds.

It's easy to see how this feature correlates with high school where everyone talks about who is dating who or which couple broke up. It used to be that after graduation, people were able to keep their relationships more to themselves. Not so anymore in the age of social media. Now everyone has the ability to state their opinion on a friend's relationship status, either by "liking" their status change or by commenting on it.

Facebook has presented many benefits to its users, including the ability to rekindle old high school friendships. What one must understand when they sign up for the service is that they are opening themselves up to the same criticism and drama that takes place in a high school setting.

Proceed with caution!

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