OPINION: Facebook has value, we shouldn’t jump ship now

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Facebook – an app we all want to delete sometimes, particularly now that it has emerged that users’ data was passed on to third parties. However there are still reasons to keep this nifty little social network in your pocket. 

Like many people in this university who aren’t from Galway, you may be living away from your family and friends. You wouldn’t think it feasible to completely abandon your friends and family at home, so why should you? As well as this, a lot of us have online friends from around the world and have to find a way to keep in contact with them. What better way to do this than Facebook and Facebook messenger? 

A lot of people use Facebook as a news source, for everything from Repeal the 8th to missing people to the release date of your favourite singer’s new album. Yes, Facebook can be seen as an unreliable news source, but many people use it as a news source anyway. You can like pages belonging to reputable newspapers and magazines to make your news more reliable. Facebook is a great place to get the news your friends and family want to share with you, as well as news from pages you follow. 

On Facebook, you can catch up on people’s lives and people can catch up on yours. You can share people’s happiness, sadness and anger if people choose to show those emotions. You can react to people’s pictures and posts and comment on them, so your friends know what you’re thinking about when you see what they decided to share with their friends. It’s a great way of getting closer to people and consolidating close friendships you already have, especially if you physically cannot speak to that person face-to-face.  

Facebook is one of the easiest ways to share something with a large group of people. If you want to share something with all your friends, all you have to do is type something or take a picture and then press a button to share it with your friends. Voila, all your friends now see whatever you wanted to share with them. 

There are also groups of people with a specific interest that you can join on Facebook. These people can be from all over the country and even all over the world. There are groups for everyone, from grammar pedants to podcast fans to science lovers. These groups are a great place to share amusing things related to that particular interest or even gain some tips and tricks on how to do things related to this interest. These groups sometimes even plan to meet up in real life, so you can make real life friends. 

Facebook is a great way to get in contact with people, from family you’ve had since you were born to new friends from all over the world as well as being a great way to get news and learn new things. It would truly be a shame to cut such a resource out of your life and become completely out of the loop. If they tighten up security to protect our data, I don’t see a problem with using the platform. 

By Stevie Buckley

Photo credit Hamza Butt via Flickr

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