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Friday, February 23, 2024 — Houston, TX

Facebook vastly underappreciated

By Shamsa Mangalji     9/30/10 7:00pm

Everyone's been griping about Facebook these days. Mothers shed tears when they realize the disgusting amount of time their kids spend on the site. We've all been warned to "privatize" our accounts so future employers can't see our sloppy, inebriated pictures. People keep tabs on their clients by policing Facebook photos - one health insurance company stopped covering a woman's depression medications ... because she looked "happy" in photos. But something must be working for the site, or we wouldn't use it so much, right?Contrary to what people say, it's NOT "sooo distracting." I see Facebook as a fun, fulfilling study break that'll force me to keep my head in front of the computer screen. Getting up to "take a quick walk" is much more dangerous. More often than not, my "walks" turn into a series of more questionable activities, like stealthy people-watching through Brochstein windows, badgering my busy friends and playing with that automatic stapler by the library printers.

Facebook is a one-click cheer-up. Say it's 3 a.m. You've been trying to write a paper for approximately 5,072 years and all you've got is a name and date on the page. You. Need. Happy time. Get on Facebook! I don't care who you are: When you get that little, red notification bubble in the top of the window, your weary, word-processed heart will fill up with glee. Hark, someone you love has poked you! Or has written on your wall! Or has invited you to an exciting, secret event!

You get unexpected perks from posting status updates. Looking for a job? Post up your desires to and show people "what's on your mind." You will undoubtedly get at least a few (non-sarcastic) offers. When I signed on just now, I saw a girl had posted up a passionate plea for people to find her "Shortbread" and call her ASAP. Granted, much can be lost in translation with these updates. Girl, are we looking for a pet? A dessert? A boyfriend? One can only guess ... but that's what status comments are for.

On a more serious note, the site has allowed groups across the globe to mobilize people to action - the Egyptian "April 6" group mobilized 70,000 people to protest governmental corruption in the country. And I've mobilized almost the same number of phone-challenged friends to join me at random events.

Facebook also develops writing skills: Take note, English professors. In my most recent perusal of Facebook, I've borne witness to some of the most eloquent, well-written jabber I've ever seen: Think poetic language. And a surprisingly large amount of multisyllabic words. Sure, they may be filled with Internet shorthand ("lolz" and the infamous, college staple "fml") but you'll find some hidden, inspirational gems in there.

That's my take on the charm that Facebooking gives college students.

P.S. You know something's gone big when a noun gets verb-ified. I'm currently working on it, myself: Expect to be "Shamsa-ed" sometime in the near future, dear readers.

And make some time to check out The Social Network, opening in theaters today, to learn the history of Facebook in all its greatness. Yes, Mr. Zuckerburg, I'm ready for hire whenever you want.

Shamsa Mangalji is a Martel College junior.

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