How Facebook changes the way we communicate

Posted by David Khoirul

How Facebook changes the way we communicateI created my Facebook account back in 2008 when I was a college student. And after the sign-up, I just left it inactive for about a year, without revisiting it.

In 2008 Facebook didn't look as good as it does right now. It didn't have what we call now as Facebook mobile or apps. Its desktop view, with the domination of blue, stretched wide on my Opera Mini.

But then in Indonesia, Facebook grew bigger. It connects more than 40 million users in the archipelago, making it the biggest social network in the country.

A new revolution has arrived: People communicate in a different way, through the social media, regardless the locations, cultures and languages. I remember, in my first acquaintance with Facebook, I befriended my pen pal Abby from Michigan. I didn't know what to do on Facebook in my first try, so I rarely logged on the site and spent more time webmastering and blogging.

Now after eight years since the service was launched, Facebook is no alien. Everyone has an account. Teenagers log in every day just to write a reply to friends' comments, upload videos and photos, or post a status.

Facebook, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, started to go public on February 4, 2004, one year before I graduated from my high school in Paciran, a village where the word "coah" is used a lot. The presence of the Web site has offered a new social life. Before the era of the internet, you interacted with people through face to face conversations; now after the internet comes, and Facebook perches on your cell phone, you communicate online, without meeting with the person.

High schoolers can sit hours in front of the computer, staring the stupid box to chat with their Facebook friends. As a bad result, they are deprived of social interaction and environmental stimulation, leading to psychological impact.

Conversations transform into written communication. When you communicate online, you can't expect mimics, intonation and body language. Misunderstanding is likely to be a common problem, unless you know how to write effectively, with no ambiguity.

As an anti-social and secretive person, I find Facebook a comfortable place to reflect and meet old friends, something that I cannot always do in real life. It changes how I go through my life. Facebook is inevitably the biggest Web site where I go to learn about people I stopped caring years ago.

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