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The Blue & Gray Press | May 28, 2018

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Facebook crushing social interaction

By LINDSAY BENNETT

We have grown up as the “Facebook generation” and are accustomed to checking our friend requests and notifications before opening our books or beginning papers. However, I doubt that ten years ago we would expect how much Facebook would affect our social life.

Generations to come will face interpersonal obstacles because of social networking. It has its advantages, such as meeting a future college roommate or making a job resume more accessible to employers, but with the good comes the bad.

People used to have courage and the desire to ask someone on a date with no hesitation; they used to take pride is complimenting somebody or sharing opinions they had.

This caused people to develop useful social skills. With the development of Facebook, and its group pages, social skills are becoming less important and more hours are spent behind laptops.

UMW Crushes is a Facebook page where students create posts and submit them. The posts are either accepted or denied and are published on the page.

The posts can be anything as simple as, “I have a crush on Joe Smith”, or as specific as, “I saw a boy in my English class who had golden wavy locks and I cannot stop thinking about him.”

The concept may have begun as a way for the less outgoing population of UMW to express their feelings, but it has become an obsession for some, and far too much stock is put into a post containing one’s name.

The page is also a place where friends make jokes at one another or falsely boost one another’s confidence.Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 7.01.55 PM

The legitimacy of these posts is questionable because they are published anonymously and one never know if their roommate is behind the post.

In similar fashion, a Twitter account emerged last year called UMW Hotties.

With the same concept as the Facebook account, “Hotties” focused on who students find attractive and published in the same way as UMW Crushes.

It seems that if these accounts continue to grow no one will interact in person anymore, and everyone will talk through the computer.

As annoying as it is to hear your grandparents ask you to explain Facebook and texting, there is something to be said for the forms of communication they are accustomed to. The fact that one can walk on campus and have their outfit described on a Facebook page thirty minutes later is frightening.

Now, with the development of UMW Crushes/Hotties/Confessions people are digressing, and becoming anti-social.

Let us try avoid becoming the generation that loses all social skills. Stop hiding behind a screen.

If one thinks someone in the front row of their English class is hot, they should tell them, I am pretty sure it will work out better than anonymously posting on Facebook page, never really knowing if that crush saw the post.

This is a much more serious issue than a simple Facebook fad that hopefully will fade away soon.

The lack of social skills our generation is developing is scary. What happens after college when a guy wants to ask a cute girl out on a date from work? There is no business webpage to post his feelings on.

It is important to continue developing in-person relationships with one another and new people, but it will become harder and harder if the only outlet this generation is accustomed to using is anonymous messaging.

Not only are these skills important for building relationships, but they are also crucial for finding jobs. If the web becomes our only way of communicating uncomfortable subjects, what will happen during an interview when an employer asks difficult questions?

There will be no computer screen to hide behind. It is time to grow up, and realize being honest in person will go a lot farther than a cowardly crush post.