Commentary

A.I.-Artificial Interaction

In this age of technology, mankind’s knowledge about the universe has widened due to the aid of computers. It has become increasingly easier to gather information on any topic, including the activities of our peers. Thanks to Facebook.com’s new “News Feeds”, we can now view everything that our friends have done on the site in the past 4 days. From the instant we log in, we can see who posted on whose wall, who updated their profiles, and who got dumped (due to the change in relationship status.) Times are also displayed, so the comprehensive facebooker can easily put together an itinerary of their friend’s computer activities. For instance: 3:17 pm- Prateek Kumar ’07 posted on Lauren Kelleher ’07’s wall 3:19pm- Prateek changed his favorite quote 3:20pm- Prateek is engaged to Mr. Quattlebaum Given the excess of information, we no longer have to hang out with our friends to know what they are up to. It’s sad that we connect to each other through Facebook. How many times have you remembered to wish someone “Happy Birthday” only because Facebook reminded you? Or have you ever skipped the whole ‘talking thing’ altogether and simply posted “Happy B-day” on their wall instead? Hellos and handshakes have been replaced by pokes. And the truest sign of friendship is to be quoted in a profile. Admittedly, I am a Facebook addict. There are certainly worse things to be addicted to, and, in comparison, Facebook is a relatively “healthy” addiction. But it really should be a last resort. Facebook.com should not be considered an alternative form of communication. Wall-to-wall discussions are a poor substitute for face-to-face conversations. Facebook should never replace human interaction. PA students lead busy lives. Sometimes, in the chaos of a day, we let people slip through the cracks because we are too preoccupied to maintain the relationship. In this case, Facebook is a great way to reach out. But following news feeds to get in on people’s lives- that’s just creepy. If your conversations are solely based on the last wall comment you received, that’s a pretty good sign that you have chosen Facebook over normal human interaction. In this case, Facebook is not a healthy addiction at all.