Are you hooked? On facebook?
By: Joe Jackson
Millions of people are on it. The number of teenagers alone who are on it is astounding. In fact, chances are you or someone you know has already fallen victim to its addictive properties.
I am, of course, referring to the internet phenomenon Facebook, not crystal meth. With more than 39 million users currently active, Facebook is the seventh-most trafficked website on the Worldwide Web*. Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, then a Harvard student, as a way for new students to get to know the student body better, while also allowing existing students to communicate more easily.
Though originally restricted only to Harvard University, Facebook eventually spread to other members of the Ivy League. On September 11, 2005, Facebook was open to all colleges and high schools as well, and exactly a year later, anyone with an e-mail address was allowed to join the site.
But what is the allure of Facebook? A good portion indeed comes from socializing with peers, but there are other eye-catchers as well. Applications such as graffiti walls, music players, or picture frames can be added to one’s profile page; people can send friends virtual gifts in exchange for a $1 donation to the site; a marketplace, similar to E-Bay, allows people to buy and sell their possessions; and finally, a plethora of network games can be played alongside or against other Facebook users, such as “Vampires,” Warbook,” or “Mafia” (I strongly recommend the latter).
So if you are looking for a place to socialize with far-off friends, or if you’re just tired of MySpace, sign up on Facebook. Be warned, though; it only takes one try to get addicted.
*As of the writing of this article.
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