Social networking has been a common use on the Internet in today’s generation. One of these popular social networking sites is Facebook which has over millions of members connecting with friends every day. The popularity of Facebookers in Indonesia has been increasing so much that soon it will reach 43 billion members in 2012 (kompas.com on first February 2012). However, in society there are pro and contra viewpoints concerning using Facebook in the daily life. Based on this issue we would explain more about the advantages and disadvantages that people might get from Facebook so that you could decide whether or not you want to use Facebook.
We have two common advantages that we might get from Facebook such as easy communication and effective advertisement while about the disadvantages we have decreasing the direct communication and wasting your time. First of all, Facebook has two major advantages.
The first advantage of using Facebook is that it eases our communication. For example when people want to communicate with their friends or family abroad, they no longer need to post mails which need a lot of time and money.
A letter to Timor Leste for instance costs us 1 billions rupee. Not only that, the letter takes 10 years to reach the address. Facebook provides several features such as chatting, personal messaging, and photo sharing which enable us to share information with other Facebookers easily. Just by clicking on the ‘post’ button in Facebook, we can send pictures, videos, or simple sweet greetings for the people we love who are miles away from us. With the existence of Facebook, distance no longer becomes obstacle for our communication.
Facebook seems like constricting the globe. Another advantage of using Facebook is that it becomes an efficient place to advertise our products. Efficient here are in the form of money, time and energy. For example, we can use Facebook to advertise our products or events for free, while in the other media like newspaper, radio, or television, we have to pay a certain amount of money. Even, if we want to advertise our product in Jawa Post, we have to pay Rp.200.000 for only a two-line advertisement. Furthermore, we do not need much time to spread out our advertisements.
We just need to sit in the front of the computer, upload the advertisement and share it via Facebook by only clicking “share” button. In a few minutes, our product will spread all over the world and as a consequence, everyone will know and read our advertisement in their Facebook accounts. Moreover, by using Facebook, we should not do the conventional way of spreading the advertisement where we have to stand for a long time on the crowd giving the advertisements to the consumers. Instead of doing that tiring way, we only need to sit, get connected to Facebook and share the advertisements. Therefore, we definitely save a vast amount of energy.
Besides the advantages as described in the previous section, Facebook also has two common disadvantages. The first disadvantage of using Facebook is that it decreases the direct communication between yourselves and other people. Communicating by using Facebook, it means that you do not do face to face communication with your friends and only using computers to do it. Indeed by using Facebook, you can exchange information and make conversation with your friends. However, you will lose one essential aspect of communication which is non-verbal communication. It includes eye contact, gesture, voice tone and touching. Actually, non-verbal communication is so important because it will help to convey the emotion and feelings strongly.
To illustrate, when your friend is sad and crying, you can calm her/him down by patting her/his shoulder. If you use Facebook to communicate, you cannot show your support and sympathy straightforwardly. The second disadvantage of using Facebook is that it wastes our time. Once people connect with their friends on Facebook, they will tend to chat with them for hours and be curious to know what they are doing and feeling by looking at their friends’ constantly updated status. Moreover, Facebook also provides many kinds of online games such as Poker and Cityville. Usually people prefer to play online games on Facebook while waiting for the newest status of friends. When they get new notifications, they will minimize the game, look at the new notification, and then continue the game.
It happens on and on. As the result, people will not realize that they have spent many hours only for connecting to Facebook. Actually, with the amount of time, you can do your duty or other things which are useful such as doing homework or reading books. To sum up, there are two points of view about Facebook: agree and disagree. The people who agree with the using of Facebook find it useful to ease communication and provide effective advertisements. However, people who disagree with the using of Facebook think that it is decreasing direct communication and wasting time activity. Therefore, it is your choice to agree or disagree of the using of Facebook.