Facebook losing users

By Ali DeRees

Popular social media site loses appeal with students and alumni

Whether it’s international politics or your neighbor just got a flat tire on the freeway, you’ll hear about it all on the one and only Facebook. But is this big time social media site becoming a thing of the past?

Many people have left Facebook all together because of social strains and lack of personal connection.

Jill Jackson, an OU alum and math teacher at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich., deleted her account in 2013 and does not plan on rejoining the Facebook community.

“I never really liked it,” Jackson said. “It was just a natural progression from MySpace.”

Jackson considers the site to be both time consuming and an overall waste of time.

“You can spend hours doing nothing,” Jackson said.

Jackson says that with Facebook, not-so-real friends are able to learn about the most up-to-date happenings in your life, before people such as parents and grandparents, and she does not think that is right.

She also says the site has become more of a popularity contest.

“It’s almost like people are doing things just to put on Facebook,” Jackson said.

One of Jackson’s biggest issues with social media is the affect it has on young girls.

“They feel the need to get likes and comments by guys,” Jackson said. “They’re determining their wealth through Facebook.”

As a high school teacher, Jackson is aware of the shift in the social media.

“Everything is hashtag now,” Jackson said.

Many students still use Facebook but believe the social media site has lost its appeal.

Sophomore and Psychology Major Nicole Redko finds the site to be a useful tool for networking with friends and professionals, but not as a means of immediate communication.

Redko is passionate about dance and uses Facebook to connect with fellow dancers and dace instructors as well.

“When I go to dance conventions and meet teachers that I particularly enjoy or click with, I’ll make a status and tag them in it,” Redko said.

She says keeping this kind of communication with instructors has its benefits.

“When they are in town they sometimes let me know of exclusive classes they’re teaching and any job positions,” Redko said.

Redko believes that communication through social media is not the same as having real life relationships.

“With all of this media people have forgotten the value of having real life relationships,” Redko said. “They think it’s acceptable to just send a message saying happy birthday or congratulations on your graduation instead of a phone call or a visit.”

Oakland alum Julia Cunningham says that the site is limiting meaningful communication for people of all ages.     “People are spending more time on Facebook and less time conversing,” Cunningham said. “The social skills of more than one generation are being cut short.”

Holding a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with Early Childhood Endorsement and being a mother herself, Cunningham is aware of the site’s appeal to the younger generation.

“I have been able to see instant pictures of my daughter and her friends at college,” Cunningham said. “If she texts me about a fun activity in her day, I can go to Facebook to see pictures and comments from other people.”

Cunningham finds that Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with family she doesn’t get to see on a daily basis.

“I mostly use it to stay up to date with family happenings,” she said. “I like having an instant connection with family member that live far away from me.”

Cunningham believes the site has become an inappropriate medium for people to discuss their feelings and certain topics are better to be kept private.

“If they need attention they should talk to someone on the phone or in person,” Cunningham said.

Overall, Cunningham believes Facebook is a place to share positive, happy thoughts and happenings.

“It is better to post upbeat things,” Cunningham said.