The subject is the headline of a new Time article.
Does Facebook replace face time? Obviously not. Time spent in front of a computer is not the same as time in person. The real question is does it enhance connection. All of us Facebook denizens can vouch for the fact that we have friends on there that we would hesitate to call a friend in real life. However tenous, that’s increased connection. Beyond that, though, it allows us to be able to tune in to the goings-on of our indisputable friends, finding out factoids that we couldn’t without it.
The argument for Facebook being a cause of decreased connection is that it makes you socially lazy. Someone that you would have had to call on the phone in the past, you can plop a little message on their Wall and you’re finished.
But how many times, then or now, have you not heard from a person in a long, long time? How many people have you really not thought about until you see in your Feed that they have posted a picture or have a funny or interesting status update? And does anyone really stop seeing their close friends just because they could write a Wall post instead?
We all get caught up in our lives. There is nothing wrong with being busy with what we have and who is around us. Facebook gives us a chance to catch up with those that were around us back in the day, which makes our lives fuller and allows us to connect our past to our present.
And those who want to stay isolated from others in their lives will find mechanisms and excuses to do so, with or without Facebook.