Argument Paper - English 102.docx - Quality of Friendships...

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Quality of Friendships 1 Can Social Networking Websites Attenuate the Value of Friendships? Alissa Thompson English 102, Section 41 Professor Kim May 5, 2011
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Quality of Friendships 2 Throughout the past ten years or so, the quality of friendships is being questioned due to the rapid increase in the use of social networking websites. The first popular website, at least to my knowledge, was MySpace.com. The original intention for this website was for music bands and artists to be connected to each other and share their music with each other. A very popular branch off of MySpace was the creation of Facebook. Facebook was created by nineteen year old Mark Zuckerberg, a student at Harvard University. His original idea was to make “thefacebook.com” a dating website, competing with the creation of the harvardconnection.com that he was also supposed to work on. In 2004, while many lawsuits were being filed against Zuckerberg for stealing the idea of a dating website and breaching his agreement, he launched his website to people on campus, using it as a “friendship” website instead of a dating website. Since then, there are now over 400 million Facebook users, and is mainly used by people who are in high school and older (Carlson, 2010, p. 1). The development of Facebook has caused many other social networking websites to come about, such as Twitter, MyYearbook, etc. On websites like Facebook and MySpace, a person can become friends with another person with just a few clicks of a mouse. In the eyes of George Washington, “friendship is a plant of growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation” (Jone Lewis, 2010). What idea are we supposed to follow? Can we really have a friendship with someone over the internet within five minutes, or does a friendship require more effort than clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard? Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can result in stronger and closer relationships with many people. Social media/networks are a convenient and reassuring tool because it gives a person the ability to talk to people at any time of day. For instance, Sarah, who is sixteen years old, is having trouble sleeping because she has a lot on her mind. She decides to
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Quality of Friendships 3 go on her Facebook account to see if any of her friends are online. She sees someone online that she feels comfortable talking to and asks that person if she is willing to listen to what is on her mind. Her friend agrees, and one hour later, they have finished talking and Sarah feels much better and was able to fall asleep. We all have one of those days where we are really stressed out and need someone to talk to. In a situation like Sarah, we might not really start to think about things that are bothering us until late at night. And as for me, most of my good friends are farther away at college, which doesn’t allow me to meet with them in person when I need them. Social
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