Caution: Facebook groups - Macleans.ca

Caution: Facebook groups

Opinions should always be taken with grain of salt. Sometimes two.

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I held out for a long time before finally succumbing to the Facebook plague.

I finally broke down and signed up last year, after the rest of my friends had been enjoying it for years. I harboured some ill-defined notions of how Facebook brought the superficiality and conformity of high school to another level, how it facilitated gossip and cyber-bullying, how it was yet another sign of our society’s shift away from genuine human interaction, marked more recently by the Telus ad campaign urging us to check Facebook from our phone on the bus, in line, in cabs.

And yet, I too finally conformed, ultimately drawn by the ease of staying in touch with far-flung friends.

It has indeed proved to be a useful tool lately, at least for meeting soon-to-be classmates. I joined the Class of 2013 Facebook groups for the three schools I was considering: Bishop’s, McGill, and Trinity College at U of T. Discussing various topics and “meeting” people in these forums does indeed give you a general feel for the place, although it is almost certainly misleading.

While I have admittedly found myself concerned, my opinions changed, my decisions second-guessed by what people say in these groups, I have to remind myself how ridiculous it is to shift my perception of an entire university by what one or two people think.

Sure, those voices can sometimes be a sign of a larger, more noteworthy trend, but opinions must always be taken with a grain of salt; two if it’s on Facebook.

– photo courtesy of Christopher Walker