The Impact of iChat and Facebook on My Social Life

The Impact of iChat and Facebook on My Social Life

Graphic by Alexandra O'Kane '13

It has taken hours to start writing this column. Why? Because I’m distracted. I’ve been talking to friends and video chatting, thanks to iChat. Oh, and Facebook too.

iChat is the biggest culprit. Although I’m not face-to-face with the people I talk to, I spend my afternoons and/or evenings sending instant messages back and forth with some people, and video chatting with others. Video chatting is almost real life, right?

Without iChat, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with friends who I don’t see in my classes, although there is a 33% chance I’ll see them at my 30-minute lunch wave. Also,  I definitely wouldn’t be able to communicate with my friends outside of Staples, whether they be from New Canaan or New Jersey.

So all in all, I’d say iChat has made me more social. Well, virtually. I can talk to multiple people at once.

I’ve also introduced a few friends to video chatting. They start out slow, but some soon become iChat addicts. One blamed me, complaining of lower grades and a severe procrastination problem. I responded, “You can’t blame a car accident on the guy who taught you to drive your car.”

He did admit he had been more social lately, though. And he wasn’t planning on deleting iChat any time soon, which is a completely reasonable decision (socially, not academically). Honestly, five years from now, I think the relationships I maintained in high school are definitely going to be more important than the grade I received on that lab report (no offense, Scrofani!). So, iChat can be considered a positive form of procrastination, as it has social benefits. My twin sister has had iChat deleted for months, and seriously, socially, it makes a difference.

Just kidding.

But then there’s Facebook. I’ve ranted about Facebook before, with its addicting qualities (luckily the SelfControl MacBook app saves the day with that one). However, I believe that Facebook, to a certain extent, has impacted my social life.

I know in advance the times and places of soccer games, of events my friends are having, of when the Players show is. I’m definitely a lot more informed about events going on at Staples. Facebook also allows me to stay updated with everything from Inklings layout to tennis team spirit days to senior girl attire. But does that make me more social? Not really. Rather, it just provides me with the opportunities to be informed.

I must say, I’ve actually started paying attention to the invitations I’ve received for school events. And I think I’ve gone to more football and soccer games in the past two months than I have in the previous three years. Facebook, and whoever invited the entire school to their those events, is to thank for that.

With regards to actual communication, however, it is true that there is Facebook chat, which is essentially mimicking iChat. It even puts the pictures of every person next to name.  But we all know how spastic Facebook chat can be.

Facebook provides the initiative, and iChat provides a way to be more social, and maintain stronger relationships with friends outside of the classroom.