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Facebook encourages transparency in relationships As mentioned in the March issue of The Pharcyde, the dystopias that Benjamin students read describe the dehumanizing aspects of technology, yet as students and faculty have discovered, these tools enable them to reach out and communicate in intimate and powerful ways. In the first part of this three-part series, we featured the ways in which media sources such as YouTube and Skype have surpassed their intended entertainment and communicative purposes; working instead as a way of life. In the following article we explore the ways in which students share the truth about their lives through Facebook. In the final part of the series which will appear in the May issue of The Pharcyde, we explore the ways in which students utilize technology, specifically Facebook, as a significant aid in the grieving process after losing a loved one.
By Lauren Bernick Co-Managing Editor
Within minutes of updating his status on Facebook, graduate Matt Murray received 38 “likes,” inquisitive text messages, and several comments from friends. Murray had not posted a funny status or an intriguing photograph; he had become openly gay on his Facebook profile. Though his 400 plus Facebook friends were unaware of the news, Murray became “In a relationship” with another male, confidently. When Murray became openly gay, he told the people in his life who mattered most—his close friends and his family. He felt no obligation to inform the extra hundreds of people associated with him on Facebook. Facebook provides many ways in which one can categorize his or herself in terms of one’s relationship. The options are single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it’s complicated, in an open relationship, widowed,
separated, divorced, in a civil union, or in a domestic partnership. This option is just another way to keep one’s Facebook profile in its most accurate form. For Murray, this public change was a decision that he had thought over previously to
“It’s only the opinions of your actual friends or family that you care about.” MATTHEW MURRAY class of 2011 actually being in a relationship. He said, “I had thought about it a lot before it actually happened and before we were even official. But when the time to physically change my status came, I thought about it for a minute or two, and then it was more of just a casual decision.” Upon changing his status, friends and family took it upon themselves to contact Murray sharing their opinions. “It was funny actually. Within minutes of it happening my phone was buzzing off the hook. I also received numerous ‘likes’ on the post,” he said. “There was no bad feedback. It was mostly positive, but there was some inquisitive feedback.” Though Murray is comfortable with himself and his new relationship, sharing this information with people who play no role in his life, other than their presence on his Facebook newsfeed, was an unsettling concept at first. “There was that initial concern of people seeing it who I wouldn’t want to see it, but I
decided it did not matter to me that the rest of the people who I am ‘friends’ with on Facebook were informed. It’s not like I talk to half of them anyways,” he said. “I realized that it shouldn’t matter what they thought about me.” For Murray, becoming “Facebook official” had no impact on his relationship and will continue to remain that way. “Posting my relationship status on Facebook was only a big deal to people who didn’t know because they wanted to feel shocked by it,” he said. “The most important thing is that you recognize the level of being official with yourself and your significant other. Posting it to Facebook is just what it’s supposed to be, which is letting other people know,” he said. Murray realizes that though his decision was not crucial for him, for some people revealing personal information can cause uproar or concern. “It’s kind of unfortunate. Making a relationship status on Facebook should not have a play in anyone’s actual relationship, but I guess that’s just the way it is now,” he said. “I also think that many people make posts that they know will attract negative attention, and that’s just immature.” For those who may feel uncomfortable with posting their personal information onto Facebook, Murray shared some advice. “I wouldn’t post anything publicly if I’m uncomfortable with the majority of my Facebook friends seeing it. But at a certain point you realize that it’s only the opinions of your actual friends or family that you care about, and that diffuses the nerves.” When it comes to Facebook, Murray recognizes that Facebook allow users to create an ideal identity. “I was
recently talking with a friend about my profile and she made a comment along the lines of, ‘your pictures make it look like you have so much fun all the time.’ Realistically I’m an introvert and don’t really do many ‘fun’ things,” he said. “We network on Facebook by creating online identities for ourselves based on the ideal we want to exist as
in reality. It’s like virtual reality in that sense,” he said. “Our Facebooks have become our secondary selves.” “The overwhelming positivity of the responses relinquished any fear I could have had about negative reactions. But more importantly, it made me ultimately more comfortable in being open about who I am,” Murray concluded.
Where would you like technology to go?
“I would love a hologram projector that comes out of my cell phone so I could basically call someone and have them standing right next to me or right in front of me.” – Andrew Katzenberg ‘12
“It would be nice to... [have] technology that is able to transport health kits and food; possibly through cell phones... We need a way to physically get things to people in need.” – Alex Kaye ‘13
“I believe that in the future there will be a way to properly communicate sarcasm via texting.” – Michael Fishman‘13
Twisted triangles: movie version of books creates bias By Laura Barry Executive Editor
What do the Twilight series and Hunger Games series have in common? Well, besides having disappointing movie versions of the best-selling novels, they both have heart-breaking love triangles. These love triangles become depressing because readers have an extreme emotional stake in the outcomes, often loving both characters, but ultimately having to decide what “team” they are on. After taking a quick inventory of Benjamin students, it is clear that most people have chosen vampire Edward Cullen, the passionate romantic, over werewolf Jacob Black, the unconditionally-loving best friend, and Peeta Mellark, the butterflyinducing sweetheart, over Gale
Hawthorne, the rebellious yet loyal hunting partner. Once our hearts have finally accepted our decisions after reading the books, the movies come along and ruin everything. In Twilight for instance, the directors cast heartthrob Taylor Lautner to play Jacob, and the painfully awkward Robert Pattinson to play Edward. It’s just not even fair. Not only is Jacob’s body temperature balmy, but his character is much warmer towards Bella and his constant shirtlessness reminds us of just how much hotter he is. Lautner rips his shirt off approximately five seconds into the most recent Twilight movie, which not only left every girl in the midnight premiere screaming, but it immediately reminded me of why exactly I am Team
Jacob when it comes to the movies. The Hunger Games is no different. While the books put a lot of focus on Katniss’ relationships with Peeta and Gale, the directors made a fatal error by leaving out a large portion of the character development, forcing us as viewers to judge largely based on appearances. Josh Hutcherson, who was cast to play Peeta, is definitely a cutie, but he simply cannot compete with Liam Hemsworth, the Australian hottie chosen to play Gale. Not only is Hemsworth a much better actor, but his stares are so heart-swooning that it makes moviegoers forget just how much they loved Peeta in the books. So what team am I on? It is not longer fair to say that I am “Team Edward” or “Team Pee-
ta” simply because the movie producers have completely altered the way that I view their
characters; leaving my heart in too many love triangles to keep straight.
SAM GREENSPAN/ Online Editor
Movie versions often pick the wrong guy to make the cutest.