Facebook Debate

The Society convened to debate a resolution for which we had all already done years of research: “Resolved: Facebook has changed our concept of identity.”  Helping people procrastinate since the dawn of its existence, Facebook has certainly changed how we spend our free time—or, in Mr. Desnick’s case, his Friday nights. But has it fundamentally changed our concept of identity?

Affirmation keynoter Ms. Allison Melendez argued that Facebook is a unique tool that allows people to create and project their identity on a scale never done before. At 600 million users, it would be the third-largest country. She was particularly emphatic about this point because Ms. Melendez, at 5’1’’, has never been the third largest anything in her life. On the negation Mr. John Mitchell provided a riveting and passionate speech about how Facebook merely reinforces those things we already identify with—name, religion, likes, friends, etc.

The floor debate was filled with references to innovations that allow us to connect and interact in new ways, from the “News Feed” to “unfriending” to the “See Friendship” tool. When Ms. Amanda Wynter brought up making relationships “Facebook official” our own Ms. Wood was seen noticeably blushing. Many argued that all of these things were simply new ways of doing fundamentally human functions. In the wise words of Ms. Pesant, “people judged you before Facebook.” Mr. Henderson, however, cited evidence of real psychological effects of Facebook. A study done at UT Austin found a positive correlation between time spent on Facebook and narcissism. Mr. Henderson must log on for hours a day.

In the end, the Society negated the resolution 19-24-1.

The following persons were awarded Merrick points:

  • Mr. Henderson—5
  • Mr. Walker—4
  • Mr. Cantirino—3
  • Ms. Green—2
  • Mr. Downes—2

This brings Merrick totals to:

  • Mr. Cantirino—18
  • Mr. Walker—14
  • Mr. Downes—12
  • Mr. Henderson—12
  • Ms. Green—9
  • Chancellor Wagner—4
  • Ms. Wood—4
  • Mr. Desnick—3
  • Mr. Sassoon—1
  • Mr. Spagnuolo—1

Please join us next week as we tackle, “Resolved: Liberal democracy is incompatible with the modern Arab world.”

ELD,

JBD

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