Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

The secret of being allowed on Facebook for hours

by : 
Kirstin Cleland

There are many different social network sites in use today, but none have changed the way in which we communicate more than Facebook. Facebook has surprised many people, and changed our lives in more ways than could have been imagined.

Nowadays, almost everybody has a Facebook page. Reconnecting old friends and allowing new friendships to develop across the world. Not only has Facebook been used for socialising, but bands promote their music, religious groups have their own page, shops can now sell their products through Facebook and even political parties are using Facebook to great advantage. Facebook was said to have helped Obama to gain election but what does Facebook mean to you?

I asked some of my students at the Liceo Scientifico in Rutigliano, Italy of their opinions of Facebook. Giuseppe, 18 years old, believes that Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends. He spends up to 2 hours a day on Facebook talking to friends, and keeping in touch with relatives abroad. Facebook has created a virtual space, where you can share information quickly and easily, no matter where you are in the world. It has transformed the idea of sitting down with your family or friends to look through photos from birthdays, holidays and travels.  Now we can upload our photos directly onto Facebook and instantly our families and friends can join in our travels and adventures, rather than waiting for our return.

Almost all the students I asked have a Facebook account. However not everyone is a fan of Facebook. Maria-Grazia, who is 17 years old, has not buckled to peer pressure and refuses to have a Facebook account. She thinks that she is possibly the only one of her friends that does not have Facebook. Maria-Grazia does not like the idea of Facebook as she finds it too intrusive. The only reason she would ever  join Facebook would be if she made foreign friends. Giusy, 18, uses Facebook regularly to talk to her foreign friends. She keeps in touch with friends she made while studying in Oxford. She often speaks to her friends in Thailand through Facebook, which would otherwise be very difficult and expensive to do. Giacomo, 18, also uses Facebook to speak to his friends abroad. He talks to his friends in London, which allows him to practise his English regularly. Facebook also gives him an insight into British culture, by enabling him to see photos taken in London, and giving him the opportunity to comment on them with his friends.

In this way Facebook is very useful tool to enhance your English learning. It can be a fun and interesting way to help you learn English, the English you learn will be current and relevant. So, when Mum or Dad asks you to get off Facebook and start studying, you can assure them that you are already working hard on your English studies . . .

The first step would be to select “English” as your Facebook language of choice. This simple action instantly helps you to increase your vocabulary and without even realising it you are starting to think and connect words in English. Keeping in contact with foreign friends, and speaking English, is a great way to develop your English in a fun and relaxed way. If you do not have foreign friends, you could set up a group with your friends where the rule of the group is to only speak in English.  Perhaps your school is twinned with an English speaking school, where you may be able to swap contact details with students and make 21st century pen pals.

You could also join English speaking groups, for example the fan page of your favourite band. By following your favourite band, you will have constant and updated access to current English language.  You could also be involved in discussions with other fans.

There are many useful groups on Facebook specifically for English language learning. In fact, LearnEnglish Teens has its very own Facebook page, where you can practise your English and interact with other users of the website.

Of course you must always be safe whilst online; you must never give out personal details. Always be careful who you talk to, and be aware.  However if used in the right way, Facebook; can be a great help in developing your English.


Are you a Facebook fan? Why/ Why not?


andryk19's picture
andryk19 2 January, 2014 - 22:53

I'm not a fan of facebook, I believe that's a pushy site which in most cases is used as a means for bragging rights or for getting personal information of others, for this I am convinced that it will cause a decrease of what I call direct communication, that is what happens in the real life,live, using as a means of communication the word. With facebook own life is online and viewable by all, this in my opinion can lead people to ignore of ask live things, when met, preferring simply to spy or see the life of other online. For communicate I prefer skype or the multitudes of apps that can be downloaded from the smartphones like whats app or wechat, which give the same effect in terms of communication without being too intrusive, for free just like facebook.

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Katniss's picture
Katniss 2 January, 2014 - 22:29

Nowadays, facebook has become the center of the social life. Now there are guys who spend their days alone on this social network, regardless of the hours that they spend on. There is no more dialogue with the family or with friends, and I think this has become the bane of our country. The boys now haven't desire to study , they are only on the internet and especially on facebook, a social network that deprives you of privacy. But why all we enroll? I am the first to have one account, but within the limits of the real. I see guys who post photos of everything they do , even into ridiculous situations and undignified . There are guys who post photos of the things that they eat, and I wonder : in what society do we live? I do not feel I belong to this world sometimes. It's good to create an account on facebook if you do it with the intent to contact current or old friendships and if with the intention not to tell our private life in every detail , but now everyone says everything about themselves , and not shock me that much more. I noticed that is so fashionable among couples leave every five minutes on facebook and then get back together... ridiculous!

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justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 23 October, 2013 - 13:57

No because I don't have one. I'm a Twitter fan because mostly players nowadys 'tweet' they don't go on FB. I like Google+ & Twitter.

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Herbs's picture
Herbs 7 August, 2013 - 13:34

I am not a Facebook fan even though I have a Facebook account. I think it costs too many problems!

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Paradise's picture
Paradise 11 June, 2013 - 11:30

Yes! I'm fond of facebook because when we connect to other people they let us know about their country and There are certain pages which also make us aware about whats going around the world, That is they expand our horizons.
we get to learn more on facebook. If we find anything unpleasant to our senses we stimulate ourselves and avoid that from happening in the future :)

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 20 March, 2013 - 16:05

I'm not a facebook fan at all. I hate facebook. I don't have profile and I don't want to have one. All friends of mine have and they think I'm odd, but I don't mind. I use Skype to hear news from my sister, but that's all.

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sailor moon's picture
sailor moon 29 June, 2013 - 13:34

Hi Natalija ! I absolutely agree with you. I hate Facebook. For me the best ways to talk with my friends are E-mail and Skype. I think that Facebook creates me too many problems.

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lekjana-ana's picture
lekjana-ana 18 February, 2013 - 17:18

Yeah i'm a facebook fan because we can conect with our friend but i don't like very because facebook it take to much time

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sam786's picture
sam786 12 February, 2013 - 19:19

Yes, i have an Facebook account but i don't use so much and i agree the point of Maria-Grazia who says "she does not like the idea of Facebook as she finds it too intrusive." I don't like Facebook much because it have less privacy. The positive point is that Facebook is the easiest way to connect with our friends and family. Most of the people use Facebook just for playing games and writing useless comments on other people's picture but some people take a great advantage like mentioned above "learning English" and they succeed in their life's. I would say that from some way Facebook is useless but in other way Facebook is a very effective learning tool.

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xhevichani1's picture
xhevichani1 28 December, 2012 - 12:05

Hello!!! :) I use many time in facebook,about 4-5 hours per Day !!! i I open facebook 3-4 years ago!!When i open for first time i used for game!!but now i use to speak with my friends !!! I meet many new frens for facebook and i like that!!! Learn new think !! Thanks!!

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Edona49's picture
Edona49 30 October, 2012 - 14:06

I like Facebook because I can talk to my friends,learn new things and look different pictures.Facebook is like a habit to me!Every time I turn on my computer,I go to Facebook page.

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Lejdi's picture
Lejdi 17 September, 2012 - 15:18

I think that we can use Facebook in a right way if we want but perhaps some of us use Facebook in a wrong way.Anyway,we can learn English better and better using Facebook.

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Sizar Torres's picture
Sizar Torres 27 August, 2012 - 12:44

Actually this blog was really beneficial.
As you mentioned Facebook can be very helpful and useful for many stuffs such us education .
For instance it was facebook who showed me British Council websites!and from that day I got many benefits and advantages. But apart from these I feel it's crucial not to share our personal details in Facebook.

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