Hard-hitting issues on hold as Facebook protests rise

Megan Moore

Some say young adults are more concerned with personal affairs

When Facebook unveiled its new layout last week, students immediately protested the change – causing some to question students’ activism priorities.

Since then, numerous groups protesting the new layout have formed, including “1,000,000 Against The New Facebook Layout!” that currently has more than 2.4 million members.

Even so, Sarah Blei, sophomore public relations major, said she does not understand why so many students are protesting the layout change.

“The new Facebook is hard to navigate and I’ll get used to it, but overall I’m not that concerned about it,” Blei said.

Denzel Benson, professor emeritus of sociology, said despite banks failing last week, it’s not surprising that students may be more concerned about Facebook.

“It’s not unusual for people who are not in their adult years … to be somewhat more concerned with things that affect their specific daily lives than something which is perhaps much larger in nature,” Benson said.

This isn’t the case for everyone, he said, but a majority of the younger generation is preoccupied with more immediate and personal concerns.

Sophomore exploratory major Jessica Lanzarotta said students are seeking to focus their attention toward lighter conflicts rather than the hard-hitting political issues.

“I think there has been so much election coverage that people are sick of hearing about it, so when something new happens, they turn their focus toward that instead of more important things,” Lanzarotta said.

Still, Thom Yantek, associate professor of political science, said current students rely on technology and social networking Web sites for their everyday lives.

“Between iPods and cell phones, I would say at least two out of every three students I see walking on this campus is engaged in one of those two activities, either listening to music or talking on a cell phone,” he said. “So it seems that clearly you guys are more engaged.

“You spend more time with electronic media than certainly any previous generation.”

Contact news correspondent Megan Moore at [email protected].