Facebook has become such a pervasive force in modern society that increasing numbers of employers, and even some psychologists believe people who aren’t on social networking sites are “suspicious”.
The German magazine Der Taggspiegel went so far as to point out that accused theater shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik have common ground in their lack of Facebook profiles.
On a more tangible level, Forbes.com reports that human resources departments across the country are becoming more wary of young job candidates who don’t use the site.
The common concern among bosses is that a lack of Facebook could mean the applicant’s account could be so full of red flags that it had to be deleted.
Slate.com tech reporter Farhad Manjoo wrote in an advice column that young people shouldn’t date anyone who isn’t on Facebook.
“If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag,” he says.
Farhad Manjoo points out that these judgements don’t apply to older people who were already productive adults before social media became widespread.
The tech news site Slashdot summed up Der Taggspiegel’s story about social networking as “not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer”.
It points out that James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and an unborn child and wounding 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people with a car bomb and mass shooting, did not use Facebook and had small online footprints.
Anders Breivik used MySpace and James Holmes was reportedly on the hookup site Adult Friend Finder.
Psychologist Christopher Moeller told the magazine that using Facebook has become a sign of having a healthy social network.
Psychologists have noted that James Holmes, along with several noted mass murderers, have lacked any real friends.
And this is what the argument boils down to: It’s the suspicion that not being on Facebook, which has become so normal among young adults, is a sign that you’re abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous, ways.