Minnesota, USA -September 28, 2011 - Social networking is not only used to connect with friends and make friends, but people are also turning to it to plan out specific parts of their lives to create the 'ideal' living situations; for instance, students are connecting with others in groups or sites like roomsurf.com in order to find a roommate that best meets their needs. After all, the traditional way of matching up sleeping times, cleaning habits and other basic criteria is not enough anymore; people may have the same pattern but clash in personality. Instead of leaving anything to chance, students are taking the situation into their own hands and creating the life that they want.
Facebook started years before I entered college, yet I did not have a lot of comfort over meeting other students online who would go to my school; obviously it is creepy to think of coming in direct face-to-face contact. But the students entering college now started their lives online earlier than I did; connecting with random people and meeting up with them is not as intimidating to them. Although the action of finding someone online and becoming roommates is not entirely new, it is social networking that helps connect people in ways so that they know whether there are others that are truly their 'match'.
At first glance, this new way may appear to be sent from Heaven; however, not everyone has the same positive feelings towards it. The critics of it tend to preach that it is encouraging people to meet only those who meet their exact interests and preferences; in most cases, roommates will turn out to be the same race, economic class, and other similarities. As true as this may be, it ignores the fact that some people may be seeking a 'diversified' arrangement. We do not all want to live with anyone who is always similar to us. As most of us learn at some point in life, we do not always get along with others and sometimes there is clashing.
In addition, people cannot be exactly the same, so there will always be challenges; it is not to say that students are avoiding the situations where they must learn how to manage conflict or negotiate; students simply want to avoid having the roommate who they know will cause constant problems and possibly turn the year or semester into a horror movie.
We should take lessons from these new college students and use social networking to connect with others to set up living arrangements and other similar life assignments; however, we must also be cautious because there is always a danger in meeting anyone online. We must not limit ourselves due to possible danger. Before we meet anyone, we can always do full background checks; this way, we can be confident in our decisions and be in a happier living arrangement.