The idea of this article from the NY Times is that in college, one meets a lot of people one wouldn’t otherwise, usually in your dorm or as a roommate. There’s value in this, as

David R. Harris…studied roommates and found…that white students who were assigned a roommate of a different race ended up more open-minded about race.

College is a time to explore and expand your horizons. Meet a new circle of friends. Be introduced to new ideas, new viewpoints, and occasionally, try on “…each other’s values and beliefs, just to see how they fit.” If we lose that chance to explore another way of living and thinking, when else will we have it? Perhaps the most important thing college gives us is the chance to explore, mentally, physically and emotionally. Our twenties are the “time of our lives”, the time for experimentation. The time when mistakes can be forgiven, swept under the rug.

But if we attempt to control random fate too much by making friends ahead of meeting people on sites like Facebook, roomsync and roomsurf, Conley asserts, we lose randomness and the serendipity of meeting people and being exposed to ideas we wouldn’t otherwise be.

I would agree that that is probably a bad thing. There’s nothing like a living, breathing human being who is passionate about an ideology that is the polar opposite of yours that one, sparks brilliant debates and two, introduces you to a new way of thinking.

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