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Facebook, we have a problem
Get some perspective: kick the social network habit for a while
When I hear other students complain about how much work they have and about how little time they have to do it, my first instinct is to consider the possibility that they are currently suffering from a widespread addiction.
It is probably because I used to be addicted to Facebook that I immediately jump to that conclusion, instead of considering the possibility that some people really do take hard classes and take on time-consuming extracurricular activities. Let’s be honest though, most of you who find yourselves printing out your paper five minutes before class and pulling all-nighters to cram for exams are probably wasting a lot of time on a day-to-day basis. I believe that the Internet has surpassed all other mechanisms for wasting time. Video games and television show reruns no longer compare to the efficiency with which the Internet wastes your time and Facebook is the worst culprit. Unfortunately it is very addictive and breaking that addiction was not easy for me.
Of course the first step was admitting I had a problem. After that, the most difficult thing to overcome was my surfing routine. Every time I open my laptop there are websites I immediately go to, without even thinking. At present it goes Newyorkrangers.com, NHL.com, mail.quinnipiac.edu, and taboojive.com, in that order. Facebook used to be at the end of this cycle. I had taken my Facebook down a couple times before, but I didn’t know that there was a difference between permanently erasing it and temporarily taking it down. When you take it down temporarily, which is what I was doing, all you have to do is sign in like you normally do and it is automatically rebooted. Since I had my user name and password saved on the site, it was as simple as pressing enter twice at the end of my mindless routine. Instantly my Facebook was back up and I was wasting time “creeping.” This is a truly odd practice that has become gradually more socially acceptable.
Permanently taking down your Facebook is not easy. You are asked a question about why you are taking it down and that makes you question if you really want to. There is then a two-week period where you are allowed to stop it from being erased. I often found myself back on the main Facebook page thanks to my Internet routine. I even tried to sign in a couple of times. Thankfully a message popped up explaining that I was in the process of erasing the page altogether. I made the right choice every time I decided to keep my Facebook from being restarted.
Even now I find myself typing in facebook.com every once in a while. I can tell that that habit is progressively getting less powerful because I stop myself sooner and sooner. The last time I almost relapsed, I only got to the “e” before I realized that I no longer have a Facebook page.
I truly believe that the impersonal forms of communication, like text messaging and instant messaging (which you can do on Facebook), are responsible for the weakening social skills evident in our generation. For that reason I think everyone should consider that they would be more comfortable socializing if they did not spend so much time on Facebook. I’m not suggesting that everyone get off Facebook. Like any addiction, there are some people who can better control their urges. It is a great tool for networking, but unfortunately there are those of us who would be better off sacrificing that networking tool in the interest of becoming productive and sociable. I promise those who decide to kick the habit that those improvements in your life would be the only symptoms of withdrawal you would experience.