Want to Join Me in Facebook Rehab?
I’ve been contemplating something recently — a small change to my daily routine that could be quite healthy and beneficial.
I’m considering going on a Facebook diet.
This isn’t just some “give it up for Lent” kind of thing. I gave up sweets for Lent, and while I did torturously but successfully make it to the end of the 40 days without consuming a single luscious treat from the downtown Ice Cream Parlor, my life has already returned to normal. I managed to keep my sweet tooth dormant for six long and withdrawal-filled weeks, but it hadn’t really gone anywhere.
That situation was temporary. My Facebook diet idea is going to be a lifestyle adjustment. I’m going to have to commit completely to the cause.
Why a “Facebook diet”? Because what began for me as a simple profile with 87 friends only four years ago has now multiplied into a massive network of nearly a thousand people. It’s too tempting to spend hours “liking” statuses, clicking through pictures and scrolling through hundreds of profiles.
Probably around 80 percent of my friends, teenagers and adults alike, have a Facebook account. More than half of them are on Facebook upwards of two hours a day. Yes, I often fall into this category. Guilty as charged.
Evidently, Facebook is not just some website. For many, including me, it feels like an addiction. My news feed, my notifications, my inbox messages, comments on my photos — I crave it all. As in I feel like I absolutely have to check back in every hour or so.
Heaven forbid I leave cyberspace for five minutes and miss 10 different conversations involving my friends, who now have something to talk about the next day while I have to awkwardly ask, “Hey, what are you guys talking about? Did I miss something?”
“Well,” they will say, “obviously you did. The entire rest of the world knows. Where were you all last night? Hiding under a rock?”
Unfortunately I have no definite explanation for said addiction. Thank you kindly, Mark Zuckerberg.
I’ll admit, Facebook is useful in many ways. Connecting with old friends, talking to people halfway around the globe, publicizing events, promoting public figures, getting your entire phone book back within five minutes when your old cell phone breaks — you get the picture. But is it becoming too much of a good thing, especially for a high school senior juggling classes and numerous extracurricular activities?
It’s difficult to yank my protesting self away from Facebook every night to do my calculus problems and my 75 pages of art history reading. I’m often awake until the wee hours of the morning because I couldn’t fight the Facebook temptation.
I think Facebook is comparable to indulgences like eating chocolate and sweet foods — best enjoyed in moderation and very easy to overdo. So I’m going to try a little experiment. Effective immediately, I will allow myself to log in to Facebook every day only one time, look for any interesting news, and then log off after half an hour. Afterward, Facebook is forbidden for the rest of the day.
Let me know if you want to join me in Facebook rehab. All ages welcome.
Sarah Brown is a senior at The O’Neal School and has been accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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