I’m making some serious changes and they are going to begin with the bookmarks bar on my computer. Facebook, the most distracting, useless, yet seemingly addictive bookmark on my bookmarks bar needs to go.
It’s mind-numbingly frustrating, but I can’t stop. We’ve all been there. Either studying up in the library or even in class— don’t lie I’ve seen you do it. We check Facebook, and when we see the little red notification, our hearts start to beat a little faster. Aw, man, it’s only a stupid game request. What a buzz kill.
So, here’s how Facebook SUCKS and is robbing us. It’s starting to replace real relationships. Everyone has heard it while pretending not to eavesdrop. “Oh my God, he added me on Facebook.” “Omg I liked his status, I think it was about me.” Please, stop this madness. A face to face conversation will be so much better than a Facebook chat with that familiar little ding. Another reason Facebook sucks: My attention span has significantly decreased. Going from Facebook to Twitter every five minutes is exhausting. It’s completely taken away my ability to focus on one thing for longer than five minutes. I am trying my very best to avoid Facebook right now as I write.
We’re in college and we’re the future of this country. It scares me immensely that this generation is losing its attention span and ability to create meaningful social relationships. College is an extremely social environment and some may argue Facebook helps us keep up with that social environment. But to be honest, I’m calling bullshit on that one. I’ve seen pictures of my mom in college. They don’t feature her standing at a party with her smart phone out checking her Facebook notifications or putting up pictures of her and her roommate doing the duck face (yes, I’ve been guilty of this). Instead, they feature her mid-laughter, no phone in sight, surrounded by a group of people who seem to be totally and completely engaged, attention spans in full force, no distractions.
Another thing that worries me is the pick-up line that was used on me last week. “You should stalk me on Facebook.” Are you serious? My God, what is this world coming to?
Twitter is not getting off scot-free here, either. I know a few people who use Twitter as a passive aggressive way to tell others they are pissing them off. This is referred to as sub-tweeting, I believe? Again, we are the future generation. How scary is it that our future could involve husbands and wives duking it out with passive-aggressive hashtags on twitter. And why does anyone but your roommate have the right to hear about how she is annoying you this week? Grow up and tell her in person. Our feelings and relationships have become coded messages for who knows how many eyes to see. Personal has become public. An “I love you, baby” post on my friend’s wall is viewable for me? Why? Why should I be involved in that personal interaction that rightfully only belongs to her?
What should we do about this? Well some of us will continue on as usual, denying the fact that there is a problem. Sure, be my guest, but please, for all of us, sit in the back of the lecture hall. I don’t want to read your news feed when I’m trying to listen to the professor spew his wonderful words of wisdom. I don’t want to hear about what Suzy did last night because quite frankly, I don’t give a shit. Nor do I want to know what you listened to on Spotify or ate for dinner. And if it’s snowing, I can probably figure that out through the magic of sight, or, hey, even the news! Status updates about your philosophy on life? Don’t Care. Became mayor in Cityville? Congratulations, but still... I don’t care. Made these delicious chocolate chip muffins? Cool... tell me as you’re handing them to me.
Facebook is brainwashing us, and call me crazy, but for the next month I am getting rid of Facebook. I am going to force myself to have face-to-face relationships and to pay attention in class. The news is going to replace my Facebook bookmark. Imagine all the time spent on Facebook that could be replaced with learning about what’s going on around us. Yes, it takes a lot more effort for me to read an article about what Congress is up to this week than to read someone’s status about their recent heartbreak, but I think it will be well worth it. Are you up for the challenge? I know I am. It’s going to be extremely hard, and I might totally fail, but I’m going for it. Hopefully this month will help me forge greater personal relationships and curb my Facebook addiction. I’m guessing my increased time spent watching and reading the news will make me a more intelligent and informed college student even if I don’t know what Suzy had for dinner last night from her Instagrammed picture on my “news” feed.
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Haleigh is junior studying political science. This is her first opinion column, what did you think? Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.