Facebook junkies: it may be time to deactivate

Facebook is a great tool for connecting and socializing with friends, but it can also take over some people's lives. Photo courtesy of Austin Hazen

By: Lauren Harper

Recently, I reconnected with a friend from elementary school over Facebook. It was nice talking to her and catching up, but near the end of our conversation she hit me with some shocking news: she was deleting her Facebook account that day. She said that it was cool being able to chat with me after so many years, but Facebook had become too much of a distraction for her. With this, she then decided it was time to defriend Facebook.

As a teenager, I love being able to see what people are doing, looking at friends’ pictures, and interacting with people from other schools that I don’t get to see very often. Deleting my Facebook would be something that I could never imagine doing at this point in time.  Her news was very surprising to me because I think that teenage girls more than anyone are addicted to the site, but at the same time, I could understand from where she was coming. I admit that I get on when I probably shouldn’t, and it can be very distracting from my homework and studying at times. However, I have been able to find a healthy balance of the two.

The average teenager spends up to three hours online, with many of those hours being spent on Facebook. Knowing teens in Fort Mill, I’d say that three hours is a minimum for some people. When people don’t participate in sports, clubs, or other extracurricular activities, Facebook becomes their hobby and is what they enjoy doing with the majority of their time. This may not necessarily be a bad thing because it’s your life, so you can do what you want. But when it gets to the point where you’re updating your status, adding pictures, and writing on people’s walls every four minutes, personally, I think you need to find something else to do with your time.

As addicting as Facebook is, I think that my friend may have had a point when she decided to deactivate her Facebook. While I don’t think I will be doing this anytime soon, I do think that it’s potentially a very rewarding decision to cut yourself off if it becomes too much. Facebook has been compared to a drug in which you have to wean yourself off of in order to stop logging on, and I think that once you get to a certain point where you can’t responsibly manage your time between Facebook, schoolwork, and a life, it may be time to do this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way advising people to discontinue their Facebook use; I just think that people, especially teenagers, need to ensure that they aren’t getting too caught up in the digital world and can get their stuff done. Facebook may be a fantastic invention, but be sure that it’s not completely consuming your time. Remember: you did have a life before it.


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