Withdrawal From Stupidity

Here’s the deal. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. When I first got it in 2007, I thought I was the coolest chick around because everyone was still on Myspace. It was my thinking that only the coolest people made the switch to Facebook, leaving the socially handicapped to the older networks. I loved it. But then EVERYONE started coming onto Facebook around the start of 2009, and my love for Facebook slowly turned into abhorrence. I dreaded logging on every single day and being berated with annoying statuses. I don’t care what you’re eating. I don’t care what your schedule is for the day. I definitely don’t care that you’ve had a bad day and don’t want anyone to text you.

facebook-big-brother-is-watchingSo you may be wondering, why would I even keep my Facebook if I hated it so much? Well as a high school student, the pressure to be like everyone else was at an all-time high. So I kept my page because if I didn’t I’d be considered more socially handicapped than i deemed the people who remained on Myspace in 2007. Then, Facebook reached the old people. Just as I was about to graduate high school, excited about finally being able to delete my Facebook, all of my family members decided to get with the times and sign up for an account. I joked about deleting my account after graduation with my mother, and was met with a sad expression. “But Brianne,” she said quietly, “How will I know how you’re doing at school?”

So I had to keep it. And even though I completely hate its very existence, I check it several times a day. So when my professor told me I couldn’t use Facebook for an entire week, my first thought was “Great, now I don’t have to see the idiotic things people post.” But then I realized…I wouldn’t get to see the idiotic things people post. It was the thing that made me feel good- to know there were people out there who were dumber and more annoying than me.

Why am I so addicted to seeing the stupid shit other people post on Facebook? I feel like a normal person shouldn’t get joy from seeing how dumb the people around them are. It’s only been 4 days, but I’m constantly asking my roommate to tell me what certain people we’ve put on our “watch list” (they post the stupidest things) are saying.

Facebook and other social media sites are like a drug to people in our society. We’re obsessed with knowing where everyone is and what everyone’s doing at all possible times. It’s scary to me how dependent I’ve become on Facebook, despite my hatred for it. I’ve only just now come to terms with the fact that if I didn’t have a Facebook, I would go crazy wondering what everyone was doing. Needless to day, I’m extremely excited for this assignment to be over so I can get back to my hourly dose of stupidity.

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“I met my boyfriend on… Facebook?”

Everyone knows the girl who has met her boyfriend online. Whether it be through eHarmony, Match.com or Facebook, when she says this, she is being judged. Yes, she posts about her “perfect dates” and post pictures of her presents from her one and only, but have you met him? The answer is probably no. He just so happens to live in another state, and obviously, when he is here visiting, she wants to spend alone time with him. The more she talks about him, the more you nod and act like you’re listening, but in your head you’re thinking “Is this girl serious?”

In Seventeen Magazine’s May 2013 issue, there was a feature story about online dating and the reality of it. Though the article cannot be found online, there is a survey that can be taken about your online identity. The article proceeded to tell its audience about MTV’s new show Catfish.

 Catfish is show about online relationships. The host finds people who are currently involved with an online relationship and takes them to meet his or her lover for the first time. Out of the entire first season, one out of the twelve episodes actually ended up being the real, true person they portrayed to be.

So what does that mean for us? First, be yourself. This is something that we learn from day one; to be true to yourself. There are times when we may all be feeling down about ourselves, but there are many other ways to get a pick-me-up other than creating a fake profile. Second, watch what you say and who you trust. Meeting strangers can be dangerous. They can use your words against you. They can be lying to you, claiming they are someone who they are not. And finally, be smart and trust your instinct.

Struggling Without Facebook

I’ve had a Facebook for about 5 years now, and go on it consistently throughout the course of the day. While I rarely make posts of my own, I tend to use it to see how other people I know are doing, and what they’re up to. There’s been a variety of times that I was tempted to delete my Facebook to keep a small shadow of mystery, but each time I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Having to stop using facebook for over a week forclass, really opened my eyes to just how dependent I am on a website that I have a love/hate relationship with.

I deactivated my Facebook around 6pm on a Thursday night right after my professor assigned this project. Later that night, I went out and had a few drinks with friends. When I got home, I logged into Facebook as I normally would. I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong until saw a banner at the top of my newsfeed welcoming me back. I quickly deactivated it again, but what is even more scary is how much of a habit it has become to go right on Facebook when I get home (not to mention I’m using it on my iPhone while I’m out as well).

That next day I went to listen to music on Spotify, and it asked me to log in. It just so happens, that like many other applications, I am logged into Spotify through Facebook. Doing this actually reactivated my Facebook account once more, and this made me take a step back. Never before did I realize how engrained Facebook is into my lifestyle and habits. Even when you want to disregard Facebook, it’s as if its ghost is still able to haunt you through connections with other applications.fbookno

It’s only been 4 days so far without it, and I feel like something’s missing. Not only am I dealing with the surprisingly scary yearning to just log on and see if anyone has said anything to me, but it is also an alarming reality that I have created a serious digression in my routine. These days have seemed very long (and sadly, a bit more lonesome) without Facebook to numb my mind. I think that in my case, it is even more difficult because I don’t watch television in my downtime– I go on Facebook.

Now that the little free time I do have no longer consists of Facebook, I realize I have much more time on my hands. This couldn’t be a better time to deactivate it because the end of the semester is by far the most difficult and time taxing. Therefore, I can put more energy into my school work instead of wasting it scrolling though a sea of status updates.

Needless to say, I am thankful to have other applications such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to turn to while I’m away. This way I don’t feel entirely out of the loop. Still, I feel like something’s missing, and that is what alarms me. I’m more dependent on Facebook than I ever wanted to be, or ever thought I could be.