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Commentary: The end of an addiction

Kristen Campbell, Editor in Chief

Access to more than 500 million profiles of people around the world is just a click away on Facebook.

From photos of family vacations and college parties to up-to-date statuses, almost anyone can view what Facebook users have to say.

Of course, everyone knows the security and privacy issues an online social network presents, and a lot of users take the precautions to allow only friends and networks to view posted content.

But as Sean Dillon said in his speech at convocation, if we are not careful future employers have access to content that may cost us a job.

Facebook also provides an easy way of keeping in contact with friends and connecting with people internationally.

The website even includes games and quizzes for users’ entertainment.

However, everybody has experienced a time when we have an extensive essay due, or in my case a 500 word article, and we are not inspired to write.

Conveniently, laptops and computers have an internet connection to provide us with entertainment away from schoolwork.

During my freshman year at ULV, I found myself using Facebook as a getaway from homework.

In the middle of writer’s block, I would use keyboard shortcuts to open my Facebook homepage.

Two hours later, I would have played Family Feud, updated my status four times, commented on my friends’ photos, read the latest celebrity gossip and had only typed the byline on my article.

I was addicted to Facebook, keeping “in the know” of everyone’s business, and my articles were being thrown together last minute.

I updated my status a minimum of three times a day because I would hear or think of something funny, and every time I took photos, they would get posted within 24 hours.

During second semester I took a step back and realized I was using Facebook at the wrong times and it was going to eventually have a negative effect on my studies.

Frankly I did not care that my friend’s relationship status changed to “single.”

My dad put my newfound opinion of Facebook perfectly.

“Honestly, I do not care that my friend had a bad day at work. You wouldn’t tell your boss you hated your job, so why tell the world?” he said.

Debating whether I needed my profile to keep in touch with friends, I recognized the friends I talked to on the website were the ones I talked to daily without the internet.

A week before the termination of my Facebook addiction, I obviously updated my status three times daily to tell everyone I was leaving Facebook within the next month.

I was greeted with comments of “you’ll be missed” and “why are you doing this?” among many others.

One of my friend’s comments completely pushed me over the edge.

“Saying you are going to quit Facebook is like saying you are going to commit suicide. It sounds like a good idea until you actually get around to doing it,” he said.

On May 12, three weeks before my planned date, I went into my account settings and pushed the deactivate button.

Since that day I have not looked back for fear I will be sucked into the black hole again, like my sister was the very week I got out.

She is just as addicted to Facebook as I once was, even checking status updates on the Verizon Fios television widget during commercials.

Walk into any computer lab on campus and 90 percent of the screens will have the familiar blue and white Facebook homepage on it.

And for the ones that do not, I am fairly positive it is on a minimized screen or another Internet tab.

Although I do not get the constant updates on friends, the ones who care about me take the time to contact me if something important happens or is happening soon.

And to be completely truthful, I do not miss my addiction.

Quitting, or at least cutting down on, social networking can be done successfully.

I have extra time now, school has never been easier and I can manage a social life, without the Internet.

Kristen Campbell, a sophomore journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at kristen.campbell@laverne.edu.

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