By Chelsey Albert – Cougar News Contributor
Facebook has undeniably changed our lives. Since its birth in 2004, this social network site has worked its way from Harvard University to the computers, and mobile phones, of millions around the world.
It is easy to see the appeal of Facebook. It allows users to upload pictures of themselves, publish their thoughts and activities instantly, and stay in contact with their peers. When does convenient contact become an unhealthy obsession? Are we as students paying more attention to our Facebook status than the status of the world around us?
Some student’s seem to think so. “I would probably get my stuff done a lot quicker if I wasn’t always on Facebook,” said Tyler Glazebrook. In fact, his situation is hardly unique. Many other students have the same problem with Facebook distraction, including myself. As I write this article, my Facebook home page is open and running in the background.
Distraction is not a new threat to students. Television, music, and parties have presented challenges to the completion of homework assignments in the past, but Facebook has an added allure — there is no escape from it. In the Dark Ages, also referred to as “The 90s”, students could simply retire to a quiet room and complete their Internet research in peace. Facebook, however, is embedded in the Internet, and temptation is persistent and inevitable.
Critics of Facebook make the claim that social network addiction encourages, and is a way to exercise narcissism. This claim is based on the ability to change one’s status as often as they please “I see these people posting ‘Just ate lunch,’ then 20 minutes later the same person says that they’re at the mall. How is that important and why do you think I care?,” said Samantha McAdam.
We have all seen posts that resemble the one that Samantha mentioned, and many of us are guilty of posting one occasionally. Is this narcissism? We associate people who constantly talk about themselves as narcissistic; therefore, if posts that are a minute-by-minute account of one’s day are reflective of “excessive self-love,” then they might be considered narcissistic.
Why do we feel the need to attend to our Facebook profiles so obsessively? After all, is there a status update that is so vital that it cannot wait for one hour? Perhaps it goes back to the hatred of homework that all students harbor, or maybe we truly are addicted to constantly checking up on what everybody else is doing. Only time and psychiatric testing will be able to truly determine the answer.
One thing is certain – Facebook is not evil. What we choose to post, how long we spend on the site, and how our daily lives, even how our grades are affected is determined by each of us individually. It is our responsibility to recognize when we have a problem, and as with any addiction, admitting you have a problem is the first step.