‘Thefacebook’ is unneeded distraction

It’s sweeping college campuses around the nation. SPU, resilient at first, has recently succumbed to its mephitic corruption. At least ten guys on my floor have been infected in the past three or four days. And now it’s after me.

I’ve done everything I can to fight it, everything I can to keep it from me, but it’s moving fast and closing in, ready to kill.

I’m speaking, of course, about the one thing that has the power to destroy the academic, social and emotional life of a student.


For those of you that haven’t yet heard about thefacebook, count yourselves blessed. Stop reading this article immediately, pack up your things and head for a small village in Fiji. If you stick around, you’ll be tempted to fall, just as tempted as I have been. For those of you that have already yielded, your spirits beaten — to you I give my pity.

Thefacebook is an online database that serves to keep people socially networked and connected. Each member has a personal page that displays everything from favorite movies to favorite music, and each page is viewable by all other registered users of thefacebook. Made especially for colleges and universities, this new phenomenon is growing more popular by the second.

Most of you are probably saying, "yeah, yeah, but why on earth is that a bad thing?" Well, let me tell you.

I’m good at exercising self control, and I’ve always prided myself in that fact. When I don’t want to do something, it doesn’t happen. But I have to admit — thefacebook makes me more nervous than I’ve been in a long time, because I’ve seen what it can do. Thefacebook has tyrannically enslaved the hearts of my friends, subjugating their very wills to countless hours of Internet obsession and procrastination. The guy across the hall from me, Graham, refreshes his facebook page every ten or fifteen minutes to see if he has any new "friends" or "comments." Now that’s what I’m worried about.

Finals are swiftly approaching, and that usually means one thing for the SPU campus. People have more to do than ever, and just as many ways to put things off. Do we really need a new procrastination monster?

I had a lot to do this last weekend, and I decided that I could take my time doing it. So I watched all three of the original "Star Wars" movies. Not in a row, mind you, but over the course of a few days. Luke, Han, Vader and the Ewoks pleasantly took my mind off the overwhelming pile of work I had. But when the end credits of "The Return of the Jedi" moved triumphantly across the screen, I knew what I had to do. The procrastination was over. The time to work had come.

A facebook junkie, on the other hand, would have frittered away countless more hours, worrying terribly over how large their friend list was, or over how many groups they were in. Thefacebook gives procrastination addicts an easy way out.

Luckily, I haven’t jumped on thefacebook bandwagon. And you know what, I’m not going to.

So my charge to you is this: if you haven’t fallen yet, be strong. You can do it. You don’t have to give in to this new procrastination device. You’ve probably already got plenty that will suffice, and fortunately, you’ll be able to drag yourself away when the time comes to do some work.

And if you’re already a facebook dependant, well, do your best to eat a few times and sleep a few hours. Remember that there’s an outside world, a world away from your computer, a world with real people and real conversations and real opportunities.

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Title: ‘Thefacebook’ is unneeded distraction | Author: Matt Bollinger | Section: Opinions | Published Date: 2005-03-09 | Internal ID: 4414