Facebook: The social disease

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photo illustration by AJ Cann

By Emily Varno
We all know how it goes: mindless clicking, endless scrolling, pointless reading of things we don’t even care about. We are the Facebook generation, and we’re taking it too far.
“I use Facebook a couple times a day, but I still think it’s very overused,” says sophomore Gina DiTommaso. “I gave it up for Lent and didn’t really miss it. I think it causes a lot of drama and jealousy and impacts self-esteem and confidence. I honestly think not using it for that long made me realize life goes on and if someone really needs to talk to you, there are more direct ways of communication.”
These days, though, Facebook seems to control our lives. We have it at our disposal wherever we go: on the laptops we bring to class, on the iPods and cell phones that we have on us at all times. Many advertisements now, online or on TV, say something like, “Like us on Facebook!” or “Be the first of your friends to like this!”
But when it comes down to it, what difference does it make whether we like this or that, or have 1,037 “friends,” or update our statuses every five minutes, or upload hundreds of pictures just for the sake of those 1,037 people seeing them and possibly saying something about them?
“When I got to college, I didn’t have a Facebook and I didn’t want one,” says senior Dan Schmaelzle. “My roommates actually made it for me; they wanted me to have one because everyone else was getting them at that point. Now I go on once every two weeks or so, mainly to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away. If it wasn’t for that I’d probably never use it.”
It seems that most college students who use it know that Facebook wastes their time. It’s as if we believe that if we keep scrolling, clicking, reading, posting, commenting, liking and sharing, we’re going to get something extremely worthwhile out of it, something terribly important that all our other duties and responsibilities can wait for. Of course we know this isn’t true, but it’s to the point now where this has become a habit, so we don’t even realize how much of our own time we’re actually wasting.
“I go on Facebook several times a day out of pure curiosity,” says sophomore Kylie Martin. “I definitely think it’s used too much, I’m totally guilty of that. People’s’ lives basically revolve around it. I know this, but it’s so addictive! I know it’s pointless and there’s really nothing important to see, but I just can’t stay away.”