The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Facebook Wastes Limited Time

3 min read

Have you ever stopped to think about how much time you spend, or should I say waste, using the computer? If you’re anything like me, the answer is entirely too much. If I spent half as much time being productive as I do procrastinating on the computer, I probably wouldn’t be rambling about it in this article.

I am certainly not a fan of drama, but I’ll be the first to admit that most of the useless information I find out about college parties, who’s dating who and who hooked up last weekend comes from Facebook.

I don’t think it’s possible to design a more addictive social networking site. I’m not into the “apps” as they’re called, but if I wanted to plant a garden and invite you to harvest my crops on FarmVille, I most certainly could.

The virtual world of applications has become so popular that you can do everything from post a bumper sticker on a friend’s wall to vote someone “Most Likely to Get Caught Wearing a Bunny Costume for No Apparent Reason” with the click of a button.

If applications aren’t your style, you can join the People Against Ridiculous Facebook Applications group to express your disapproval.

Groups can be created for things such as celebrities, sporting events and even food. My personal favorite, for reasons only my close friends understand, is a group called Everything is Better with Peanut Butter.

What makes Facebook so appealing is that it offers a little something for everyone. There are downloadable songs for the aspiring musician, video upload capabilities so you can show your 700 friends how drunk your roommate was at Homecoming, and a chat option which can be turned on and off to see who is on the site at any given time.

Thanks to the birthday reminder in the top right corner of the screen, I’ve managed to remember every friend’s birthday for the past three years.

Despite its versatility, I truly believe that Facebook has taken the word “stalking” to a whole new level. It has gotten to the point where I’ve stumbled upon complete strangers and learned more about them through reading the “Info” section on their profile than I would ever learn by actually meeting them face-to-face.

Just a side note: it’s really not necessary to tell the world what you like to eat for breakfast, what you do every day after work, or the names and ages of the three cats you’ve had since you were a child.

In some ways, it is a little unsettling to think that, at any given time, someone could be looking at your profile pictures, reading the wall-to-wall conversations between you and your boyfriend, or glancing at your photo albums to see what you looked like back in high school.

Although it’s strange when your ex-best friend’s dad decides to “friend” you, and embarrassing when your third cousin once removed tags you in those awful Christmas pictures from five years ago, no one can deny the excitement of getting a mysterious inbox message from the cute boy in your Biology class or a “poke” from an old friend.

Even though Facebook has the ability to ruin lives and destroy relationships, I still believe it does more good than harm.

In some instances, ignorance is bliss but personally, I’d rather be aware of the latest gossip instead of completely oblivious. With 500 million members and counting, I think it’s safe to say neither Facebook, nor our obsession, is going away any time soon.