By: Amy Tatnall
The semester is winding down, my work is cranking up and that means it’s time to get down to business and get things done. I need to be productive now more than ever, and in order for that to happen I need to cut out the things that constantly distract me. The number one offender: Facebook. I must admit that I, just like so many others on this campus, am shamelessly addicted to Facebook. It has consumed more hours of my life than I ever care to calculate and it is my number one go-to distraction whenever I need to “take a break” from my work.
Whenever I log on to my computer there are a few routine steps I have to go through before I can start anything productive: check all of my e-mail accounts, read up on any and all interesting Yahoo news blurbs, check Textsfromlastnight and Whenparentstext, check Twitter and, of course, check Facebook. While all of the other sites can be scanned pretty quickly, checking Facebook is always a gamble. Sometimes it just takes a quick glance before I’m good to go, other times I become unavoidably sucked in for embarrassingly long periods of time. Unfortunately, it isn’t until after all of these sites have been checked that I can even attempt to start whatever it is that I needed my computer for in the first place. So, you can see where the problem arises…
The first time I boot up my computer after swearing off Facebook I find myself automatically gravitating towards the bookmark tab I have for it on my toolbar. (Yes, it’s bookmarked for easy access.) It’s right there, I just want to click it. Just to check in on my friends, and the world. Make sure that it’s all still there. I resist the urge and continue on with my work. I find however that I’m steadily thinking of more and more things that I wanted to check on Facebook, and the act of denying myself the site is probably more distracting than if I were actually on it. It’s a vicious cycle.
Not only do I have to resist clicking the Facebook tab on my computer, but unfortunately the site has made its way to my phone as well. Double torture. Stepping away from my computer doesn’t free me from the temptation, and I probably check it more on my phone than anywhere else. I never noticed that it seems to be my go-to thing to check whenever I have a few free moments. Apparently I constantly need to know what everyone is doing at all hours of the day.
Restricting myself from Facebook has also made me realize how frustrating a response “Just check Facebook” is as an answer to a question. This answer tells me nothing, and instead it reminds me of something that I’m temporarily not allowed to do! Why can’t we just tell each other things in person without directing them to Facebook? But I’ve noticed how often we all say it in conversation. Want to know what that girl’s new boyfriend looks like? Check Facebook. What time does the party start? Check Facebook. Need to know someone’s birthday? It’s on Facebook. But for those of us who are temporarily distancing ourselves from Facebook we quickly become out of the loop. Now that so many events are coordinated and advertised through Facebook, not having an account can actually keep you from a lot of important information. I guess that even with all of the trouble that Facebook can cause it’s ultimately better for one to have an account than not.
Just like all great relationships, I think our temporary separation did me some good, but now I’m happy to be reunited. The time apart gave me time to reflect as well as the opportunity to be productive but, as it turns out, Facebook isn’t the reason for my inability to focus. So, I guess you can’t blame Facebook for everything.