Facebook: a cyber drug (Miranda Mason)

When you first enter the world of Facebook, you are dazzled by the fun, the friends, and the inexplicable grown-up feeling Facebook makes gives you. For Freshman Jane*, it was no different when she first logged on to Facebook a few months after her thirteenth birthday.

“Oh my gosh. It’s so cool, I’m so grown up,” were Jane’s first thoughts as she explored the famous social networking site.

As time went on, Jane got more and more involved on Facebook. She chatted with friends, posted status updates, and liked tons of links. At first glance, Facebook was a perfect way to entertain herself and keep in touch with friends, but soon it became clear that not everything was sunshine and rainbows when it came to Facebook.

Jane recognized that she was addicted about a month after she first got a profile. “I realized the days seemed too short, and I realized where that time was going,” Jane said. “I got on Facebook two to three times a day for forty-five minutes to an hour each time.” Facebook addiction may not seem as destructive as an addiction to a hard drug, but there are still major consequences of becoming a cyber junkie. According to CNN’s article, 5 Clues You Are Addicted To Facebook, addicts will typically lose sleep over Facebook, spend more than an hour a day on the site, become obsessed with old loves, and get in a cold sweat at the thought of going off-line. All of these consequences can lead to even more problems.

Jane would ignore schoolwork in favor of Facebook, and this could have led to a major decline in her grades. Luckily, she realized there was a problem and worked to make a change before too much damage could be done, making a conscious effort to cut down on her online time.

“I started going on [Facebook] less and less everyday,” Jane said, when asked how she broke free of her Facebook binds. Now, Jane only goes online once a day for about thirty minutes and has time for more important things like schoolwork and friends.

When asked for some parting wisdom to kick the Facebook habit, Jane said, “Don’t quit cold turkey, it will never work. Back away from it slowly.”

*Name has been changed

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