I hadn’t written a single word of my seven-page paper on the night I finally gave in to Facebook. Even worse, I had exhausted every last one of my normal procrastination resources.I had already picked up my room, paced around my house, watched a couple episodes of “Sex & the City” on DVD, baked a cake and scrubbed the bathroom sink with an old toothbrush. I whined until my roommates told me to go away. I sat on my bed and thought defamatory things about my professor.
I’d known about the Facebook, that amazing vortex of social networking and time-suckage, for about a year. One by one, my friends fell into its grasp. They went on and on about how much fun it was to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.
I’m a firm believer that some friends aren’t meant to hang around for a lifetime. I keep in touch with about a dozen people from high school, and I love them dearly. They’re the type of friends to whom I wouldn’t hesitate to give a kidney.
There are also a lot of people I grew up with who can eat rocks and die, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t need a Web site to help me figure that out. Besides, the whole “friending” system smacked of middle school note passing and smarmy homecoming candidates needling for votes.
Nevertheless, in that moment of avoidance and desperation, I stepped off my soapbox and logged on. I started by adding my TCU friends, then added my closest friends from high school. Then things got out of control.
I added everyone – that kid from my freshman English class who I thought was awesome, even though he thought Incubus was better than Weezer; the junior high crush who never said more than 10 words to me; even a couple of TCU professors.
This was new. This was exciting. The kids who didn’t want me on their third-grade kickball team now wanted to be my friends, and I was down with that. People I hadn’t spoken to in years started sending me messages about how they missed me and how great I looked without the baby fat.
While my friends list expanded and my ego swelled, I started to compare my choices with my former classmates’. I haven’t gotten engaged, arrested or knocked up, which seem to be the top three activities for my high school classmates. I don’t even drink too much.
I started using little breaks in my day to catch up with the Web site. I had breakfast with Facebook in front of the computer. Facebook made me late to staff meeting the other day, although I probably shouldn’t admit that to my editors.
The time commitment made me start to wonder whether my new addiction was really worth it. Were my 145 online friends really improving my life? I still went to class, put off my homework, went to Taco Bueno too much and hung out with my roommates. I hadn’t met anyone new or learned anything substantial about old friends.
And so I’ve come to the conclusion that my life may not be better and it may not be worse, but I’m definitely superior at wasting time.
Design editor Lacey Krause is a senior periodical design major from Emporia, Kan.