Turning my back on Facebook

I spend too much of my time on Facebook.

Each day when I get back to my room after class I plop down, grab my computer and in this order, check my e-mail, check Blackboard and log onto Facebook.

If my computer is open, in one tab or another, I’m chatting with friends and avoiding homework.

I finally asked my roommate to change my password and not tell me what it is.

Quitting Facebook for a few weeks has made me think: is it really worth it to have one? What is so addictive about social networking that the minute I log on, I find it impossible to hit ‘logout’?

Since I’ve stopped using Facebook, I’ve noticed I don’t use my computer nearly as much and I actually get homework done.

Although when I’m bored now, I end up watching television. I’m not mindlessly lurking on the lives of  people I hardly know.

According to mashable.com contributor Adam Ostrow, “sites like Facebook and Twitter now account for 22.7% of time spent on the Web.”

It’s scary to think that I spend nearly a quarter of my time on the Internet skulking around Facebook.

I find it odd that I can know precisely what all of my friends are doing every minute of every day. It seems voyeuristic. I don’t need to know this much about my friends.  Being so innately connected to what my friends are doing is strange.

I started realizing that Facebook has taken the joy out of many of my personal relationships. When my friends try to tell me about something that happened, I already know about it, thanks to my never-ending news feed. There are no more surprises.

Even when I quarantine myself from Facebook, I am surrounded by all my friends, informing me of the latest news feed drama. No matter where I go, I am constantly bombarded by Facebook, one way or another.

I hate being so permanently connected to everyone around me. Although I do not enjoy being alone, I do enjoy the simple pleasure of gossip because it means socializing with others face-to-face. I miss personally interacting with my friends and family.

Since I’ve come to college, I do a bulk of my communicating with my parents through texting and e-mails. Although I’m thankful for these communication methods, I am bothered by the fact that I talk to almost all of my friends and family through texting or Facebook messages and comments. It is not impossible for us to meet up in person, yet we always end up talking through the Internet.

Not only am I bothered by the lack of face-to-face communication, but also by Facebook as a whole.

It isn’t a very secure website. The newest security settings sell your profile information to companies that correspond with your interests so they may tailor their ads to your liking. That is plain creepy. All ads appeal to my eye, but when I notice that the ads surrounding my profile are all based on pages I’ve “liked,” I get uncomfortable.  Not to mention the epic security breech Facebook had last May, when, “users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations,” New York Times writer Jenna Wortham wrote.

Facebook’s response to this glitch was that its website is not ‘perfect.’ I don’t expect the website to be flawless, but it should be secure.

With millions and millions of users, I want to be sure that I can have multiple chat conversations with my friends without worrying that a stranger could visit my page and know what I discuss with my closest friends.

After such serious glitches in the past, and Facebook offering up members’ information to the World Wide Web, I find myself seriously doubting if I plan to re-instate my page.

After a few days away from the social networking site, I am left wondering: do I need Facebook as much as I think I do? No, not really.