It’s Monday, and I’m sitting through ANOTHER boring lecture, this one about how to properly treat our ‘residence halls’ (makes it sound so much nicer than the sweaty, dirty building it is, right?) and what could happen if we get caught inebriated (aka drunk, smashed, hammered, ‘slizzered’ wasted, etc. etc.). Myself and the girl next to me let out an uninterested sigh at the same time, and we catch each other’s gazes and smile. Soon we’re talking about our dorm, and the freshman girl who got sent to the hospital on the first night of school for alcohol poisoning. Inside I’m cheering because I met another normal person. However I see the relationship hangs on the balance when she asks for my last name so she can add me on Facebook.
“Mmm, I don’t have a Facebook.” I try to say in the most positive light.
Her eyebrows rise in surprise.
This happens about twice a day in college. I get it. Social media has become a part of everyone’s daily life, even my 60-year-old great aunt is “on the Twitter!”. What scares me is how dependent we have become on it.
I go to hang out in a friend’s dorm room and five girls in there are on their laptops, on Facebook. Isn’t that annoying?! Why are you talking to people online when we are in the room with you?
Why must you document every college moment with a snapshot and then upload it? You realize you don’t look cute in your pajamas unloading your massive supply of Pop Tarts and Easy Mac, and that it probably isn’t smart to post pictures of a greasy you holding a Coors light in a crowded basement. People have the need to post every moment of their day to show how much fun they’re having at college. And if they don’t talk about it then people must assume that nothing’s happening with them or that they have dropped off the face of the earth.
Recently I saw a presentation about social media that laid down some hard facts. Lady Gaga has more Twitter followers then a lot of countries have people. Besides the point that it’s about time Lady Gaga ran for office or got her own country, people are now choosing to do most of their socializing activities online. Working, dating, going to school, networking, and more. While I am all for technology, I feel like we are losing something. Excuse me for sounding like your grandma who insists you write long love letters to your beau instead of a text message, but what is so wrong with communicating in person? Making friends in real time? Do I have to hit accept for us to be real friends? You aren’t my boyfriend unless it’s Facebook official?
I personally know a total of five people under twenty that do not have a Facebook, which is semi-comforting. A lot of people have actually told me they wish they had the courage to delete theirs, but they feel like they couldn’t even manage without it. What if everyone took a break from it? It would be like that family vacation in 8th grade where your parents dragged you and all your relatives on the vacation from hell to enjoy nature and bonding, all out of range of your cell phone service (that couldn’t have only been my family and the Griswold’s, right?). Yes, you would bitch about how you wouldn’t know any of the new inside jokes when you get back and that your boyfriend has already forgotten what you looked like and moved on. But then you started to remember how funny (or corny) your parents could be and how much fun it was to not spend every Saturday at the mall. Once you got back you hugged the cell and the laptop for dear life, but it was a much needed break from it all.
So what I’m trying to say is, I don’t hate Facebook, but I wish it wasn’t so ‘vital’ to people. I want to live my life not glued to a computer, but talking and laughing face to face and having a good time. So if you want to be friends, don’t add me, just ask!