Everyone’s on Facebook. Coming across someone without an account is a shocking rarity, especially among college students.
It takes courage to wean off the site. Perhaps there’s a fear of missing out on event invitations and group chats. Or perhaps there’s an addiction to that moment of suspense and excitement inspired by the little red notification on the upper-left corner of your browser. Or both.
Regardless, it is possible to survive — and even enjoy — college without Facebook.
Austin Smith, a junior at Yale who deactivated her account, said she didn’t like worrying about her Facebook image.
“Presenting myself accurately and honestly on Facebook felt like a chore more than a pleasure,” Smith explained.
“I also realized I was judging people by their Facebook page, which in reality provides little evidence of one’s true character,” she said. “Of course, I didn’t like the thought of other Facebookers judging me on the same basis.”
A sophomore at Lehigh University, Marni Zahorsky, also deactivated her account.
“The superficiality of it was annoying me, so I just deactivated on the spot,” Zahorsky said.
Peers posting obviously edited photos and drinking pictures to appear cool bothered Zahorsky. She also didn’t like people using Facebook statuses “as their diary.”
Contrary to the biggest worry of all, neither of the girls feel disconnected from their social life. Instead, their lives seem more fulfilling.
“I still talk to all the people I’m friends with and want to talk to,” Zahorsky said.
“There are so many [positives]. I’m less distracted and more productive at work, both on my computer and on my phone,” Zahorsky said. “And I’m less preoccupied with what other people are doing like when their pictures make them look like they’re having fun.”
Apparently, Smith and Zahorsky aren’t the only people disconnecting from Facebook.
Despite all the hooplah surrounding Facebook going public, its infamous switch to the Timeline feature and our generation’s desire for constant connectivity, Facebook’s growth slowed in the United States this April, according to a recent USA TODAY article.
Surprisingly, in a country where mobilization of the Internet seems to be on the rise, somehow, the alpha website in the world of social media has slowed its growth.
The report states that in the US, visitors to Facebook rose only 5%, which is its slowest growth rate since the first records in 2008. But are we really moving on from Facebook?
“People, especially youth, are always pushing to the next thing,” Smith said. “Also, spending large amounts of time on Facebook is looked down upon — there’s a sense that if you’re on Facebook too often, you must not be living your life very well.”
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