By Niabi, UAlberta
Every semester, the struggle with this decision is inevitable. It’s the day before my midterm and what am I doing? Reviewing my notes and memorizing! Right? Wrong. I am staring, red-eyed at my phone screen, scrolling through my Facebook feed. Suddenly, videos of puppies falling asleep are even more appealing than they were before. I hit the share button, because I don’t care enough about anything to be worried that everyone knows I am procrastinating during exam week. But then again, if they’re online, it means they are wasting their time too.
For a long time, I tried to ignore the reasons why deleting my Facebook account would work to my advantage. My list ended up looking something like this.
Pros of Deleting Facebook:
I will learn to maintain friendships the old fashion way.
Not only will the effort I invest in these friendships increase me value for them, but I will also realize which “friends” are willing to take the time and make the effort to see me and keep in touch.
I will have more time on my hands.
Instead of seeing what interesting things my friends are doing, I can go and have a real-life experience something spectacular myself! Who knew?!
Everything is better face-to-face instead of through a phone camera.
My attention span will improve (fact).
I will be more focused and less distracted, both of which are extremely important when it comes to studying.
Without Facebook, I will have more time to study, which indirectly means that it is more likely that I will actually have free time after homework.
Wow. Me? I will have free time? No procrastinating and no feeling guilty about taking a break because this time, I would have actually freed up the time to relax.
Cons of Deleting Facebook:
Facebook chats are extremely helpful when it comes to group projects.
They are fast and efficient and almost every student has a Facebook account.
I miss out on having a life outside of school.
Facebook promotes many public events happening every week around the city. Because of Facebook, I can plan outings with friends who are also interested in going.
Without Facebook, staying in touch with my friends, especially friends who live in other countries, will be much harder.
While I think virtual friendship is no where near as valuable as face to face friendship, I have to admit that sometimes, there is no other way to stay in touch with some people other than through Facebook, simply due to geographical location.
Facebook helps me maintain my social network.
Who knows what could happen from staying in touch so many people? It might land me a job!
I can’t remember all of my friends’ birthdays.
I need that birthday notification just as much as everyone else.
Despite what others think, Facebook has taught me a lot about news and current events.
The biggest news headlines are always trending and I have encountered many great articles and reads through this social network.
After much contemplation and back and forth, I did what I always do when it comes to making tough decisions. I found a happy medium. I made my own “Rules and Guidelines for Facebook” list, and stuck to it whenever I felt the urge to procrastinate during the semester. Once I actually stuck to these rules, everything worked out fabulously. Here it is (just in case you’d like to create some parameters for yourself):
Using Facebook: Rules and Guidelines
Set a reasonable time limit for yourself.
Write it down or put an alarm on your phone, just do whatever it takes to stick to the time limit that you set for yourself. No matter what you are watching, sharing or liking, when the time is up, Facebook is off.
Leave. Me. Alone.
If you must, you can even let your Facebook friends know that it’s time to leave you alone. Make a status. Something along the lines of
“Don’t message, tag, or try to contact me for at least an hour. Ready to attack these study notes.”
The Guard Approach
For the extreme cases (where turning your phone off and putting it screen down at the corner of your desk is not enough to keep you away) give your phone to a trusted friend or family member with a strong resolve so that they can keep it away from you until the appropriate time.
Use your Facebook time wisely and selectively.
Even if you are not sticking to a time limit, you can still make your Facebook experience somewhat productive. Watch DIY cooking videos, read informative articles about topics that interest you, or catch-up on the news and currents events. Use Facebook to sharpen your mind and make your life easier.
Don’t delete it. Just deactivate it.
This way, your beloved account that you have cared for and nurtured way too much will be waiting for you to use when/if you decide to come back….
But only AFTER you finish writing that essay.
Niabi is a fourth year BA student double majoring in English and Spanish. She’s a relentless optimist, hazardously curious, and loves a good laugh (her friends would say that she has a juvenile sense of humour). When not jamming out to Reggaeton, you can find her trying to cuddle every dog she sees, or serving herself “eyes-are-too-big-for-your-stomach” helpings.
Source: University of Alberta