History teacher faces off with Facebook

June 2, 2013 — by Helen Wong

There is no doubt that Facebook can be very addicting. Games, social interaction, interesting posts and pictures abound. Best of all, it never ends.

There is no doubt that Facebook can be very addicting. Games, social interaction, interesting posts and pictures abound. Best of all, it never ends.
Facebook’s defining attributes, however, can become highly problematic when applied to work and study habits.
When history teacher Jim Chin was a high schooler at Monta Vista, he faced off with Facebook and won, but not without a lot of effort.
“This is going to sound really bad, but I would sit in front of a computer from 6 to 11 and not get any of my homework done,” Chin said.
Chin’s situation is one that many students can relate to.
Chin eventually realized that something had to be done to stop this bad habit.
“I began to wonder whether or not my lack of finished homework and adequate study time was correlated to my mistaken belief that I could multitask between both Facebook and homework,” Chin said.
There are multiple solutions to combat Facebook addiction. They range from blocking Facebook to getting apps to time-locking the social media site. Chin, however, took direct action, and duct-taped a timer to his computer screen.
“I used the timer to see exactly how much time I wasted each day,” Chin said. “I found that I really just scrolled around endlessly on Facebook, then moved on to check my email, then went back again. I was highly distracted by the Internet.”
Somewhat horrified, Chin took to segregating his time. He did all his homework for one subject, then took two to three minute Facebook breaks in between each subject. 
Initially, Chin found it difficult to wean himself off his bad habit, which is the main problem that Facebook-addicted students face. Eventually, Chin figured out a solution.
“I publicly posted on Facebook my goals for Facebook usage for the month, like a schedule,” Chin said. “Then I would say that if I didn’t follow this schedule, I would donate $100 to the Klu Klux Klan or a neo-Nazi group, which was something I really didn’t want to do.”
Chin utilized peer pressure to stop his bad habit, as people would tease him about how he was one step closer to donating to the KKK every time he went over his time limit. According to Chin, these reminders of his commitment constantly kept him on his toes.
“All of that combined made the lack of Facebook usage a habit,” said Chin. “I made it to about two or three hours per month.”
The fact that Chin managed to cut his Facebook hours down so much was an impressive feat. As a result, Chin was able to concentrate much more on his studies.
“It wound up working out okay, and I definitely think my giving up Facebook had beneficial long-term effects.”
 
 
 
 
 
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