Who needs Facebook?

October 30, 2014 — by Ami Nachiappan

sophomore Ami Nachiappan

“Did you watch that video about the cat jumping of a diving board posted last night on Facebook? It was hilarious!” said one of my classmates in my English class, eager to start a conversation.

“No, I don’t have a Facebook,” I reply with my head down in embarrassment, knowing that this seemingly friendly conversation will soon be deemed awkward.

“Oh, OK.”

Normally, this abrupt end to the conversation is followed by uncomfortable silence, interspersed with occasional futile attempts to converse about monotonous topics like the weather.

Unlike most high school students, I don’t have a Facebook account. I don’t stay up at night staring at my profile picture in desperation to achieve over 100 likes. I don’t ponder about the number of friend requests I’ve received from people I haven’t talked to in years or perhaps don’t even know.

Many jokingly say how I “face books” instead of having a Facebook and accuse me of leading a “sad life.”

I’ve still yet to comprehend how this is sad. To me, sad is the derogating way the choir boys name call Piggy in “Lord of the Flies.” Sad is the sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach when Mr. Yim passes back our Trig/Pre-Calc Honors test. Not having a Facebook? Not sad at all.

Sure, at times, teachers post assignments or guidelines on Facebook that I don’t find out about until three days later, or someone creates a lecture guide or a link to homework answers, but ultimately these small benefits don’t outweigh the downsides of the site.

Don’t get me wrong. I know Facebook can be a useful study tool, but it’s also (more commonly) a distraction I’m glad not to have. I’ve come to value academics, family bonding and time spent outdoors over sitting with eyes glued to the computer screen, scrolling through pictures of people I haven’t ever struck a real conversation with.

People’s reliance on Facebook reminds me of the classic comic strip Peanuts, where Linus is constantly carrying his infamous blue blanket. It seems that teenagers have the same type of relationship with Facebook as they feel the need to open the blue-colored app every couple minutes on their smartphone.

Facebook robs students of precious time that could be spent sleeping. I have heard my friends make promises to stay off Facebook for a day, devoting time to productive activities like homework. But once they hear the notorious ring of a Facebook notification, that promise quickly breaks.

What bothers me is that people complain about getting only six hours of sleep (while I, on the other hand, get a stunning nine hours) and blame it on how they were on Facebook. No offense, but what a waste of time.

As I approach senior year, I’ll start to collect nostalgic memories of hilarious teachers and the great memories I’ve shared in cross country. Then, I may consider getting a Facebook, just to keep in touch with friends that I’ve created in high school.

But for now, I can survive on my own.

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