The Dangers of Facebook
This is not your average “I don’t feel like doing anything so I’m going to browse peoples’ walls” sort of feeling. No. I literally cannot close the browser window for more than three minutes. I am not even sitting outside enjoying the day while on the Internet. I am in my stuffy room that is always a few degrees too warm for comfort. There is no logical reason for me to continue, so why can’t I close the window?
Facebook is a fantastic way to share photos and keep in touch with friends and family when calling is expensive and setting up a time to Skype is tricky. I enjoy telling people of my mishaps and teaching them fun Australian slang, and I like to know how they are doing as well. It is also a useful tool in learning about activities happening in my college and various events around campus. However, the extent of Facebook usage should not extend beyond that. Future study abroad students: the minute you find yourself flipping through photos of people you forgot you were friends with or when you go through entire wall-to-wall histories, STOP. Besides being an embarrassing way to waste time while there are so many cool things to do, spending lots of free time on Facebook may very well make you incredibly homesick. Facebook is not going anywhere, but you will not be in that foreign country forever.
During orientation, we were told to not get caught in Facebook’s enticing trap. I thought this should almost go without saying. Why would I spend lots of time on Facebook when I’ll be busy hanging out on the beach, meeting Australians and maybe even studying? Despite my lofty expectations, I have too much free time this semester. Too much. I somehow ended up only having class on Tuesday and Thursday, and a couple hours on Friday. This schedule is great for when I want to go into the city for the day or hang out with other people. But sometimes those just are not options, and my workload is hardly overwhelming. Thus, I frequently have a lot of time to kill. Cue Facebook.
My next adventure is during my Easter Break this upcoming week. I am traveling to Cairns (pronounced “cans”), a city in northern Queensland, to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, see waterfalls and spend the night in a rainforest. Provided I am not attacked by any wild animals, it should be a great trip. I will not be taking my laptop along, meaning no access to Facebook for five days; I could not be more excited. Maybe after I return I’ll be less inclined to browse my friends’ walls during my down time and feel motivated to run along the Brisbane river or sit under a tree to read a book. Or maybe I will just have a lot of Facebook creeping to catch up on.