By Caitlin Schille
In the span of about one decade, Facebook went from an entrepreneurial internet idea to a world-wide company worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It has fundamentally changed the way we interact and document our lives, and it paved the way for many social media spin-offs.
And I’m here to tell you to get off Facebook. Why?
It is a massive waste of time.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s creator, the average American Facebook user spends approximately 40 minutes per day perusing the site. 40 minutes per day may not sound like a lot, especially in comparison to the hours spent working or commuting, but some quick math shows that after a year, 40 minutes a day adds up to 10 days on Facebook! Imagine what could have been accomplished in that enormous accumulation of hours. It is estimated that Facebook costs U.S. companies 28 billion dollars per year in lost productivity. Now, Facebook can be a very useful tool for connecting with far-away family and good friends. If quitting cold turkey affects real relationships, just cut out the Facebook excess instead. For example, don’t bother with the vacation pictures your 4th grade teacher posted. A good idea is to mute the feeds of acquaintances you don’t know well (high school peers, old neighbors, etc.).
40min X 365 days= 14600 min. (243 hours)
243 hours = 10.1 days
It poses safety concerns.
Facebook is a public website. Anyone can look up your profile, including predators. Not only can anyone look up your profile, but the name and picture you see on the profile do not necessarily reflect the person behind the account. A 50-year-old man can create a profile that makes him appear to be a 13 year old girl. If you do maintain a Facebook account, make sure your privacy controls are set to the maximum security, and never, ever communicate with anyone you do not know.
The internet is forever.
Things posted on Facebook can be deleted, but even if you delete something, someone else may have already taken a screen-shot or shared it, in which case, you now have no control over where your image or words can go. If you do maintain a Facebook account, consider carefully what you decide to share. Could your post be detrimental to your reputation or career? Avoid posting compromising photos or information.
It makes you feel bad about yourself.
Actively using Facebook can adversely affect your mental health. A study done by the Department of Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University found that using Facebook regularly caused study participants to view their own lives more negatively. People generally present only the highlights of their lives on Facebook, which causes Facebook users to compare their lows with others’ highs. The study found that “those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives.”
In the end, Zuckerberg does deserve some applause for creating such a great tool for connection and entertainment that we’ve all benefitted from (for free). However, the above points ought to be taken into serious consideration when deciding whether or not to keep your Facebook profile.