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Opinion: Confessions of a recovering Facebook junky

April 15th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Jessica Sonderegger

I consider myself one of the original gangsters when I reminisce about my Facebook story. Though I wasn’t even one of the first hundreds to join, I dare say I was one of the first few in my middle school, and I’m not letting anyone take that bragging right away from me.


I CAN’T HELP MYSELF! Jess Sonderegger has been sucked back into Facebook.

That was sometime in 2005, back when MySpace was introducing the world to the possibilities of “cyber-stalking.” I got so caught up in the novelties of my MySpace space that I didn’t start faithfully utilizing my Facebook book until the rest of the world had decided MySpace was a thing of the past. Facebook gained acceptance with such speed that I fail to recall when we began migrating from the MySpace to the Facebook. In hindsight, it seems like it was overnight.

This “guesstimate” isn’t at all accurate, but it suggests one thing: our perspective of social networking evolved from a trend among teenyboppers to a highly respected and utilized means of communication, and it happened fast. It redefined this networking “pastime” into a full-fledged lifestyle, with little to no opposition. And the legacy lives on.

According to an article released in celebration of Facebook, The Harvard Crimson reported 650 users registered as of Feb. 8, 2004—all Harvard students. Flash-forward to this March, and various statistics depict more than 1 billion active Facebookies, with nearly 6.5 million of us as everyday users.

What is this thing?

It is less of an opinion and more of an assumption when I say that the consumer was ready for the product, and Facebook delivered. Even through various (and slightly inconvenient) format changes and policies, FB has continued to attract an audience of all ages. And those numbers are only getting higher.

They even made a movie about it. And t-shirts and bumper stickers and billboards. There are entire websites dedicated to Facebook quotes, Facebook “fails,” Facebook business techniques, Facebook statistics. There have been historic Facebook romances and epic Facebook feuds. You can’t go anywhere without companies asking you to “like” them, and where would Utah couples be without the luxury of FB “event invitations?” Stuck in the past with paper-based wedding announcements and postal service fees, that’s where.

It’s safe to say that ALL of us would be stuck in the past without Mark Zuckerberg’s amazing time-wasting invention. Not to mention a little more grammatically correct, and a little less obsessed with political issues that we are not qualified to debate. For example:

 “…guns just can’t shoot by themselfs and if people can’t have them then why do we have such an ass hole president thinks he needs them to protect his family what about the rest of the wrold? Some people are messed up in the headed. And  to think some who like or think its nice to have guns around to protect their family. maybe some needs to quit being tree huggers and look at is as saving their own lives.” – An excerpt from a Facebook post, author unknown

Around the time illegitimate conjugations of the proper noun “Facebook” started creeping into everyday conversation—when “facebooking” and “facebooked” became common usage—is when I started reconsidering my own involvement. When Facebook broke us of our respect for the English language, I had to call it quits. Seven years after our first introduction, I took the plunge and (temporarily) ended my relationship with the Facebook.

The tricky thing about “deleting” your Facebook account is that it’s never an option to abandon it entirely. In the process of deleting your account, your information is stored, and reactivating your account is as simple as logging in again.

“Deleting your Facebook is like running away from home.You’re only doing it for attention, and you’ll be back in a day.” —Anonymous

Those Facebook administrators are sharks. And even as I rant about my “former” addiction, I just relapsed.

It wasn’t one week later that I began receiving inquiries as to why I had “de-friended” so many of my closest family members and friends. One person, in particular, texted me, a little frantic: “Hey did I do something? Is everything ok?” The conversation that followed led me to understand that my absence on Facebook had worried her. She was feeling upset that our only true expression of friendship, us being friends on Facebook, had disintegrated.

What? Is? This? Thing?

I guess what I’m getting at is more of a plea, than an open-ended question. Are we OK with all of this? Is this REALLY what upcoming generations have to look forward to? Poor grammar, tainted perspectives of “true” friendship and the ability to “update your status” from any computer, laptop, smart phone, tablet, and iPod?

I just want to raise the question—maybe in attempt to rebel against this overwhelming fad, maybe to just sober up again.


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  1. One Response to “Opinion: Confessions of a recovering Facebook junky”

  2. By Barry Kort on Apr 16, 2013

    Facebook is a microcosm of society. With a billion people on the site, how can it be anything but a reflection of 21st Century human culture, human issues, and human society?

    Whatever is good about human society will also be found on Facebook.

    Whatever is evil, corrupt, nefarious, or dysfunctional about human society will also be found on Facebook.

    So let’s begin by writing down a simple model of Good and Evil.

    Good = Love + Compassion + Mindfulness + Mercy + Healing

    Evil = Fear + Antipathy + Ignorance + Power + Harmfulness

    The Battle of Good and Evil is the Story of an Epic Drama.

    What resources do participants bring to this timeless battle?

    We bring a Head of STEAM to the battle.

    What the devil is a Head of STEAM you ask?

    STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

    I can personally bring a fair amount of STEM. Who can bring some Art to the Game?

    In particular, who can bring the Art of Storycraft — the Bardic Arts?

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