Life can still be social without networking

“Welcome to Facebook.”

It’s the most memorable line of David Fincher’s 2010 film The Social Network because it has come to define our generation as a whole, most notably those enrolled in college.

In fact, Facebook has become such a crucial aspect of our lives as college students that it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without it.

But for any technology to be harnessed effectively, we have to realize how to use it in moderation. With Facebook, that’s something we don’t really understand how to do yet.

That’s why I think college life would be better without Facebook — or at least with a smaller dose of it.

500 million active users, 50 percent of whom log on every single day.

Facebook claims 200 million active mobile users, all of whom use Facebook at least twice as much as the other 300 million.

More than 2.5 million websites have integrated it, so it’s everywhere, with 10,000 signing up every day.

And yet, even with all these stats, I think the most damning one is this: “People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook,” according to Facebook’s statistics page.

It’s safe to assume something very productive and beneficial could have been done with those 700 billion minutes.

If every Facebook user accounted for a similar share of the time, that would come out to 23.3 hours per month, per person.

We know that’s not the case, so that means more active users are spending more than a full day per month using Facebook.

There’s a big difference between social networking and being social. Although the two can reflect each other, it’s still not quite the same thing.

We haven’t replaced real social activity with an online version of it, though — we’re just doing both now. So the time has to have come from somewhere else.

Is it our studies? A study by the British newspaper, The Times, says yes. An article published in The Times said those active on Facebook perform sometimes as much as full letter grades lower on exams.

Facebook is a social hub for many students. But it is just that, and it needs to be kept in its place before we allow it to interfere with other crucial aspects of our lives.

Welcome to Facebook.

Clinton VanSciver is an undeclared sophomore.

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