According to checkfacebook.com there are 168,000,440 Facebook users in the U.S., which is more than half the country. Facebook has become a world of its own, and it is considered a necessity by many people, especially teens. This is why it may come as a bit of a surprise when students realize some of their fellow classmates do not have a Facebook account.
Seniors Abby Block, Olivia Fitzpatrick, and Leah Bartel are among those without a Facebook account. They all have deleted theirs for various reasons.
Block deleted her Facebook account about 7 months ago because she said that it was distracting, especially when working on homework. She also said, “You get caught up in trying to look good on Facebook.” She discussed how sometimes it seems as though everyone is so wrapped up in making sure they have pictures from the weekend to prove that they had fun with friends.
Bartel deleted her Facebook account in April. Bartel talked about how Facebook can play mind games with people; things such as worrying about how “this person has more likes, stuff like that.” She mentioned how she would also use it to procrastinate.
Fitzpatrick deleted her account this past summer. She said, “I was getting fed up with constant comparisons and it was taking up a lot of time when I could have been doing something productive.”
Others may wonder how these students stay in the loop, but they all seem to agree that when there are parties, their friends simply tell them in person, and that they don’t miss it much.
There have been concerns that the absence of a Facebook is a red flag; that those people without an account are suspicious or withdrawn. The article “Does Not Having a Facebook Page Make You ‘Suspicious’ to Employers?” from Time Magazine describes how an employer may become suspicious of people without accounts, wondering if they have something to hide. It also mentions how there have been suggestions, including one from a psychologist that was cited in a German article, that “’absolute abstinence’ from social-media sites indicates a possibly dangerous level of withdrawal from society.”
This seems a bit extreme because many people simply do not see the appeal of Facebook, others don’t like how it consumes so much time, or they prefer to interact in person. As Block said, “Not having a Facebook is just being social in a different way. You’re being social face-to-face more than on a computer.”
Facebook does allow for students to keep in touch with old friends and share parts of their lives easily. However, sometimes so much sharing seems questionable. For example, junior Scott Frenzel said, “I think it is hilarious reading all these crazy things. People post the most annoying things.” He went on to describe the unnecessary statuses that change within minutes.
It is old news that our lives are heavily involved with media, and Facebook is here to stay, but as Bartel said, “People should ask themselves why they have Facebook and ask themselves if it helps them or harms them.”