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Facebook is Your Unfriend

December 21, 2009

The New York Times has an interesting article about Facebook addiction. I have ben sceptical about the tendency to label anything that soaks up time as an addiction, but the last paragraph of this quote gave me pause for thought:

Many high school seniors, now in the thick of the college application process, are acutely aware of those hours spent clicking one link after another on the site.

Gaby Lee, 17, a senior at Head-Royce School in Oakland, Calif., had two weeks to complete her early decision application to Pomona College. Desperate, she deactivated her Facebook account.

The account still existed, but it looked to others as if it did not.

“No one could go on and write on my wall or look at my profile,” she said.

The habit did not die easily. Gaby said she would sit down at the computer and find that “my fingers would automatically go to Facebook.”

In her coming book, “Alone Together” (Basic Books, 2010), Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who is director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discusses teenagers who take breaks from Facebook.

For one 18-year-old boy completing a college application, Professor Turkle said, “Facebook wasn’t merely a distraction, but it was really confusing him about who he was,” and he opted to spend his senior year off the service. He was burned out, she said, trying to live up to his own descriptions of himself.

via Driven to Distraction, Some Teenagers Unfriend Facebook – NYTimes.com.

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