Facebook: A New Way to Procrastinate

By Kim Giordano

Courtesy of Anna Briggs

Have you ever noticed that the night before a major paper or exam, you find yourself continuously going back to Facebook? Walking by the computers in the library, I see student after student checking Facebook, instead of working. Statuses pop up on my newsfeed all the time, about how people “can’t get off Facebook and get their work done,” or that they spend valuable studying time procrastinating on the site many people check several times a day. I’m not innocent in all this either. I often fall victim to checking Facebook over and over the night before a major assignment is due. Why do we do it? Is it the comfort of knowing our peers are too, struggling trying to get their work done? Or are our friend’s lives just so interesting, we need to see what they’re up to every second? Whatever the case may be, the creation of the addicting social network site has been the cause of much time lost studying, and more time-sharing and communicating.

My friends often joke that the time when they catch up with friends abroad or family back home is when they have work to do, yet, they always seem to find themselves on Facebook. Time seems to pass differently when on the site; a fifteen-minute break can quickly turn into an hour, while a word document still remains blank. For finals week, many people end up deactivating their account for the duration of exams, because the temptation to check it instead of studying is too great. It baffles me that we have allowed Facebook to control many of us, like this. The need to constantly know what is going and the instant information that the social networking site provides, has distracted most of us to the point of obsession.

I’ve realized that I check Facebook most when I am procrastinating and putting off doing my work. Is that the case for everyone? Has Facebook has turned into a procrastination tool? For me it is, as opposed to a website I check for fun when I have nothing else to do. This phenomenon is surely a new difficulty for our generation in trying to get schoolwork done. Our parents didn’t have to worry about checking Facebook instead of writing an essay or studying for an exam, and for that, I envy them. There is a new obstacle in my being successful in school and pathetically that hurdle happens to be Facebook.

Kim Giordano can be reached for comment at [email protected]