Facebook Rehab


Emily Wong , Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

Once home, teenagers usually do one of two things: eat or go on Facebook. Of course, eating is a necessity of life but the latter is a serious problem amongst this generation as Facebook serves as an immense distraction. Teens constantly check messages, “like” photos, and stalk random people as a way of finding entertainment during those long nights with our textbooks. What results is a form of dependence on the social media site; one that borders an addiction that seriously affects our lives.

So to what extent has Facebook taken over daily life? And how different would life be without it? Would homework be finished before 11? I attempted to answer these questions by putting several of the most Facebook-addicted Bull’s Eye staffers to the test. I, along with Claire Huang and Yusheng Xia, conducted a social experiment on what it was like to live out an inconceivable existence without our beloved site. On February 6 around 3:30 PM, we did the impossible and deactivated our Facebook accounts.

On Day One, there was really only one feeling: emptiness. While working on our homework assignments, we would constantly go to the Facebook page ready to login before catching ourselves. In fact, I went on Facebook seven times within an hour of deactivation. With each failed attempt, reality slowly began to settle in. We were experiencing social anxiety. By the end of the day, Claire reactivated her account.

Then, signs of withdrawal began to form for the two remaining rehabbers. Around Day Two, the emotional loss had begun to seriously alter our daily schedules. Homework became unbearable, and Yusheng found it difficult to stay up working.

“Facebook really helps to keep me awake at night because chatting different people keeps me from falling asleep. With it gone, I found myself dozing off a lot while working at night,” Xia said.

Something interesting we noted from this experiment was that we turned to other forms of social distractions. For instance, those of us who were “lazy texters” began to text more often. In addition, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram were also used to make up for the lack of social activity throughout the weekdays. Therefore, the removal of Facebook did not actually allow us to focus better on academics.

I never realized how much I depended on the site for communication, such as clubs, until I actually deactivated it. After a testing two days, I succumbed to this addiction. The last man standing, Yusheng, lasted five days after an intense struggle. This experiment proved that the extent to which social media sites consume our lives can truly become dangerous. Although we expected to get at least seven hours of sleep for once by abstaining from Facebook, we saw little improvement. The culprit isn’t just Facebook but technology in general, something most of our generation would not dare cut out of their lives for even a day.

Now, we challenge you to try “Facebook Rehab,” or any other social media site you frequently use because the results just might surprise you.