The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Why I deactivated: Confessions of a former Facebook addict

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, September 14, 2006

I have done it. I have removed myself from the Facebook. The minute I clicked the “Deactivate” button, I expected my world to come crashing down.

But my world didn’t come crashing down.

Actually, my world became a more beautiful place.

“Oh, but Amanda, you’ll miss all the positive aspects to it,” you say confidently. “You won’t be able to keep in touch with as many friends from high school or other colleges. You won’t be able to look up kids in your classes for their AOL Instant Messenger screen names. You’ll have to rely solely on email and the chance that people chose to list their cell phone number in the Notre Dame directory.”

I can’t argue with you. This is true.

Actually, I won’t just admit to you that this is true. I’ll go a step further, and admit that I have greater concerns about deactivating my account than just those “politically correct” ones. I’m afraid I won’t get invited to as many events. I’m afraid many, many of my friends – both from Notre Dame and from home – will forget about me. Heck, I’ll admit it – I am terrified of life after the Facebook.

So why did I do it?

I believe the Facebook was a gigantic roadblock in my journey to become a better person. While others may use the Facebook for positive reasons, I, a true Facebook-aholic, allowed it to exploit every jealous and spiteful inclination I might possess in my far from perfect self.

I would notice who updates their profile way too much and snicker (though this, of course, was hypocritical). I would look on it to see what people did this weekend and hope that the photos did not show them having more fun than I did (when really, I should be hoping everyone I know – friends or people I have felt offended by alike – should be having nothing but a completely fabulous time all the time). I would update my profile, listing everything about myself vainly (when really, who should care? I am not that interesting!).

And really, when I was not using the Facebook for less terrible reasons, I was wasting valuable time. Time I could spend not just doing homework, but calling someone to see how he or she is doing, rather than just looking it up. Time I maybe could have accumulated and spent helping a friend or even volunteering.

Essentially, Facebook time was time I now need to spend actually putting myself out into the world instead of dawdling reluctantly in my dorm room.

Yes, more time in the world might mean more hurt. It might mean more stress from more activity.

But who knows – it could mean I become that better person I want to be. It could mean that I learn that there is more joy in keeping your life private than there is making it public. And that chance alone makes life without the Facebook a life I am committed to trying.

Amanda Golbabai


Badin Hall

Sept. 13