Believe it or not, people – particularly college students (including those in engineering) – lived simply and peacefully without Facebook. Forget the tagged pictures where people pretended they were having fun. Forget the groups created to talk about school projects and how awful the study materials were. Forget a life where social media exists. And yes, that includes Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Back then, computers were considered a luxury and for those who were poor and can’t afford, computers can only be found in a library. People still didn’t have the internet to find e-books and study materials were not yet uploaded on a private conversation among classmates on Facebook. Students had to borrow books from a librarian and for those in a hurry to answer a few questions here and there, it was still a burden to look for a word because a “search” button didn’t exist yet.
Life may have been more challenging back then. Everything had to be done manually but life wasn’t full of distractions. Back then, it was easy to focus on one’s studies. These days, just a simple notification can lead you to 4 hours of non-stop browsing of everybody’s profiles on Facebook, somebody’s rants on Twitter and having a beautiful Instagram feed wasn’t anybody’s reason why they had to study in beautiful cafes.
I know life with Facebook has made our studies more convenient and more exciting. It’s so easy to access several study materials all over the internet and with one friend request, we can ask our instructors and professors questions about the class and the lessons in one message. I know many of us could no longer imagine a life without social media. It has clearly changed our lives. But is it really for the better?
Well, to be honest, social media has helped us several times but it also has negative effects on our studies too. What would have been some time spent on studying for an exam tomorrow turned into time spent browsing my feed and watching cute videos of animals. There have been plenty of moments when I ended up wasting my time on social media when I could have used it to work on my papers or take a rest. When I could have slept early for a 7am class, I ended up stalking someone’s profile in the middle of the night out of curiosity. As someone who has terrible temper, I have this habit of sharing to my friends on my wall what I felt that day which would lead to wasting my time catching up with friends on Messenger.
Come to think of it, if I could use my phone in class, I would probably scroll through my Facebook feed instead of listening to my professors. Even when I’m already at the library to study, I still check what’s on my phone. I just have this inexplicable need to check what’s happening on social media any chance I get.
Maybe I’m addicted to it. Maybe it’s already a way of life for me. But it distracts me from achieving goals I’ve set for myself. It distracts me from studying and writing papers and preparing for my laboratory work. It has a negative impact on my life already and the only thing I need right now is to stay away from it. I wish I could deactivate from Facebook and any form of social media today.