So true, so true. I deactivated. Hopefully forever but we'll see
To Deal With Obsession, Some Defriend Facebook
Facebook, the popular networking site, has 350 million members worldwide who, collectively, spend 10 billion minutes there every day, checking in with friends, writing on people’s electronic walls, clicking through photos and generally keeping pace with the drift of their social world.
Make that 9.9 billion and change. Recently, Halley Lamberson, 17, and Monica Reed, 16, juniors at San Francisco University High School, made a pact to help each other resist the lure of the login. Their status might as well now read, “I can’t be bothered.”
“We decided we spent way too much time obsessing over Facebook and it would be better if we took a break from it,” Halley said.
By mutual agreement, the two friends now allow themselves to log on to Facebook on the first Saturday of every month — and only on that day.
The two are among the many teenagers, especially girls, who are recognizing the huge distraction Facebook presents — the hours it consumes every day, to say nothing of the toll it takes during finals and college applications, according to parents, teachers and the students themselves.
Some teenagers, like Monica and Halley, form a support group to enforce their Facebook hiatus. Others deactivate their accounts. Still others ask someone they trust to change their password and keep control of it until they feel ready to have it back.
Facebook will not reveal how many users have deactivated service, but Kimberly Young, a psychologist who is the director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., said she had spoken with dozens of teenagers trying to break the Facebook habit.
“It’s like any other addiction,” Dr. Young said. “It’s hard to wean yourself.”
Dr. Young said she admired teenagers who came up with their own strategies for taking Facebook breaks in the absence of computer-addiction programs aimed at them.
“A lot of them are finding their own balance,” she said. “It’s like an eating disorder. You can’t eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat.” She added, “And what you do online.”
Michael Diamonti, head of school at San Francisco University High School, which Monica and Halley attend, said administrators were pondering what the school’s role should be, since students used Facebook mostly at home, although excessive use could affect their grades.
“It’s such uncharted territory,” Dr. Diamonti said. “I’m definitely in support of these kids recognizing that they need to exercise some control over their use of Facebook, that not only is it tremendously time consuming but perhaps not all that fulfilling.”
In October, Facebook reached 54.7 percent of people in the United States ages 12 to 17, up from 28.3 percent in October last year, according to the Nielsen Company, the market research firm.
con't at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/technology/internet/21facebook.html?em=&pagewanted=all