Teenage Problems/Annoyed with Facebook - anyone else?
My girlfriend has become addicted to Facebook, downright addicted, and she's missing out on socialising with her friends, me, and even college to spend all day on it.
About the only time she doesn't leave student digs is to get food and drink. I'm 19, she's 20.
She's skipped lectures, parties etc. - all for Facebook.
She's obsessed with having 5,000 friends on Facebook, and has attempted to get them by posting photos of herself in a cheerleader costume and even a photo of her with a streetlight that she'd managed to get into the student digs.
Even talking to her about why she's so into it got her ranting.
I don't have a profile there, by my own personal choice, I won't be swayed by peer pressure.
I wonder, how long before Facebook implodes and no-one likes it anymore? (could you say the same thing about stackoverflow, a site I use for my coursework to help me - I do computers and business systems, and is the opposite of Facebook!)
Hi there Martyn,
Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.
Firstly, Facebook is absolutely huge and will only ever keep on growing. As technology increases, so does it the importance of social media in our lives. We want instant knowledge and gratification, as well as praise and sympathy and we get this from Facebook by posting status dates and by checking out our friends. Facebook has become the preferred method of contact for most young people and has replaced calling them on the telephone. It is not something that is going to change or go away but it is something that needs to be used with caution for the reasons that you have explained.
Your girlfriend is not alone in her obsession with Facebook but she is at the extreme end of using it. If she is addicted to it, as you suggest, then like any other addiction treatment involves gradual withdrawal from it. What this means is that she needs to limit the time that she is using Facebook and to begin to gradually reduce this over a period of weeks until it is at a more acceptable level. The fact that she is putting her education at risk is not good and she could potentially perform poorer in her exams as a result which would not be good for her future. She may see using Facebook as being a harmless habit but she needs to realize that her behavior is not typical. The way I would tackle this is to speak to her lecturer and ask them to speak to her about the impact that it is having on her studies. If they speak to her and can suggest that it is having a negative impact upon her studies, then she may listen and put it into context; more so than if you had the same conversation. Speaking to her friends and family and getting their input may also help her to see that her use is obsessive and that she needs to cut it down. Keeping her busy might also help as it could be that she spends so much on Facebook online that she doesn't have a life offline and this starts a vicious circle that needs to be broken.
She is responsible for her own behavior and it make take something drastic to happen before she realizes the extent of her use and the real life impact it is having upon her and this may come at the end of the academic year. If you have tried to speak to her about it and she keeps ranting at you then let her get on with it and if it is something that you can put up with, avoid the topic in conversation. It is understandable however, that she is prepared to spend more time on Facebook than with you, there may come a time when Facebook actually begins to ruin your relationship and at this point, she needs to have an ultimatum whereby hopefully she will agree to drop her usage and spend more time in the real world. If not, then you need to see if this is something that you can cope with as her partner or something that will be the breaking point between the two of you.
I hope that helps.