I’m having a dilemma.

I want to cancel my Facebook account, but like an addict making empty promises to myself, I can’t and, sadly, I won’t.

Contrary to what many people have been complaining about recently, my desire to rid myself of this absurd stalker-system has nothing to do with the rumors that Facebook is opening up to the public or Mark Zuckerberg’s addition of the mini-feed. Actually, I think that is kind of funny – “at 1:59 p.m. Emily Calcagnino removed puppies from her interests” – did something traumatic just happen to Emily involving a puppy?

My wish to deactivate Facebook is not even because school administrators now use The Book to bust students and student athletes who are breaking rules in their tagged pictures, or because companies use the system to “research” those applying for employment.

I hate what Facebook is doing to our generation. The demise of the intimate relationship was first the result of e-mail and instant messenger – calling someone to have a one-on-one conversation became something that wasted too many precious seconds in an already over-stuffed day – and quickly Facebook perpetuated this downfall.

Now all it takes is a poke or a wall signing to remind someone from home, “Hey! I haven’t forgotten about you, but I am too busy to actually see what’s going on with you! Don’t worry though, I read your interests and stalked your wall. I’m glad you’re doing well. Your boyfriend’s cute.”

Over the summer, staying recent on my Rochester friends’ activities took little more than sneaking open a new Firefox window behind the article I was working on at my internship and conspicuously creeping recently tagged friends, a welcomed addition that happened one day while I was at work.

So now I’m in a bind in this love-hate relationship. I get embarrassed at least once a day because of Facebook.

Most of the time it is not public embarrassment, like the time I accidentally said “penis” instead of “Phoenix” during a presentation in class, but instead an internal embarrassment.

For example, when I walk through the Pit and start to wave at someone before I realize she has no idea who I am and I only know her because one of my guy friends asked me to look her up on The Book to see if I thought she was cute and if he should “go for her.” (In person she’s not – don’t do it.)

Moreover, when I sit through an entire English class where my teacher leads a discussion on how we feel about Facebook’s changes, I want to sprint to the nearest computer and figure out how to deactivate my account.

I bet it’s not even possible – like that “Friends” episode where Chandler wants to quit the gym and Ross goes with him for support but, in the end, they both end up as members.

I guess that means that until I apply for a job working for a creepy boss who friends me to see if I have any drinking pictures online, I am stuck in this dysfunctional relationship.

Paret can reached at paret@campustimes.org.



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