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June 15, 2007

Procrastinating With Facebook

Dorry S., Teen Ink's college intern, wrote this week's "Extra Ink."

   With a couple years of college under my belt, I have finally built up the courage to admit this to all you faithful “Extra Ink” readers: My name is Dorry, and I'm a Facebook-aholic. I jump on Facebook between classes, when I'm supposed to be doing my schoolwork, even when I first wake up in the morning. My friends tell me that I have a problem, but I don't see anything wrong with it. It's a harmless way to procrastinate when I just can't bring myself to crack open the books.

   To aid in my procrastination, the Facebook creators have recently added more features. Facebook Platform contains a wide variety of applications you can add to your profile to better connect with other users, ranging from reviews of movies you've seen to who you support for the 2008 presidential election. There's even a new speed dating feature for the Facebook world, which I personally find a little creepy.

   Another new application is the Top Friends feature. Like MySpace, Facebook offers the option to have up to 24 of your closest friends available at the click of your mouse, appearing right on your profile. This saves you the hassle of having to search for people whose profiles you often look at. Judging by the discussion boards for this feature, however, many Facebook users prefer to keep the Top Friends function to MySpace.

   Another function is Roshambull, Red Bull's take on the game Rock Paper Scissors. You can challenge any of your Facebook friends to competitions. You can even place wagers to boast about your Rock Paper Scissors skill. As if Facebook didn't consume enough time in the procrastination department, Roshambull is just another way to pass the day away.

   One function that I find cute is “X me.” A take on the classic Facebook poking, this function enables a Facebook user to choose the action their friends can take. Some examples of verbs people have chosen are hug me, outwit me, head butt me, roundhouse kick me, and feed me. This creative feature gives a bit more of a personal touch to your profile. Besides, who couldn't use a virtual hug?

   While some new applications seem fun or useful, such as a way of editing your photos right on Facebook, others seem like they're stepping a bit too far into people's personal lives. For example, I really don't need to see my friends' Netflix queues. If I'm that curious about what they're waiting to see, I can just ask.

   Some of the functions are just stupid fun, like the College Humor Insult Generator, but others can be really hurtful, like the function that allows friends to anonymously judge you. So beware, readers, that while Facebook may be fun and a great way to kill time, it can be destructive, so Facebook wisely, please.

   In the end, the Facebook creators have found even more ways to occupy the lives of teenagers. In case I didn't spend enough time perusing Facebook already, this ensures that a sickly significant portion of my day will be spent logged in. Happy procrastinating!

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