I remember my first Facebook. It was the summer of 2006 and I’d just received my dot-edu. Myspace still reigned supreme, but it was immediately clear that this was the future. My best friend Annabel and I lost hours of August crouched over my laptop, arguing over whose turn it was to log on, just like two kids fighting for their turn at Donkey Kong.
Getting a friend request was the most addicting feeling in the world, especially as they came pouring in from future classmates who had the promise of becoming real friends. My friend Carly still, to this day, makes fun of me for writing her a message introducing myself because we were set to be in the same dorm.
As Facebook began adding on elements and allowing for more pictures, time spent on the site increased. It was absolutely impossible to not get lost down rabbit holes of profiles — especially back when no one set privacy restrictions. The jackpot was gaining access to someone you didn’t like (an ex-boyfriend’s new girl friend was pure gold), but time was also lost on those people who I saw around campus, didn’t know at all, yet for whatever reason had become friends with online. Their profiles fascinated me the most. Because I’m a creep. (But also because I like to think of myself as anthropologically minded person endlessly fascinated in human behavior!)
I used to shudder at the thought of all the hours of my life — days, weeks, years — just completely gone down the digital drain of Facebook, but it was an easy thought to ignore. I just swept it under the mental rug…
Until now. Because some evil genius at Time created a way to track exactly how much time I have spent on my profile, all of my ex’s profiles, that kid from math class who sneeze funny’s profile…probably your profile.
It’s pretty alarming. Click if you dare, and if you tell me how much time you’ve spent I’ll tell you mine.
(Fine. I’ll just tell you. 200 days of my life have been spent on Mark Zuckerberg’s MONSTER OF A MACHINE. And I think the number just ticked up to 201.)