He Said – She Said: Facebook Vacations


He Said: Don’t Give Up on Facebook

John Regush (2L)

Everyone has their favourite study strategies: breaking open a new pack of Post-Its, getting an extra shot of espresso in your latte, or changing up study spaces. While most of these activities are relatively inoffensive, the increasingly popular practice among law students of deactivating their Facebook over exam period is creating controversy during this already stressful time of year. When it comes to this Facebook face-off, I stringently oppose those who are jumping ship on our online community.

While I haven’t had the benefit of reading my friend’s argument, I can understand the appeal of removing oneself from the social network. Many of our greatest heroes have undertaken similar strategies—Rocky trained in solitude in the Soviet countryside in Rocky IV, the Fresh Prince skipped town on Philadelphia to find solace in Bellaire and Justin Timberlake’s solo work is undeniably better than anything he did during his N*SYNC days. However, what those choose to deactivate their Facebook fail to realize is that their actions negatively impact on all of their Facebook friends and family.

By shutting down your Facebook, you’ve made it exponentially harder for those of us still on the ‘book to get a hold of you and keep up with the goings on of your day. My time during exams is constrained too, so any additional effort I have to spend keeping up with your life is taking away time that I could otherwise be using to study (or at least time I could use to start thinking about actually studying). Sure, I can probably guess what you got up to during exam period (you got up, studied, ate and went to sleep), but this general outline just isn’t enough for me. What library did you study in today? What snacks did you have while studying today? Even though exam period is a busy time, I still want to have some interaction with all my friends, why would you deprive me of that by getting rid of the easiest way I have to stay in touch? Additionally, I think it is safe to say that we can all agree to a zero-tolerance policy for deactivating Facebook if your birthday is during exam period. Without the day-of reminder on Facebook, it’s likely I’ll be put in the uncomfortable position of being “that guy” who forgot your birthday.

As any good lawyer would, I’ll bolster my point with a highly technical argument. I’d like to point out that such great legal minds as Madam Chief Justice McLachlin, Lord Denning MR and influential 17th century jurist Lord Coke managed to achieve success in the legal profession without technically ever deactivating Facebook during exam period. Finally, let’s all be honest, less time on Facebook probably just means more time texting, Instagramming, Tweeting, Pinning, NetFlixing, or in some other way procrastinating. Right now you’re reading 500 words of my pointless rambling — clearly you have some time on your hands. So, this exam period, I’d urge you to stay on Facebook and remember, we’re all in this together!

She Said: Why You Should Take a Facebook Vacation

Natasha Edgar (2L)

Be honest. How many times do you look around a classroom and see someone on Facebook? How many times a day do you log on to Facebook? I’m going to guess that the answer to both questions is: a lot. You need a Facebook vacation. Why? I’ll give you a list:

1. It’s a huge time waster. Every time you want to take a quick 5 minute study break you tell yourself, “I’ll log on to Facebook for just five minutes”, but the next time you look at the clock 45 minutes have gone by. Now you’ve wasted valuable study time learning about what the person at the table beside you had for lunch.
2. You talk to the same people on Facebook as you do in real life. You may say that you use Facebook to keep in touch with people from your hometown but really you’re just using it to Facebook-chat with your law school friends during Torts. If you already see the people you talk to in real life, why do you need to keep up with their lives online?
3. A warped perception of reality. Facebook is the place where achievements go to die. When you log on there are always people backdoor bragging about their lives. Everyone does it, but after a while it starts to look like peoples’ lives are so much better than in fact they really are.
4. Over-sharing – you’re doing it. You probably posted a few things you wouldn’t want everyone to see. Ill-advised status updates, wall posts and photos are easy to lose control of once posted.
5. You’ve been on Facebook for years. For most of us it’s probably more than five years now. Don’t you think that after five years of daily (usually more than daily) use, you could use a break from logging on to your virtual life?
6. You won’t miss anything. If there is any really interesting gossip, someone will tell you. If there is a good party that you don’t want to miss, someone will invite you. No one will forget about you just because you stopped logging into Facebook. And see #2, you talk to exactly the same people in real life as on Facebook.

If you added up all the hours you’ve spent on Facebook in the last five (or more) years, you could have taken more study naps, kept up with the news, written more articles for Canons, gone to the gym, or just replaced stalking your friends with talking to them.

I admit, the first couple of days after going cold turkey and deactivating my account I typed “F-A-C-E-B…” more than once a day. I missed it. But it also opened my eyes to how much I was actually logging on. When I started to realize that people just sent me text messages or emails instead, I realized that I wasn’t really missing anything. Start your Facebook vacation in time for exams!