For Brandon Miranda, Facebook can be a time waster that leads to "sinful" behavior: bullying, vanity, the glorification of binge drinking.

So the University of St. Thomas sophomore started the Facebook page, "No Facebook November," which urges fans not to use the site this month.

"The website [Facebook] has become the central location of communication and as a result, some content raises red flags," Miranda wrote on the page. "Cyber bullying has become a growing concern among teenagers ... and I will try my best to prevent this from happening."

Miranda realizes the irony in setting up a Facebook page urging people to break from Facebook. But he says it is one way of highlighting the destructiveness of cyber bullying. He also finds the bragging about alcoholic binges not very Christian, and some photos people post of themselves come across as vain and superficial.

"I love Facebook," Miranda said. "But it's, like, a time-consuming activity. One of the things I feel I get out of [No Facebook November] ... is this sense of being liberated from technology dependence. I feel like I can talk to people. I think I'm more creative in talking and relating to people."

Miranda started the "No Facebook November" page three years ago when he was a high school senior in California. He was attending a Catholic retreat and reflecting on Matthew 5:29 and related biblical passages: "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."

He thought of Facebook's negative qualities and decided to get it out of his life -- at least temporarily. So far, some 98 people agree, posting their support on the page.

Miranda admits it's not easy to kick the "Facebook addiction." But taking even a short break from it can raise awareness of cyber bullying and improve studying and concentration on school work as well.

"It can be a real growth experience," he said.

Rose French • 612-673-4352