Some of you may laugh. But I am willing to bet many of you share in this affliction. In fact, studies show that as many as one in five Facebook users are addicted. (Note: I just made that shit up because it sounded good)
But to be honest, I hate to love Facebook.
We had a falling out two years ago. I was spending so much time on Facebook, that I was entirely neglecting almost every aspect of my life. At that time, being in a Twelve Steps program for alcoholism and drug abuse, I recognized the signs of addiction but blew it off at first. Because—hello—it’s Facebook. I’m not selling my body for “Likes” or shooting memes in my veins here, so really, how bad could it be?
Well, it was bad. My relationships were horrible, I was completely obsessed with the number of friends I had (which was a lowly 600 something at that point), and I was a horrible parent who played “Farmville” instead of helping my kids with their homework.
Yes, Facebook was ruling my life.
It sounds completely ridiculous, doesn’t it? Like the people at the Narcotics Anonymous meetings I’ve been to who said they were in there because they were addicted to Marijauna, and I’m like, “Seriously?”
But I’ll tell you what, Marijauna is a drug, too, and just because it doesn’t usually screw lives up like other drugs, it can, and it can lead to other things. It all depends on the person. Some people can puff a joint every once in a while, just like some people can get on Facebook once every couple days for an hour and get off, no sweat.
I’m not one of them.
The day I closed down my FB account is a day I’ll never forget. It took me an hour just to push one button. I cried. Sweat poured from me in various places. I almost had heart failure. In all honesty, it felt like going to rehab. That feeling that you get when you know your life is about to change and you’re not going to have that distraction—that crutch anymore. Fortunately for me and a lot of people, though FB can be psychologically addictive, it isn’t actually physically addictive (yet—just give the ‘burg some time), so it is easier to recover from FB addiction than it is from drugs and alcohol.
But not much.
I did feel freer, lighter, really, but it took a couple days. For the first day, I was depressed.
“WTF do I do with my time now? I haven’t a clue.”
Yes, I do have children.
Yeah, I suppose they have needs.
Funny how the “empty” space fills so quickly and perfectly with filling things, or should I say “fulfilling” things.
I didn’t get on FB or any other social media for two years; I found myself; I bonded with my children; I saw God in His underwear; I wrote two novels. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have junk filling up your time.
Fast forward two years to post novel-writing time.
Some Voice of Reason says that magic word to me: “Platform”
Voice of Reason: “If you want to get an agent/publisher/readers, etc., you have to have platform.”
Me: “WTF is a platform? Like, I have to build something?”
VOR: “No, it’s a following. Social media and networking, you know, friends, followers, etcetera…?”
Me: “You’re fucking telling me I have to get on FB aren’t you?”
Me: *calls sponsor*
VOR: “I’m sorry, but it’s a necessary part of building your writer platform. Google it.”
Me: *Googles ‘Writer Platform’ while tattling to sponsor about VOR*
VOR: “Look, do whatcha want, but don’t come crying to me when you can’t get an agent/publisher or readers because no one knows who the fuck you are.”
Me: *slams imaginary phone down on receiver* (yes, I am old school in this role play, cuz that tis how I ‘role’)
Me: “Okay, VOR. Fine. I will get a FB. But I will NOT be happy about it.”
So, here I am now, on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, GoodReads, WordPress, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. I keep up with all the wannabes as best I can, but it’s me and FB that have to hide our relationship from the masses. For the purpose of this confession, I will reveal to you the true nature of our love affair. We pretty much do it anywhere:
Waiting for kids in school parking lot: Check FB.
Long check-out line: Check FB.
Eating any meal: Check FB.
Church: Um…. Forgive me…?
Stop light: Check FB.
Cooking: Check FB while waiting for water to boil.
Bathroom: We are not even going there.
Bed: Check FB one last time before going to sleep.
Wake up in middle of night: Check FB and find him sleeping on the couch. Beg him to come back to bed.
I’m not as bad as I used to be though. I help my kids with their homework and whatnot. I don’t play any of those stupid FB games. But I feel it draining the life right out of me, kinda like those two and a half bad marriages (don’t ask.)
So, I’ve brought you here to witness this, in case FB decides to do anything rash when I say these words.
Ok, here goes . . . .
Facebook, you know I love you, but . . .
I think we should spend some time apart.
*shields face from cyber shrapnel*
*peeks out from behind hands to find FB doing absolutely nothing but sitting there, staring at me*
Oh. Well then. Now that it’s all on the table, let me just say that I think we should spend a month apart. Or like a couple wee—days. Three days. Got it?
Oh, don’t even act like you don’t care, FB.
*slams laptop screen down*
*fights back tears, stuffs mouth with Tagalongs*
And so it shall be, *holds right palm up in air*, that on March 4, 2014, I do hereby solemnly swear not to get on FB for any reason for three whole days.
I shall let you know how this transpires. It could get ugly. It could definitely get ugly.
And in case you yourself need a good “out” of your unhealthy relationship with Facebook, please do read my post,
I hope it helps.
Until next time, word nerds and other peeps…
And just say no to Facebook!
UPDATE: If you’d like to read about my life after recovery from Facebook addiction, you may do so right >HERE<