How did this happen to me? I’ve carefully tried to stay away from addictive habits and behaviors and usually spot the warning signs. But, with Facebook, it is out of control. During a meeting, there will be a lull in the conversation and my fingers will flicker over and compulsively start typing f; which is all it takes, due to frequency of visits, to send me to this gaping hole of time wasteland.
I remember in college, when Livejournal was the way us Internet nerds gossiped and proclaimed our coolness, a friend wrote “Petition Facebook to include William and Mary as a school to use the app”! (Side Note: after several years of programming, I have completely forgotten the correct grammar for quotes and punctuation. I also use single quotes way too often.) Anyway, I think it was a way of showing look at us William and Mary people, we ARE the Ivy of the South, we’re on Facebook. “In March 2004, Facebook expanded to Stanford, Columbia, and Yale. It soon opened to the other Ivy League schools, Boston University, New York University, MIT, and gradually most universities ” (Wikipedia) Facebook was a social status! Man has that devolved.
So, we all of course hopped on the Facebook train with the functionality limited to friending people and starting “groups”. That became the clever meter as we wrote up our own niche groups. My pride was the “Nothing Fazes Me Anymore” which I described as “Let’s face it, all our friends are weird and nothing really shocks us anymore. You knew it must have been one of your friends (or you’ve done this yourself) and you didn’t bat an eye when you saw..” where members submitted highly outrageous activities such as
Look out, America!
This was back in the good old days, when you had to manually stalk your prey. There was no “news feed” alerting you when your friends broke up or they had been tagged in a photo wearing lingerie and making out with your buds.
Fast forward several years to the mess that is facebook now. Here comes Uncle Joe trying to friend me, way too detailed picture of the first birth of your 10th grade chemistry partner, your boyfriend’s ex girlfriend “liking” your friend you met twice comment about ice cream sundaes, sending you to a deep dark place of pictures you never wanted to know existed.
Why do we stay on this site? We find out things we don’t want to know. We don’t really keep up with old friends like we convince yourselves we will. It’s addicting and it needs to be stopped. And by it, I mean my compulsive Facebook behavior. So, I deactivated my account. And Facebook KNOWS you’re addicted which is why they won’t let you deleteyour account. Oh no, you can only deactivate it, meaning all you need to do, when you get that hankering is just log in again. Just one more time. Come on. Who’s it going to hurt?
My progress: I must admit, I accidentally logged into my account. There was a lull in meeting! And, i didn’t stop myself from glancing through my useless news feed, but then I quickly deactivated. I’m trying to remain strong and it seems like I’ve replaced it with my recent obsession with celebrity gossip. I’m equating this to a nicotine patch, helping me ween off this debilitating website called Facebook. I’ll stick with this website, email, twitter, linkedin, phone calls, texts, and letters to communicate with people in hopefully a more meaningful way.