Facebookers Anonymous

Hi. My name is me. And I am an addict.
It started about 5 years ago with this website called Myspace. It seemed fun at the time—you could make a pretty page, add some music, connect with old friends… Then I was introduced to the harder stuff. A friend invited me to join Facebook. Not many people I knew were on it at first, so I only checked every month or so. Then I began getting friend requests; people from high school, from college, from old jobs, current jobs, family members, and the list continued to grow. Before long I discovered the games. I was constantly checking my farm, my cafe, my aquarium, my theme park, my city. At work, I was worrying whether my crops were dying, my customers were leaving, or my food was burning. At some point I realized I had a problem. I went cold turkey on the games. And it worked.
However, I continued checking my facebook, and my list of friends continued to grow. I found myself making mental notes throughout my day of things I could add as my status update. My time spent getting ‘caught up’ on facebook grew from 5 minutes to 10 to 15 to 20 to sometimes 30 or 40, depending how many people added pictures. Post-holiday catch-up would leave me exhausted. I added pictures, and more pictures. I began taking pictures of family holidays to post on facebook, not to preserve memories.

Last night I was thinking about balance. How does one balance having a job, with being a mother, with being a wife, with taking care of a house, with taking care of one’s body, with having a social life, with having extended family, with having relaxing ‘hobbies?’ It’s a bit overwhelming. I certainly have not figured out how to do it! And then I had the thought—what is preventing me from fulfilling each of these roles and one thought came to my mind…
One overwhelming, overpowering thought…
Facebook… (gulp)
I too often find myself telling my kids “in a minute” or taking a break from cleaning for a few seconds only to discover an hour has passed while I was at the computer. Or spending the time after our kids go to bed on the computer instead of having real conversations with my husband. So why am I even on there? Well, the first step is to admit you have a problem, right? I have a problem.
I am addicted. I have tried ONLY checking after the kids go to bed. I have failed. Many times…

Does facebook have it’s benefits. Absolutely! It’s where I learn a lot of breaking news, who had a baby, who was in an accident, where some disaster struck, when my little brother is ‘in a relationship.’ It’s where I see pictures that I would otherwise never see. It’s where I get info for my son’s t-ball team, for our stair-climb team, for other group activities. It’s where I get invited to events…
And yet, somehow, I survived without it. Somehow I had friends and did things and talked to people before I signed up.
Is all of this rambling leading somewhere? The answer is yes. Listen up, because this is important. Monumental…

I am quitting facebook.

Yes, I said it. I am posting my REAL email address tonight for all my ‘friends.’ And then on Thursday, my account will be gone.

I have gone in circles on this all day. I feel tremendous anxiety when I think about it, but that’s because I’m addicted! I think—how will I find anything out?!?!? Well, guess what, people can call me, or tell me in person, or email me. And if they don’t, then they probably really didn’t care if I knew or not. Which is how life was before facebook!


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