“Hello, my name is Marcia and I’m a facebookaholic.” Yes, I’m coming clean about my addiction. Not a day goes by that I don’t crave a fix in the form of a status update, a handful of “likes”or stalking the pages of my friends. If I go too many hours without a connection, I get fidgety and cranky. My palms sweat if I’m unable to answer my phone when it jangles with a notification from someone commenting on my status. I have nightmares of being lost in a jungle with no WiFi, and I’ve been known to scream at my internet provider during a hurricane if I’m unable to access my online connections.
My addiction has disrupted my family life and affected my health. I now suffer from NBS (Numb Butt Syndrome), a direct result of sitting in a chair for hours while trolling through Facebook. Cooking and cleaning have taken a backset to my obsession. My poor family has been forced to survive on frozen dinners that have been sitting in the back of my freezer since 2005. I’m farming dust bunnies under all the beds and my cobweb festooned house closely resembles
Miss Havisham’s home in Dickens’ Great Expectations. My family finally reached a breaking point and staged an intervention after I whipped out my cell phone in the emergency room to check on stats while the doctor stitched up my injured hand. They sent me to rehab for my addiction and presented me with a “Just Say No To Facebook” t-shirt after I completed the five step program.
Sadly, it was all in vain. I could NEVER give up Facebook. It’s my lifeline to a community of friends. I’m not prepared to sacrifice my voyeuristic peek into the world that Facebook offers. I know what my friends eat, where they go for fun, what their kids are up to, how often their dog poops and where they shop for rash ointment.
The only problem with Facebook is that it has very few guidelines for users to adhere to. You can get away with just about anything you post on your wall. During the election, the political bashing was unconscionable, but I muddled through it in order to read posts from others like me who steered clear of using the site as a political platform for sharing opinions.
Facebook should design a manual that advises against the following:
GAME REQUESTS: There are plenty of addicting games out there that border on being cultish. I avoid them like the plague. The amount of time I spend on the internet is long enough without needing to mainline Candy Crush or ask someone to buy me a pig for my virtual farm.
SELFIES: I enjoy looking at profile pictures, but after awhile the selfies all start looking the same. They’re usually taken at a high angle so that the person in the picture looks like they’ve had a face lift or Botox injections. Okay, so I’m guilty of selfies like this….but so is most of the female population over the age of forty.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION: I don’t need to know that the Burrito Supreme you just inhaled at Taco Hell is making you poop out a tri-colored bean piñata.
PHOTO TAGGING: REAL friends do not tag you in unflattering pictures. It defeats the purpose of all your selfies. Nothing is worse than strolling through Lowe’s to check out the sprinkler head assortment while someone is out there tagging you in a picture from last year’s holiday office party. You know the one—-it’s that pesky photo of you when you were drunk and riding on the shoulder’s of one of your coworkers….with an alligator snout on your face.
FAMILY DRAMA: I don’t want to read Act Three of your family argument over the cousin who slept with your sister’s boyfriend, or the in-law who swears he didn’t father your neighbor’s new baby. If you want the whole world in on your drama, apply for a guest spot on The Jerry Springer Show.
HEALTH ISSUES: It’s not necessary to share the details of your uncle’s testicular problems or your recent bout with a bladder infection. If you’re seriously depressed, share it privately with your closest friends or seek professional help rather than cause alarm among the hundred or so people who follow your status updates. Unless you’re hoping your friends send you sympathy chocolate… in that case, it just might be worth a large box of Godivas.
VACATION PICTURES: Although I am happy for friends fortunate enough to be able to afford a little R&R, I’m also a tad bit jealous. While they’re sipping wine at an outdoor cafe in the south of France, I’m vacuuming up dog hair clots and scooping Tootsie Rolls out of the cat’s litter box.
So why, if I have all of these complaints, am I still addicted to Facebook? In a nutshell: FRIENDS. We share funny jokes and memes, support one another through the tough times and celebrate our victories together. I can connect with people I haven’t seen since grade school on the internet while still in pajamas and curlers in my hair. It’s like one big online reunion minus the pricey reservations or stress over what makeup and clothing will shave ten years off my appearance. They have my selfies for that. In the meantime, I’ll be the disheveled woman behind the computer in a bathrobe fuzzy with dog hair and toast crumbs in her lap.