Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I've just been reading up on Facebook Addiction -- people who spend more than an hour a day on it ... hmmmmm. I know I am wasting my time checking in and constantly updating my status. But now my family is starting to get annoyed, which tells me it's a problem. Before I make any decisions on how to break the addiction, I should figure out what I like about FB, what my intentions are and what I can definitely do without.

I enjoy sharing information and I appreciate that my friends share their postings with me. It's my Internet filter. If my friends have found something interesting online, then I'm likely to find it interesting as well.

It's a form of self expression. I come across as pretty serious most of the time, so it's great for me to be able to express my wit and humour. Most of my material is good 'ol family folly that many can relate to.

I've been able to re-connect with some friends that I don't get to see on a regular basis and it feels great to have them back in my life again.

So, what annoys me (other than the fact that it's become an uncontrollable habit).

Boasting: A lot of people use FB to brag about how cool they are. It's so transparent and yet considered acceptable on FB. I'll admit that I did this on one of my status updates and it made me feel pretty small afterwards. I recently showed my partner (who incidentally refuses to join FB) a friend's posting that was a public display of affection. My comment was that it's too bad men don't do it because women really eat that sort of thing up. He said that it wasn't a PDA, it was territorial pissing. My husband, always the romantic. I'll admit I've friended a few ex-boyfriends and have made sure there's a good number of great photos of me and my 'gorgeous' family. I might as well have added captions that read "look at me you stupid fucks -- I found love and happiness in spite of you". K -- time to de-friend the exes now that I've got that off my chest. Perhaps it's as simple as examining my intentions every time I feel the need up post something. I want to add value to other people's life, not clutter up their newsfeeds. Who cares what I am doing anyway? I certainly don't care what most of them are doing?

Need for Approval. I'll admit that soon after I post something, I check to see if someone else 'likes' it or has commented. I'm also curious to read other people's comments to postings, even though I don't know these friends of my FB friends. Rarely do the comments add anything of value -- Look at you! How do you manage? Way to go! Praise junkies, is all I can think.

Oversharing: It's too easy to reveal too much about yourself on FB. It makes me cringe, and a couple of times it's even pissed me off. I'm guilty of it too. Do I really want everyone to know everything about me? Or should I reveal parts of myself to only the people who count in my life?

I don't think I can quit cold turkey, like my sister did. I need some boundaries. One site recommends asking yourself “What did I just accomplish by checking Facebook?” That should at least keep my visit focused, instead of just killing time. I could also keep a list (yes, a list) handy of things I could be doing instead of surfing FB. Maybe I'll commit to only posting/updating my status once a week and see where that gets me. Probably the best thing to do would be to examine my intentions -- it will make me more aware and more likely to do the right thing.

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