I have an addiction to Facebook.
Before that I had an addiction to MySpace.
And before that, I had an addiction to different community forums like exercise and teaching ideas where I could converse with others and learn from them.
I guess it’s not the worse addiction you can have, it’s not terribly expensive, but like any addiction it controls my mind and steals my time.
I remember when the internet was invented, yes I do. I was at my sister’s house, she was showing me around the World Wide Web and it was a confusing mess with its browser buttons and home page. I remember thinking I would never understand it and why would I even need to.
Then, for me anyway, computers were for writing college papers and nothing more. A fancy typewriter that didn’t need correction tape. There were no such things as digital photos or downloadable music. We had 35 mm film and a cassette player. What more could we possibly need?
I have grown to love the internet, in the most unhealthy of ways. If I counted the hours of my life that has been, dare I say it, robbed by sitting in front of the computer, I would be riddled with guilt. It is my Encyclopedia Britannica. My source of information at my fingertips. It is my friend finder, connector to others and relationship builder. And with my blog, it is my voice.
It’s not all bad. The internet has taught me much. Where would my brain be without all the useless knowledge with which I’ve filled it? It has brought me closer to others. In the last few years of my dad’s life, we grew to know one another in a deeper, more personal way. A way in which we never would have experienced if left to our own conversational abilities, of which neither of us are considered stellar. And I cherish that. But with the invention of smart phones, the connection to the internet has gone overboard for me. Even though I want to believe it is enriching my life, I often wonder if it is in reality sucking the life out of me.
Two weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account. Like an addict, I can say today it has been 14 days since I’ve drunk in Facebook, snorted the comments of others, inhaled the sometimes hateful, sometimes loving, sometimes funny, sometimes snarky remarks and jokes of friends and family.
I ain’t gonna lie, I’ve missed it. It is the first thing I think about doing when I wake up, and throughout the day I catch myself wanting to write on my wall and cyberstalk others. But it’s been one of the best things I’ve done as well. I long for the connections with others, but I tell myself that anyone who gives a rip about me has my number, knows my address, maybe has my email and can find me if they truly want to. It’s nice to have been missed by a few, but for the most part, I’ve discovered my “friends” are merely “acquaintances”.
Will I be back? Who’s to say. I’m working on my real-life relationships instead. Trying to improve my real-life self and draw meaning from this place called life.
So if you’re reading, thanks for stopping by.
I wish you’d say hi.
I probably miss you.