My little problem was totally out of control.
It had gone from a curiosity to a necessity. From habit to full blown addiction.
I was doing it every chance I had. As soon as I woke up. While (over) cooking. While I should have been, if not playing with, then at least supervising, my kids. As soon as I parked my car, but thankfully, not at stoplights.
Sometimes I’d find myself doing it after even the West coasters had slowed down. Long, long after I’d promised myself just five more minutes and was officially offing brain cells by severely compromising my sleep.
It was Facebook, and I was addicted to it.
Like eating, it wasn’t something I could realistically give up. Sure, I had friends who never touched it, or did so rarely, but as a blogger, this was not an option for me.
My Facebook compulsion wasn’t just about keeping in touch with friends all over the world, and learning what they found important and what was going on in their lives.
It was about growing my site, having my work shared and sharing that of others. It was about learning from others' artful status updates. It was how to promote the two books I'm in, affectionately nicknamed Pee and Lipstick, as well as the upcoming show I'm part of called, That's What She Said. And most of all, it was never missing a beat with my blogsisters -- a group of women, many of whom I've never met, who I need in my life every day.
But whether I was using it to stay connected or to fill a gaping emotional hole, I clearly needed to make some changes.
So on vacation I stopped. Cold turkey.
I took the app off my Ipad and Iphone, making Facebook harder to access. My laptop stayed home. I checked FB once in 7 days, simply because someone had sent me a message, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t urgent. Which of course it wasn’t, because if someone is sending urgent messages only via FB I’d be willing to bet something is seriously wrong with them.
And here’s the thing. Being off Facebook felt AMAZING.
I felt free. One less thing demanding my attention made a big difference.
For better or worse, I wasn’t completely unplugged. I checked email with alarming and shameful frequency. I volley texted.
What I didn’t do is lose hours of my life in brilliant, banal and bizzare status updates, photos, videos and articles.
Nor did I have to wonder about the value of, or the response to, my own.
Instead, I read books. I wrote posts by hand, to be edited when I entered them into the computer. I didn’t reconnect with the Hubs as much as I would have liked, but we’ll blame that on our offspring who decided that vacation bedtime was synonymous with running around and shouting like extras in a Braveheart battle scene.
I’m back home now, back to posting on my own site and Facebook, as well as pinning and tweeting and google-plussing (none of which have me by the lady bits like Zucky’s baby). The “Gone Fishing” sign has been removed from my blog, and I need Facebook's mysterious algorithms to
trumpet whisper my posts to
I hope that instead of being a Facebook addict, I can find a way to use it sensibly – to make it part of a healthy online diet.
I hope I can learn to budget and schedule my FB time.
And most of all, I hope I can go against human nature. That I can shout something out to my online community, go live life in the real world, and then, hours later, come back to see if anyone heard me.