Aug 20, 2009

Welcome to FA -- Facebookoholics Anonymous

I have a problem.

It's not an ethical problem. It's not a financial problem. It's a creating-too-much-spare-time problem.

Believe it or not, blogging has not been the hobby that has caused the infraction.

Unfortunately, because Blogger is so much more time-consuming for me than other "spurt-friendly" distractions, my attention has been consistently drawn to another in particular. Many of you will recognize the lower case "f" inside the famously blue box.

Many of you will also share with me in the occasional over-indulgence of such a diversion. Shameful, I know. I feel like I should be doing something more productive, like shucking corn or shelling beans on the front porch. Milking the cow or feeding the chickens. But we don't have a garden, milk cows, or chickens. And since I can't get off Blogger for a minimum of 4 hours once I'm on, alas, I have resorted to facebook for my distraction of choice.

Hello. My name is Chel. And I am a facebook-aholic.

Shocker No. 2:
I quit facebook this week. Yes I did.

It started out innocently enough: a post here, a link there. Then came friend requests from people I hadn't seen or talked to in decades. In short spurts I was able to comment on someone's day without evoking a long conversation. Quick. To the point. Daily interaction with people that I would otherwise have no connection. There were some people I talked to more on FB than I ever did when I knew them in real time almost 20 years ago!

But then, things started to suffer for it. Things I need to do. And things I love to do.

Blogging would be toward the top of that "love to do" list.

It was a trickle-down effect, really. I started out just "popping in" in the morning and then again in the evening. But then I had so many conversations going on, so many quizzes to take, and so many farms to tend that once or twice a day just wasn't gunna cut it anymore, baby! I mean, I had goals to reach!

Eh hem. (pull yourself together, girl)

As I was saying, day by day, click by click, I was steadily eroding my day away without even realizing it. Now, don't get me wrong...I wasn't literally in front of the computer 24/7 or anything. I'd just "pop in" just to see if I'd heard back from someone, and then I'd see a cool quiz, or a great song, or a fun game. Or I'd start looking at people's photos...and we all know what a rabbit chase that can be. Before you know it, you've gone through 243 photos and 14 photo albums!

And then there's the pull. You know what I'm talking about. When you're away from the computer, there's always this thought in the back of your mind, "Wonder what so-and-so is up to today?" or "I wonder if I could find that on facebook?" or "That would be a great status!" So even when I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm distracted. Things just don't get done as efficiently if I'm not concentrating on them. It's just a fact of life.

So then guess what happens? Wednesday comes and I haven't finished laundry that I was supposed to have washed on Tuesday, and three people are out of underwear. And I made my grocery list on Thursday, but I was so rushed that when I went on Friday, I missed a half dozen things that should have been on my list. So I make three store runs over the weekend.

<span" border="0"> - Flair Buttons

So here's my point: I'm adding stress to my life and putting things off...for what? So I can see how many people are playing Mafia Wars? Oh, no wait, maybe so I can ignore another weird and random gift that some goofball thought was funny, like a block of cheese or a briefcase that functions as a fish tank.

Oh, now, before I get all one-sided and everything, I have to admit that some really good things did come from my facebooking experience. I reconnected with some old high school friends that otherwise I might never have found. Some of them I had the privilege to discover that they had fallen in love with the Son of God like I had since high school, and some of them I got to share my new life with them for the first time. That is very good. I was able to encourage several people who are either going through a difficult time or are at a very pivotal time in their faith journey. That's a good thing. And I'll still keep up with them....through email.

I guess if you can keep yourself from getting sucked in so many times throughout the day, then more power to ya. But until I either get a lighter load or more than 24 hours in a day, I'll have to stay away. But the good news is maybe I'll get some blogging done in all my spare time in the evenings!

Oh, and it's Thursday: all my laundry's done, clothes are already ironed for Sunday, and you should see how sparkling clean my house is today.


Abiding Branch said...

OH yes! I was totally getting that today and had the small thought, "should I follow suit and do the same?" Well I am still on it life does change next week in my house so we shall see won't we.
thank you for sharing your heart and making us realize there are things that become "graven images" if we are not mindful. Since you told me I have tried to be mindful of purposeful contacts and I don't do any of those odd things you mentioned other than the James Avery charms or the Starbucks and flair. But I had quit the flair too and ignore more than I do but those little numbers at the top sure did get distracting when you see you have over 200 updates/requests/gifts YIKES! oK ok I'm done.
Sure do love you sister!!

sara said...

you are so funny!!! But we are glad to have you back in the blogging world!!! I have never gotten into the farm stuff or quizzes on FB, but i do see how it could take up all your time. Good for you for realizing it!!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Hi my name is Robin and I'm a FB addict...

I so understand, my secret or my wepon is the ignore button. I get lots of request to take this quiz or that survey, most of the time i hit the ignore button. I do enjoy my face book it keep me in updated on pictures of my granddaughter and I love reading all the different status update on all my friend. But you are so right with out balance it can defiantly suck your time away with a bunch of totally worthless pursuits.

I think on the average I pop over to my face book a couple (ok maybe more like 5 or 6 times) time a day.

I have even found a couple of my blogging pals on FB, that's fun as well!

Blessing as you detox from FB!


Liz said...

Haha! I went to send you this link and noticed you were gone:

I feel for you. I have a "no games, no quizzes" rule for me on FB to keep my addiction manageable. Glad to know you'll be blogging more now!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I rarely do a quiz or anything extracurricular like that. I find FB less rewarding than blogging. The one thing I have enjoyed, as you said, is meeting up with old friends from school again. That is nice. I have to gauge my time, too, and I don't even have little ones.

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Jeanette said...

OMG, not only have I been addicted to Facebook with Farmville, I am obsessed with Twitter and checking out Tweets. I said I liked Facebook because I was connecting to friends, but I was just connected to the computer. What ever happened to phone calls and girls night out, luncheons and brunches? Before Web 2.0 those were the good old days. Great post.

Angie said...

You crack me up! Ok, yet another thing we have in common. I said goodbye to FB & Twitter too. Just didn't feel like I was being a good steward of my time with it all.

Edie said...

I signed up with FB and Twitter as a means of networking and found both of them quickly became too time consuming. With FB it was (is) because I get about 30 gifts a day.

A clean house feels really good doesn't it! :)

Meg in Tally said...

I'm sooooo glad I took time off from my FB Scrabble game to read your post! I too am a FB-aholic!

But I agree about the time erosion and have felt the pinch. Before reading this, I had already decided that this week would begin the weaning process. This convinces me MORE that I should do that. We'll see how it goes...I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me -- even de-toxing from FB!