Everybody seems to agree that Facebook = life. Social life, online life, even sex life [we’ve all seen that pictures you’ve been posting!] Can you actually tell when the fun stops and addiction kicks in?
I had been using Facebook for years now, I believe I first created my profile in 2009, when it was still rather unpopular where I live. The only reason why I did it was to keep in touch with a friend I met abroad, as this seemed to be the only option. It slowly grew on me, and before I knew it, I was posting pictures, sharing songs and meeting people from all over the world. Due to various reasons, I kept deactivating and reactivating my account on a monthly basis. Whenever I was out with my friends, I would ignore them and used my phone. When I was in another city, instead of looking around, I would look at the screen. Shopping took twice as much, because I was also sending messages. Last year, I reached a point where I needed to see absolutely every single post in my news feed. I would spend hours scrolling, looking at pictures, occasionally blowing a little more air through my nose-the internet equivalent of real life laughter. The last thing I did before going to bed-checking Facebook. The First thing I did when I woke up-checking Facebook, scroll through news feed until I would reach the last photo I had seen. Sometimes this could take hours. And then it hit me: dude, looks like I have a problem! Four clicks away, my account was deactivated. Fortunately, traveling keeps me away from it for a while, so I feel the need to see what others are doing less often. Now, although I hadn’t been that obsessed with Facebook again, I would still waste a lot of time scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Looking at pictures. Liking photos. Unfriending annoying people. When too much text showed up, I would skip it and move to the next post. Whenever I left home, even for a short time [e.g.: going to the supermarket or taking out the trash] I would instantly activate the Internet option on my phone. During the spring holiday [two weeks], I spent my days in front of the screen. I didn’t read, I didn’t study, I didn’t go out [and I made sure to close the shutters, so that no light would bother me]. Six days ago, when the holiday was finally over, I realized I needed to take action. So, I did. Four taps on my phone, and my account was deactivated once again. It didn’t feel nice. It didn’t feel bad. I just felt a rush of adrenaline. I was able to resist for two hours before experiencing classic drug withdrawal syndromes. I went through several phases, and I assume I’m still negotiating with myself: “Only for 10 minutes, I’ll look at a few photos and then I will never touch it again!” Which, of course, could never work.
For how long?
My goal is to stay disconnected as long as possible. For those of you wondering, the description of the blog [Live. Travel. Disconnect.] refers to the fact that we’re spending too much time online. Back on track, my account will be “dead” until I pass my finals, maybe with a short break during a trip I will be making soon.
What am I missing?
Plenty of photos which could be found online, stupid statuses informing me about First World Problems, pictures of insecure couples which have to show their love to everybody, friend requests from people I don’t know or I can’t stand, stalking my exes [which I wasn’t doing anyway, I was just INFORMING myself on how they are doing every now and then…*innocent*]. How much I care about all these?
Do you find yourself in the situation described under “Why?” Then you should give it up. No excuses, no negotiating, no tears over no longer stalking your ex and posting selfies! If you don’t trust yourself enough to do it, ask a friend to change your password for you. You’ll get it back when you start acting like a human again.
Has my life become miraculously better all of a sudden?
Of course not. I’ve been feeling miserable ever since, as if someone cut off my right arm. I feel that something is missing, that my life is incomplete and that I no longer exist. Which is why I gave it up in the first place. Because I wanted and needed my life back. Because I want to be able to control myself, and this means no addictions [books are the only exception].
I would be amazed to know someone has actually took the time to read all this. Happy blogging, unplug, disconnect.