Hello, my name is Joanna DelBuono and I am a Facebook addict.
There, I said it. Do I feel better? Hell, no. In fact, I think the only cure is to turn it off and ignore all postings for at least a month — if not longer.
Like all addictions, whether chemical or organic, damage has been done and, as usual, this one started out innocent enough.
I logged on to Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends who lived far away. It was great to share pictures and a whole lot quicker than snail-mail. However, my addiction has taken hold and now I find I can’t last the day without logging on and checking in. I can’t last a whole hour anymore without sneaking a fix.
Facebooking has done more to break families apart and move people away from each other than divorce and National Van Lines combined.
According to an item in the Guardian in 2011, the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys cited four out of five attorneys reported an increasing number of divorce cases based on evidence derived from social networking sites in the past five years, with Facebook being the market leader.
Of course Facebook is not alone. Twitter, MySpace, and texting have all had a share in contributing to the breakdown of communication and burying the relationship.
Why meet mano é mano when you can break-up, break plans, and avoid uncomfortable social functions by staying holed up in your room than through social networking.
In the pre-social media days, if you did something stupid, your only worry was the “remember when” moments years later. Now, the whole world knows how stupid you were and it is there for all eternity for all to see. It gives new meaning to written in stone.
Social networking has become the ultimate revenge of the nerds too. No longer do the geeks of the world have to face unwanted emotional entanglements, be rejected, or want for conversation. They can all pretend to be someone else, meet people, and avoid physical contact. All one has to do is set up a profile, log on, and type away to snapchat nirvana. In fact, one does not even have to use a real photo as an icon. There are cutesy avatars or photos of someone else (à la “Catfish’) to use, while hiding behind the little screen and keyboard. Safe in the anonymity of the womb of the room.
Social networking has also destroyed the convention of dating. No longer do boys have to ask girls out, or vice versa (Sadie Hawkins day of course). It is just texting, hooking-up, and then hanging-up.
I have pondered long and hard on how to break my addiction — and have come to the conclusion that the only way is to go cold turkey. No longer will I be tethered to social networking. No longer will I depend on posting 42 characters or less to keep in touch, no longer will I need to revel in knowing where all my 300-plus friends and family are. I am logging off, unplugging, and telling Facebook, adieu, farewell, and goodbye.
Not for Nuthin™ but the only problem I foresee is how am I going to keep tabs on my daughter now? Oh well, maybe I’ll stay on Twitter — for now.
Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.