From time to time, I feel the need to take a sabbatical from the sauce just to see if I can without any repercussions. Okay, to be honest the last time I tried that was about six years ago, but in the summer of 2008, I took a month-long break from bourbon with no problems. Now, it seems more more people feel the need to take a sabbatical from perhaps the most addictive substance around today--social media.
I totally get it. At the boat, I had craptastic internet reception, so I only spent a few minutes a day on Facebook and then forget about it. But now that I am once again equipped with high speed internet, I am completely out of control. I have become a Facebook freak. Here are a few examples:
1) I have one “friend” who I’ve nearly blocked on several occasions just because of the fact that it seems everyone hits “like” to every single one of their status', no matter how mundane--though even their mundane is fairly witty. I admit that I envy their Facebook popularity. I’ve even developed an elaborate theory on why their posts are so f-ing well-received. It involves nepotism, autism, vodka, bacon, a kitten, and the occasional inspirational quote from Gandhi...how pathetic is that? I have taken the time to develop a theory! Worse, I must admit that my self-esteem is somewhat affected by Facebook.
2) I cyberstalk Frank’s ex… for no good reason other than morbid curiosity…just to see what she is doing on any given day. Don’t panic, it never goes further than Facebook. I’m too lazy to ever be an actual stalker.
3) Sometimes I go to events that I don’t really care about attending just so I won’t be left out of the flurry of Facebook photos that I know will follow.
4) I have a Facebook alter ego replete with photo and elaborate background including favorite quotes and an imaginary family.
5) I’ve been tempted to adopt a puppy, a child, a hobby or start a controversial religion just to have more Facebook fodder…okay, this is not true, but it could be the wave of the future if I don’t get this under control.
6) No matter what online task I start—researching, studying, marketing my books, filling out important forms, necessary shopping—within five minutes I am checking Facebook.
In lieu of my bizarre behavior, I decided to do a little research to see if I was the only one. The good news AND the bad news is, I’m not. Findings documented in two recent articles, “Why Facebook Makes You Feel Miserable” and “Facebook is Bad for You. Get a Life” both found “the more someone uses Facebook, the less satisfied he is with his life.”
Basically the lesson is that just because you know what someone ate for breakfast (and have seen an Instagram of it), it doesn't mean you really know them. In order to do that, you must actually sit down and talk over a cup of coffee and that Vegan Eggs Benedict. Scrolling through someone's vacation photos from Amsterdam can't compare with hearing about the trip first-hand. And laughing at a meme on a friend's wall doesn't come close to sharing one of those contagious belly laughs that gets louder and louder until somebody snorts.
Also, just because something isn't posted on Facebook, doesn't mean it didn't happen. There are those life experiences and revelations that are more powerful when kept private.
All that being said, will I give up social media entirely? Hell, no! Will I be more conscientious about getting off the computer, picking up the phone, and making an effort to spend face-to-face time with those I love. Hell, yes!
the bourbonistA, Promoting Debauchery and stamping out political-correctness one blog at a time.