I wouldn’t call myself an addict, but I do need my fix. I succumb to the lure approximately fifteen times a day. Lately it’s gone from a fun, social activity to a source of aggravation and utter self-loathing.
I was turning off the computer and about to head downstairs for dinner when I received a text message from Dana:
“dnnr ths wkknd?”
When on earth did vowels become uncool?
I ignored the text.
Ten minutes into my pizza the text came through again. Apparently a four-minute lag is enough to make a person panic and hit resend. Well, let Dana panic.
“Who’s calling you?” Mom inquired over her half-eaten slice.
“Dana. And it was a text, not a phone call, Mom.”
“My mistake. Why aren’t you responding?”
“Because she snubbed me. I wrote something on her wall a week ago and she never responded.”
Dad reached for his third slice and gave me a knowing nod as he sprinkled way too much red-pepper flake. “Ah. On SpaceFace? Sorry, son. Maybe she’s just busy.”
“No. Not busy. You can’t be too busy for FACEbook, Dad. It was designed for convenience. She flat-out ignored my wall-post. She’ll probably just blame it on her friend-count. She has like 500 friends.”
Dad began to choke. I’m not sure if he was surprised over Dana’s friend-count or if he simply inhaled too much red pepper. Maybe a little of both. “I wouldn’t take it—”
Another huge choking fit ensued.
“—to heart, Doug,” he finished as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “It’s just a website. Not life. Respond to her text, make plans.”
It took every ounce of self-control not to roll my eyes.
“It’s a technological double standard. I don’t see why I have to respond to her text immediately if she can’t write me back online. I’ll reply tomorrow.”
After dinner, I went back upstairs and debated the pros and cons of deleting my Facebook. That’ll teach my so-called friends to ignore my posts. The list went a little something like this:
1. Break an increasing habit that I still refuse to admit is an addiction.
2. Get outside a little bit. I heard it’s summer?
3. Rebuild the self-esteem that went out the window when no one commented on my latest profile pic of me pointing to something and looking shocked.
I decided on a compromise. I’ll keep my Facebook, but I’ll go into hiding for a while. No more status updates (what’s the point of those if no one ‘Likes’ or comments them?), no wall posts or picture comments whatsoever, and absolutely under no circumstances will I utilize the chat feature.
That night I read a book before bed. I won’t lie; it didn’t come naturally.
Of course by the time I woke up Friday morning, I was feeling the withdrawal pains. I had to stop myself from commenting on six of my friends’ statuses. Once I remembered my newfound stance I felt in control and powerful. So what if your dog threw up at the foot of your bed, Barry Fowler? See if I care. You sure didn’t when I ate a Milky Way last week.
Normally I would have announced my Facebook ban with a status update. This was going to be tough.
Dana startled me when she walked up my driveway fifteen minutes later causing me to miss what could have been a shot of Michael Jordan proportions. I let the basketball bounce dejectedly into my neighbor’s yard.
“What the hell, Doug?”
Dana London never beats around the bush.
“I think I need to take a break from Facebook.”
“Because I feel like it’s running my life. I get irrationally hurt and angry when people don’t respond to me on there.”
She looked confused, but recovered quickly. “Oh, this isn’t about your wall post last week? Come on Doug. You know I have like 500 friends.”
Something about the way she said it, almost bragging, sent me over the edge.
“Whatever happened to Facebook etiquette?!” I shouted. A bit too loudly. Birds scattered off our lawn.
Dana looked at me like I belonged in a mental institution. “Facebook … etiquette?”
Part 1 | (Part 2)