It was time for me to ditch another persistent addiction.
Yesterday, without a word, I deactivated Facebook for the third and hopefully final time.
Addicts: you know how you kick something, and then you relapse and it’s like a hundred times worse than last time?
That’s kind of how my last Facebook jaunt went. I was only back for a few weeks and I literally could not get out of this chair because I kept getting notifications.
Bathrooms were gross.
Gym? Nope. Couldn’t miss a notification. Always had an excuse. Maybe next Monday.
Self-care? Just barely.
And lots of other minor things, just things that need doing when you are the housekeeper and a disabled 48 year old man with responsibilities to yourself and your family.
I knew what all of this meant: Facebook was causing depression when I wasn’t on it. And I kept Facebooking to stave it off. Sure, you can’t snort, smoke, or shoot Facebook, but that right there is a textbook definition for maintenance of an addiction.
So, upon the suggestion of my wife, I shut it the fuck down with prejudice, not even a goodbye post. I handled it like I had picked up something hot and I needed to drop it quickly. I didn’t think there was any way to cut down on my Facebook time. I was a junkie, and I suspected Facebook was going to be one of those drugs that I was not going to be able to step down from.
Cold turkey is tough too. Because I’m going to miss my political allies. Fellow atheists. Family. Old friends. New friends. I will miss all of the music groups I was in that steered me to fascinating bands and outfits. I can’t share my wife’s online life. My mouse lingers over that big blue F on my homepage and I accidentally click it still out of habit. I know I have twenty or thirty messages already since leaving. But Facebook will consume me if I go back.
I don’t know what it is about Facebook in particular that causes this. Maybe you do (here’s some scholarly stuff on it). Because I’m an active Twitter user, and I don’t feel the same addiction potential that I know exists for Big Eff. There is a quest for followers that could cause some issues, but mostly I enjoy reading it because I get to rub elbows with famous and smart people and folks who used to blog back when doing what I’m doing right now was hot shit. Twitter is very sparse, with its limits on how much you can say and how correct you have to come-you will find out what kind of an idiot you are very fast if you say the right thing the wrong way and vice versa. But the bottom line is it’s easy to get up from.
I’m not well known enough on Twitter that I get a response, a like, a retweet or a follower note every minute. So perhaps Twitter may in due time become as bad a drug as Facebook, but for now I’m just chipping. And that’s far, far better than the dope I was into yesterday.