Addicted!

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I have been off of Facebook for three days- it feels like a month! I also have this terrible feeling that I am missing out on something vitally important to my well-being. Pitiful! Just Pitiful!

When I think of, and consider, addictions, I am well aware that while mine are minor, they are yet very real. I feel this way about chocolate. If I abstain for longer than a few days, I begin craving it and dreaming at night about chocolate- in all forms, shapes, and sizes. And, when I was a regular coffee drinker, and had to give it up ten years ago, it took over two weeks for the caffeine headaches to subside.  I am very familiar with these two addictions and am thankful that I never became addicted to anything stronger or more harmful.

Last January when I unplugged my television connection, I thought I might experience withdrawal problems. But I didn’t. I hardly miss watching television at all, which tells me that it must not have had too big of a hold on me. In fact, I have come to love the quietness of my home. I guess I wasn’t ever truly addicted to t.v.

But Facebook is a different kind of animal altogether. I first logged onto the site in 2008, at the urging of my son, and haven’t missed a handful of days since then. It quickly became my window to my world and on many occasions helped me through difficult times in my life. I connected with old friends, new friends, and even some people who aren’t even real friends at all. It’s been fun keeping up with folks and feeling the shared experience of these connections. I sometimes believe I know more than I should about some people, as a few of them seem to have no filters about what they post on their pages. I have also learned some very curious things about some of my “friends” and have been made aware more than I’d like about political leanings, religious beliefs, and even some very personal thoughts. In many ways, it has become TMI (too much information)! I have been amazed at some of the stuff people share with the world.

As a frequent Facebook visitor, I also noticed others’ virtual fingerprints as I browsed, and could easily see where people were looking and what they were interested in. I could also tell who the daily users were- like me. Recently, I became aware of my “addiction” and realized that I was spending entirely too much time clicking through pages, “liking” what I read while also checking to see who else liked the same things, and commenting on and sharing friends’ posts. This needed to stop, and knowing myself as I do, cold turkey was the most effective way to break my habit. I made the decision after a meditation session earlier this week that left me with a clear message to let Facebook go for awhile.

It’s tough. I want to log in – just to check on people and things – but I’m not going to do it. At least, not today. I have a feeling that this is going to be a day-to-day challenge. One day at a time. I may return to Facebook at some point, but I hope I will be able to temper my activity with moderation and not become as involved as I have been.

I hope I will be up to it!

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