Hi, My Name is Steven

And I’m a Facebookaholic.

As is often the case, it started out innocently enough in my teenage years. I don’t blame my parents, as I had a great upbringing filled with plenty of wisdom and care. I don’t blame the religion I was part of at the time; there was no condemnation of my soul or touching by clergyman. No, this initial dabbling in Facebook started because of a girl.

The first girlfriend I ever had was soon going to go to a fancy art school, and would be in another state for most of the year. I didn’t have a cell phone at the time (I told you, I had wise parents), so she suggested I join something called “Facebook”. She told me “it’s like MySpace, but not ghetto”, and could keep us connected in a fun way every day. Although I really didn’t care from MySpace-esque websites, she was several points higher on the hotness scale than I was, so I quickly created an account. I didn’t know it at the time, but thus began a relationship that was more tumultuous and longer-lasting than the one I was currently in with my lovely girlfriend.

Exchanging “pokes”, taking “What Nintendo Character are you?” quizzes, and finding other high school classmates as they slowly joined over the coming months, it was actually a pretty good time!

Then I got dumped. Forget “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, the reality is “out of sight, out of mind”. She was the reason I signed up for Facebook, and the main reason I logged on almost every day. Surely I would now close my account. But that was not to be, as I discovered Facebook was the perfect median to place my new broken-hearted feelings for all to see and ponder upon! Song lyrics, enigmatic “don’t-ask-me-what-I-mean-but-I-really-want-you-to-ask-me-what-I-mean” blurbs, and soon-to-be rebound posts – “I hang out with OTHER girls, and I’m definitely going to post about it!” filled up my wall.

The rest is history. I had received a small taste of the Beast, and although I had an excuse to walk away, I didn’t. Facebook, that crafty dealer, kept releasing new and improved features – fun little games you could compete with your friends on, the ability to tag friends in posts, and even being able to use your Facebook login on other websites! Every time I would become a bit bored of the experience, they freshened it up!

Any chance I had to escape came when Facebook developed their mobile apps. Before, I was accessing Facebook from my family computer, or occasionally my school/work computers, but now I could literally access it at all times. So I did.

They made their product that much sweeter when they made it that much smarter. The Facebook interface and my newsfeed started getting ridiculously smart. It knew what kept me reading and scrolling. Their AI and data-gathering was insane, and it kept me logged in constantly. First thing in the morning, while laying in bed, throughout the day whenever I had the time (whether this time was actually mine or my employers’ was irrelevant), and laying in bed before going to sleep. It was bad, and I finally realized it.

So I stopped cold turkey. Closed my account, and walked away. Although it’s a pretty hazy memory, I do remember that this period of my life was actually pretty great. Why did I eventually return to the Beast? The Events feature of Facebook. I found that I was missing out on community events, festivals, fairs, and even local parties thrown by my friends, all because they weren’t advertised very well except through Facebook. I felt this was a legitimate reason to get back into Facebook, and here we are now.
It’s not as bad as it used to be, but dammit, 68% of the energy my phone’s battery has expended in the last 24 hours was used to power up Facebook (praise Zuckerberg that the iPhone doesn’t have a clock showing how long you’ve used various apps (or if there is, I am blissfully unaware of it)). And I’m getting better, as I no longer allow myself to use it in bed, and writing this blog has re-invigorated me to get my use back down to non-embarrassing levels.
So be sure to friend me and check your newsfeed, as I’ll be posting about my progress! facebook-addiction-1

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