Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Facebook Rehab" by Samantha Greene

Facebook Rehab

By “Samantha Greene”

Warning: The following is a diary of one woman’s Facebook withdrawal program. Because of the intense nature of this endeavor, material in here will not be suitable for young readers and those with delicate sensibilities. Reader discretion is advised.

Day 0: Goodbye My “Friend”

Tomorrow is Day One for weaning myself off Facebook. Well, actually, today was supposed to be Day One but I failed miserably, so tomorrow will be a do-over. If they say the first step is admitting it, then I guess I’m admitting it.

Hi, my name is Samantha, and I’m a Facebook addict.

I should have known better. The signs were there from the beginning, but I ignored them because I didn’t want to think I was the kind of person who had such a weak character. Officially, I don’t have an “addictive personality.” Or so I thought. I knew that Facebook was a heady drug, but I thought I could handle it. I thought I was strong enough to play with the big boys. (And by “big boys” I mean other adolescents at heart.)

The first day I signed on to Facebook, at the dawn of 2009, a friend tried to warn me. She posted on my Wall, “Welcome to the jungle, Sam. Be careful.” Tra la la and hardy-har-har, I thought. I was arrogant enough to shoot off a response that assured her that I promised myself not to even fix up my FB profile until the February, when I would have more free time. What a farce. Within the week, I had my Facebook Profile adorned with bumper stickers and Flair buttons. By the time February rolled around, I was already so neck-deep in the Facebook quicksand of time- and spirit-suck that there was no way I was getting out any time soon. Little did I know that I hadn’t even hit bottom yet…

I think I’m also supposed to admit that I don’t have control over my Facebook usage. It has control over me. It even has a voice, my Facebook page, which you will only appreciate if you watched a lot of quality bad television in the 1970s. My Facebook page sounds like the alien temptress from the “Lost in Space” episode when the hot, green alien tries to lure Dr. Smith out of the spaceship. “Doctor Smiiii-iiith,” she sang as she floated by, “Doctor Smiii-iiiith.” Likewise, my computer sings to me, “Saaaa-aaaam. You have updaaaaa-aaates. Friends have posted funny stuff on your Waaaaa-aaaalllll.” So, yes, I admit it. I am adrift in a pathetic sea of incapacity, lame clips of people falling down, and repulsive Youtube links. I am morally feeble, like a sailor destined to slam on a rocky coast helplessly abiding the siren’s call.

Today I promised myself not to check my Facebook page more than three times. Like a medicine taken at mealtime, I swore I could abide by this generous deal. But, no, it turns out I couldn’t. Not even close.

I am powerless over Facebook, and my life has become unmanageable.

Perhaps I should go cold turkey. But not until tomorrow. Or the next day, maybe the next day. But what is “cold turkey” anyway? Does it mean I can read but just can’t post? Can I read the updates sent to my email? Just not take any quizzes for a day? Yes, my friend – or worse, pity for you if you are my Friend! - I hear the desperate deal-making going on here. I disgust even myself.

Goals for tomorrow: Spend no more than 15 minutes IN TOTAL on Facebook. I can divvy the time up as it suits me. No more than one post of my own. No more than three responses to other people’s post. (Even now, already, I am brokering for more. Originally, I typed “two responses” but then quickly deleted it to amend it to three. Ugly, ugly, ugly.) Tomorrow, I will start cutting away at the control Facebook has over my life.

Right after put up a funny Status Update I just thought of….

Stay tuned tomorrow for Day One in Samantha Greene’s Facebook withdrawal program! Same time! Same channel!

To read other humorous essays, go to

My Nephew is a Poodle (and Other Random Thoughts)

at www.pamvictor.blogspot.com.

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