My First Session with Dr. Facebook
I’m just going to come right out and put it on the table here. I suffer from C.A.P.S. (Cyber Addictive Personality Syndrome,) and I am seeking help for my Facebook addiction. This confession is the first step of my therapy with Dr. Facebook.
Ironically, I heard about Dr. Facebook online. Typically, I try to ignore those insulting advertisements on the right side of my screen. Wondering if the sinewy grasp of Facebook’s invasiveness extended into assessments upon my appearance, I used to take offense to the constant ads about losing weigh, looking younger and challenging my I.Q. But now, thanks to Dr. Facebook, I know “they” can’t see me through my computer screen.
But I could tell Dr. Facebook’s ad was different. It spoke to me. Directly. (Literally, it said my name. Spooky, huh?)
“Pam Victor, take a moment to answer these questions:
1. Are you spending too much time on Facebook?
2. Does your family complain that you’ve abandoned them for Facebook?
3. Do you easily confuse Friendship with friendship?
4. Do you have control over your Facebook usage or does it have control over you?”
Since I do like taking FB quizzes, I took the bait.
2. Yes (damn them)!
3. There’s a difference?
The ad continued, “If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘uh’ to any of these questions, please immediately consult Dr. Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-FB-Cyber-Addictive-Personality-therapist/105829912603?created”
As I always seek to better myself, I made an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Facebook. She was not at all the way I expected. Judging from her Profile Photo, I could see that she was a dedicated, intelligent and extremely hot woman. (I find Profile Photos to be an excellent way to judge character. Nobody can lie to a camera, right?) We held the appointment on her FB page, which I thought was pretty clever. Right away, Dr. Facebook jumped into the throbbing pulse of my FB addiction.
Dr. FB: I’ve been reviewing your “25 Random Things” list, Pam. Would you like to talk about #11, where you say you deeply regret that weekend at Club Med?”
Pam: Oh, Dr. Facebook, please no. Can we start with something easier?
Dr. FB: It’s your dime, Pam. Fine, let’s look at #8. “I regret 57% of the things I say (yet I keep on talking.)”
Pam: Thank God she didn’t go to the one about thinking Scott Baio was my soulmate. Ooops. Did I say that out loud?
Dr. FB: Do you think someone like you, with a preexisting self-filtering issue, should be on Facebook?
Dr. FB: Moving on. Your Friends list. How do you determine who goes on your Friends list?
Pam (excitedly): I only allow people I have met in real life to be on my Friends list! I attempt to maintain a pure Friends list.
Dr. FB: “Pure.” Interesting choice of words.
Pam: Well, I’m not a Friends list slut.
Dr. FB: Ah.
Pam: Give me a break, doc, I only have 96 people on my Friends list.
Dr. FB: So you’re kind of a loser? An online social pariah?
Pam: I wouldn’t go that far.
Dr. FB: We can agree to disagree on that. Have you ever been de-Friended?
Pam: Well, one time, but it was a mistake.
Dr. FB (writing a new Note): I see…. Let’s address the matter of your posting patterns.
Pam: I post about once a day, and only if it’s something really good.
Dr. FB: Once a day, Pamela?
Pam: Ok, twice.
Dr. FB: This is a safe place, Pam. You can be honest here.
Pam: Twice a day, doc! I swear! Three times max! Four times if it’s really, really important!
[At this point, I break down in a sobbing heap. Several minutes go by.]
Damn, you’re you hit a trigger point there, doc.
Dr. FB: Thank you. Let’s look at the quality of your postings. It seems as though you have a history of passive-aggressive postings. On May 12, 2009 you made a comment that seemed directed at a Friend you were peeved with. It read: “Some people are big doody heads and I wish they would stop.”
Pam: I might have written that.
Dr. FB: So we need to work on that. Hypothetical situation: If you have issues with a friend, where do you think the best place would be to work them out?
Pam: Not on a Wall-to-Wall?
Dr. FB: Good. So…
Pam: In an Inbox message?
Dr. FB: No.
Pam: A chat session?
Dr. FB: Please, Ms. Victor. Do you want to heal or do you want to stay trapped in the same twisted, unhealthy place?
Pam: Heal! Heal! Ok, hang on. Maybe an important conversation would be good to have on the phone?
Dr. FB: Now we’re getting somewhere.
Pam: Or in person?
Dr. FB: Ding, ding, ding! Bingo!
Pam (basking in the light of success but secretly unconvinced): Whew.
Dr. FB: In analyzing your postings, I’m glad to say you don’t suffer from P.V.P.S.
Dr. FB: Purposely Vague Posting Syndrome.
Pam: That’s good.
Dr. FB: No, Pamela. That’s great. There is nothing more annoying than fuzzy, ambiguous postings.
Pam: But song lyrics are Ok, right?
Dr. FB: In moderation. Speaking of moderation, let’s talk about your Poking history.
Pam: I read your Note on Poking, and I put myself on a Poking diet like you suggested. I only Poked two people this week.
Dr. FB: And how many times did you Super Poke people, Pamela?
Pam: [Insert blushing icon]
Dr. FB: Now let’s discuss Your Farm.
Pam: Oh, oh.
Dr. FB: In examining Your Farm, I see that you have a habit of planting things that you never water and you rarely harvest. I think that is an apt analogy for the way you parent.
Pam: Damn, doc, you’re good. Really good.
Dr. FB: And let’s examine the fact that last week you sent Good Karma a Friend. Let’s be frank. Surely you realize that Good Karma is an outdated application. What were you really saying about your feelings toward that Friend when you choose to send that app.?
Pam: That I think he’s an outdated, out-of-touch person?
Dr. FB: Now we’re getting somewhere. And speaking about unsaid feelings, let’s talk about the fact that you didn’t comment on your Friend’s photograph of her new puppy.
Pam: I did comment. I said, “Ooooh!”
Dr. FB: Exactly.
[Lengthy pause in which the depth of Dr. Facebook’s wisdom sinks in.]
Dr. FB: Another matter I’d like to cover. Two weeks ago, it was someone’s birthday, and you sent her a “gift” of two penguins hugging.
Pam: They were so cuuuuute!
Dr. FB: Please remember there is no need for repeated letters here. This is a sacred space. But more to the point, you spent actual money on that gift.
Pam: Well, she is a good Friend. She responds to my postings a lot.
Dr. FB: Number one, you haven’t laid eyes upon her in 25 years which begs the question of your definition of friendship. Number two, you realize you laid out cold, hard cash on a gift that doesn’t exist except as an icon on a computer screen?
Pam: But they were so cute!
Dr. FB: ::Sigh::
[Dr. Facebook sends me a link to her essay entitled “Virtual vs. Real: A User’s Guide.”]
Dr. FB: Our time is almost up, Pamela. I like to end my sessions with a quiz. You can choose from the following:
· Which kind of f-ed up nutjob are you?
· What breed of subhuman species are you?
· Which supermodel would you regret sleeping with the most?
· What mood-altering medication should you be on?
Pam: I have to choose just one?
Dr. FB (furiously writing on her notepad): Just as I thought. We did good work here today, Pamela, but clearly with have a lot of ground to cover. Next session, I’d like to discuss your decision to Friend your mother.
Pam: Thanks Dr. Facebook. You’re da bom.
[Dr. FB posts a link to her Note “Top 10 Reasons Why Middle-Aged White People Should Never Talk Street on Facebook.”]
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