Tuesday, November 17, 2009

140 Characters


I did it. I signed off. I actually signed off Facebook. Omigodnowwhat? It’s only been a few minutes, but already I am wondering what to do. It’s truly ridiculous. I mean, I have no time for Facebook, but somehow I manage to be signed on all day long. The thing is, I leave my laptop open on the table and jump on the computer whenever my kids are playing with each other or sleeping. It’s a very effective way for me to get things done during the day. I can write, I can email, keep in touch with everyone, and not miss anyone’s birthday. It makes me feel efficient since I am home most of the day with my little ones. I don’t spend much time on the phone because it’s too darn loud here, so Facebook has turned out to be the perfect solution.

So why do I feel guilty? I suppose that’s a part of parenting. I pay attention to my kids, I play with them, love them, care for them. They are good kids, we have fun together. I am allowed to have some social time, albeit at arm’s length via the electronic world. But now it’s truth time. I am not just a Facebook user. I am a major addict. When my internet connection goes down I refresh the page to see if I missed any new posts. I wonder at the beginning of the day what I might post as my status. Something interesting, truthful, but not too revealing. It is after all potentially seen by people other than those on my friend list. Besides, is it so wrong to want to know what everyone else is up to? It’s the modern day version of Gladys Kravitz peeking out the window to see what the neighbors are doing. Yes, yes, I admit, that was me before Facebook, but I’m far too in touch with my inner and online Gladys to stop.

Wait, there’s more. Not only am I addicted to just being on Facebook, I am addicted to playing a game. Bejeweled Blitz. There, I said it. I am competitive about it, and I tried to stop once, but I’m no quitter. I tried to quit coffee too. Ok, I didn’t try very hard. But I did stop playing Bejeweled for a week (read: the game was overrun with users and Facebook shut it down). I thought I was free of it, but then someone on my friend list started making high scores and I HAD to beat her. I even joked about needing to un-friend her in order to be in first place each week. She thought I was kidding.

This is when I realized I needed to change things up. Twitter limits the characters you can write to 140. Maybe I should limit my friend list to 140 friends/characters? And my posts too? Maybe I need a time limit of 140 minutes a day. Clearly I am getting carried away. But it’s like buying a new dress or a purse. You like it so much you start to wonder what you wore before you bought it. Come to think of it. I don’t spend much time on what I wear these days either. I’m in too much of a rush to sign on and see what my east coast friends posted while I was still asleep.

Ok, ok. I can should just close my computer. I was about to start this next sentence with “But” when I realized I have already used the word nine times. Clearly I am full of excuses. So here’s my last statement in 140 characters or less:

I’m addicted to Facebook. I could close my computer BUT my Blackberry has a Facebook app. Anyone know if Facebook has a support group?

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