I've been spending WAY too much time online lately. I had to finally intervene on my own behalf this week. The addiction had reached ridiculous proportions and was affecting my family life. While I can't truthfully claim it's just one website, I think it's fair to say that the bulk of the blame goes to Facebook.
Is anyone else having this problem? I get on for the sole purpose of writing a few emails and generally interacting with friends I otherwise wouldn't be in contact with, and suddenly I find myself looking at people's "Which Days Of Our Lives Character Are You?" quiz results. Before I know it, we've missed our all-important mid-morning snack, I have 3 days' worth of laundry piled up, and I have nothing to show for all that lost time.

Facebook has been a great thing for me in terms of reconnecting with people I'm thrilled to be in contact with again. But then there are the friends who just seemed to add me to collect another friend, and the friend requests from people I've never even heard of. It reeks a little too much of junior high. Of wanting to be popular. Good grief--have I not moved on just a little in the last 2 decades?!

And here's my worst confession of all. You may hate me after reading this, so be warned. About a year ago, someone I was quite good friends with in high school added me as a friend. I was happy about it and sent him an email updating him on my life and telling him to update me because I'd love to hear what he's been up to over the last 18 years or so. He never wrote back. A few months later, I emailed again, just to be sure I hadn't somehow missed him. Again no reply. I wasn't going to be a pest so I let it go for a few more months, all the while being inundated with his status updates, 438th added friend and fan pages. Then, last week something happened. His status update announced that his dad had died. My first reaction was to "comment" as 25 or so already had. You know, say something consoling. Then I immediately thought to myself (and this is where you're going to hate me) "Ugh, if I comment, I'm going to get dozens of notifications that others have commented after me." And I didn't want that, so I didn't comment. Terrible, right?! It gets worse.

Once I realized that I was so adverse to getting all those notifications that I was actually willing not to send him my condolences, I realized the truth. We are not actually friends. So I deleted him. And now I'm contemplating deleting a few others I haven't actually spoken to since they added me as a friend. Most of them have so many friends, I'm sure they wouldn't notice if I was gone, and frankly, it'd free up all those updates for people I'd actually like to hear about.

But it isn't just the friend issue. It's all that time-wasting. The applications, the groups and the "causes". I could literally spend a week on facebook and come away with nothing more than a melting sensation in my brain.

So, I made a decision. I would get on facebook first thing in the morning, update my status so those who care don't think I've died, talk to whoever I want, maybe look at a few photos (because I do like that we can all share photos of our kids or pets or vacations) and then I'm done for the day. The computer goes off and I go about my life like it's 1976 and I have no idea what a computer even is.

And guess what?! When you're not online all morning, or back and forth checking your perpetually running laptop, you get a lot done!!

This weekend, using time I would've otherwise spent floating around the internet, I rearranged a little furniture, threw away the first gift I ever bought the Captain (farewell broken $15 phone!) and made my boys their very own card-table playhouse in the basement. It turns out there ARE (almost) enough hours in the day. You just have to not spend them all online!

So, after checking out all those blogs I love and checking in with the people I love, my computer time for the day is over. The world will not come to an end if I wait until tomorrow morning to check my email again, and maybe I'll throw a ball for Rosemary's Baby and put together a lego structure with Firstborn.

But before I go, I might just check out that Days Of Our Lives quiz. You know. For research purposes...


Janine said…
HA!!! I just deleted my WHOLE self from Facebook... My girlfriend made me go on... I got a gajillion e-mails and I said I dont think so!!!
My blog is about all I can handle...
Heather said…
You've just mentioned every single reason why I never Facebooked (or is it faceboke?).
"Those who matter don't care, those who care don't matter". Can't recall who wrote that, but I sure love it!
Nancy said…
A friend of mine in Toronto asked me to get on Facebook so I did, then promptly forgot about it and just ocntinued "old fashioned" e-mailing. Then when my daughter went to college, she got on Facebook, added me as a friend, and so did a bunch of her friends. I only hit it about once a month, when I remember. Again, old fashioned me, I talked to my daughter on the phone. :) Still on Facebook and it's kinda fun to check in on all the kids and their goings on at college/in the service, as they are scattered all over the country and world now.
C. Beth said…
Wow, what a great post! I definitely relate--I get way to into my "online life." You're right; when I spend less time here, I get a lot more done!

I'm about to give you the One-Minute Writing of the Day award for your response to the "Inspiration" writing prompt. It was a fantastic story. Congrats!!

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