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December 17, 2010 > Happy Life: One Day at a Time

Happy Life: One Day at a Time

My Facebook Intervention

Facebook has taken a menacing life of its own. It is addictive, intriguing, compulsive, and if you are an incredibly curious person like me -nosy should be the word, you give your life away to a popular social network that sucks minutes, hours, and days out of your productive life.

The theme is extremely entertaining. I post what I am doing daily. I download pictures from vacations, map my whereabouts, listen to music, dispatch videos to anyone I want, but I refuse to play games such as Farmville, a brain eating game where you farm crops and keep stock.

When friends answer whatever witty thing I say, my page turns into sizeable response mayhem, ending with LOL -laughing-out-loud, key symbols such as (^ - ^) happy face, ;-), wink, or :-( sad face.

Clever postings or comments are truly appealing. An acquaintance of mine posted that she hit a bird while driving home, was mad, and blamed the dead bird for breaking her windshield. Her lack of sympathy for the bird brought her tons of funny responses.

Some comments can turn into uncomfortable topics. With the past elections, liberal and conservatives sympathizers, went head to head and solved absolutely nothing. The conversations went south when people insult others because he or she did not like what the other said. Who is the fool in that conversation?

I "un-friended" someone for material he posted about extremists. It made me very uncomfortable and I wrote, "Off with his head!" prompting several funny responses. I have also deleted people when their posts contain full written profanity, but settle with icons such as #@$*&!

Sharing endless remarks gives the artificial impression that someone actually cares about your opinion over something as trivial as having a haircut. I have a friend who constantly complains about work, another who solicits pity about health issues, and yet another that posts at least ten times a day. Actually, it is the same person.

The illusion of people agreeing with you is gently implied with thumb ups or appropriate responses to your tirades which makes me conclude that facebook authors feel important. It certainly makes me feel that way when it happens to me. The site should have thumbs down icon; it would be used more often.

Facebook Syndrome, you heard it here first, is the next additive social problem. I should tell Mark Zuckerberg, creator of facebook, that thanks to him I will need counseling and perhaps medication.

It is captivating to read every post, but what we all do is waste time, really. Incredibly, some people do not own a Facebook page. If you do not have one, you are a very lucky person.

To broadcast endless threads of daily, sometimes hourly observations is tiresome, but it is too late for me and my over 600 friends and family to quit, unfortunately. The worst part is that I am thinking of opening a Facebook fan page. Do not be alarmed. I know of people having three too many pages.

When I joined Facebook years ago, the purpose was to keep tabs on my two teenagers and give me piece of mind. They allowed their mother to join their pages, but clearly advised her not comment much. At least knowing who they hung out with, where they have been, and who said what to whom relieved their mother. But now, my page is a beast of its own and I, embarrassed to admit, have more friends than my kids put together.

I delete people who insult my intelligence, but keep adding family, new friends that I meet, and others with whom I have career paths in common.

A few days ago, I promised myself to stay away from Facebook for a while. It lasted 15 hours. I would have hoped for a longer period, but I was weak. "They" said these interventions should be attempted in increments, so my next ideal intervention will be 24 hours. Will that make me feel in control?

ElenaMartina welcomes new friends on a daily basis at her Facebook page

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