Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Facebook, Friend Or Foe?

Oh Facebook, we have such a complicated relationship...

I resisted the hype until April of 2009 when my work had become entirely too consuming and I was forced to quit my part-time job, going to freelance. I created a Facebook page and marveled and relished in all the friends, old and new, that I was resuming contact with. It was great to catch up with friends from junior high and high school, some even from childhood, and those from college and adulthood that had just gone down different paths. It was interesting to see how some had turned out, surprising or not, and an easy way to keep up with those I think of often but am just too busy to call. But then one day a little flashing diva in the margin caught my eye, and Sorority Life beckoned me to join her game-play. She soon took over my life as I bought glam far beyond my earthly dollars and rushed to add "sisters" to get to that elusive 1,000 ribbon. I quickly became obsessed, logging in at specific times to take advantage of a glitch in the system to whoop-ass and make thousands of $$$. I stayed up until 3AM every night like a crack-head, drooling on myself, pressing the buttons over and over again like a test-rat in a laboratory. I eventually took over my husbands unused account so I could "gift" back and forth, and set out to make a super-hero-sister, having now mastered the game-play. Then a friend introduced me to Yo-Ville, and the same obsession took over. I would run home on break from work to "clock-in" and bought houses and furniture galore, spending hours re-arranging and conceptualizing each home, each room. My husband became very disgruntled with me, glued to the laptop every night, giving him no attention at all, but was powerless against the techno-draw that obsessed and engulfed me.

Then one day about 7 months in I was sitting on the computer for the 6th hour straight, in my sweats, dirty, dog barely tended to, house a mess, and dinner...what dinner? Around 5:30PM I looked up at the clock and realized there was no way I was going to pull myself together by the time my husband got home from work and get all my game-goals done too, and it hit me hard. What the hell was I doing? I impulsively decided to delete both accounts and just walk away. I sent the Yorkie back to the friend in Yo-Ville that had given it to me and poof, they were gone, as I clicked delete for good. I had used the obsession for what I needed it for and was ready to spend some time on my real life, the one that had been put on hold all those months ago, not this pathetic virtual one. My husband came home from work that night and was both shocked and pleased, but did not really quite believe it was over, I could tell.

The truth of the matter is that I was now off the Lyrica and Cymbalta that had lulled me into a drug-dazed complacency, and I was ready to live again! I set out to establish a life, a life that had been ignored and missing for all these months. I started Chronicles of Fibromyalgia and signed up for Spanish class and it was only a matter of months before I was living again. I look back on this time as a necessary break from the intense and all-consuming misery that being sick for 4 years had taken on my psyche. I forgave myself, and have moved on to a productive and happy existence. I recently set up on Facebook again to network and promote the Fibromyalgia experience, and have never for one second considered adding games to my repertoire. I am too busy! New puppy, good housewife, exercising, sleeping early and long, and now dealing with the stroke recovery has me plenty used up. So I will say thank you, Facebook, for simply existing in all your complex ways and allowing me the reprieve from reality that I so badly needed, and for forcing me to take responsibility for my actions and never go down that virtual-obsesso world again.

Thanks for joining,

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