Therapists warn some of us are crossing the line from social networking to social dysfunction. They say Facebook’s seductive powers cause a compulsion to dissociate from the real world and live in an artificially happy one where people don’t have morning breath or argue over who’s going to change the baby’s diaper.
But what’s the matter with wanting to spend some time in a happy place where nothing ever goes wrong? With Facebook, who needs Prozac?
Frequent Facebook visits can cause something called intermittent reinforcement, where notifications, messages and invitations reward us with some kind of high. Like high roller gambling, only instead of perks like private jets and limousines, we get things like…
Incoming…Marnie just sent me a magic egg on Facebook! Isn’t she sweet to think of me? Gosh, that just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Getting back to other alleged dangers, there’s “Facebook flirting,” and getting reacquainted with old boyfriends and girlfriends. But really, what’s the harm?
Incoming… Wow! Kevin Jones just friended me and said he had a huge crush on me in kindergarten and that he used to try to look under my skirt while I climbed the jungle gym. I’m so touched. I had no idea he thought of me that way.
OMG! (blush) Kevin just said he wished he could do that now! LOL!
But what’s the worst that can happen while getting reacquainted with old flames? After all, computers are only so interactive.
Damn! Does anyone know how to get lipstick stains off the computer screen?
Supposedly there are Facebook addiction indicators, such as ignoring family and work obligations because the Facebook world is a more enjoyable place to spend time than the real world. Do they honestly think I’m going to forget to feed my family because I’m busy updating my Facebook status?
Incoming…(groan) A message from my youngest daughter, Zuckerbergette. I’ll send her a quick reply: “No, I can’t make you a snack right now, it’s time to breed my virtual pigs on Farmville.”
As I was saying…I might call Facebook a fetish, but not an addiction. I eat Cocoa Puffs every morning but does that mean I’m addicted to them? Granted, you hear stories of compulsive behavior like the groom who changed his relationship status on Facebook to “married” during his wedding ceremony, but those are exceptions… right?
“Experts” say if you suspect you have a Facebook addiction, control usage by changing your password to something unfamiliar, writing it down, and placing it somewhere inconvenient to make checking Facebook a chore (snort). I may not remember my social security number, but my Facebook password—that’s mind scripture.
And heaven forbid if I ever did need Social Media Detox, I’d simply join one of the 150 or so Facebook Anonymous groups. Conveniently, they’re located right on Facebook.
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