I am addicted to Facebook.
I am addicted to many things in life.
Caffeine. Sugar. Benzodiazepines. A strange, perverted high I feel when I’ve already formulated a rebuttal to someone’s argument they’re in the middle of giving.
And yet none of these come close to the danger my addiction to Facebook brings to the table. It sucks the life out of you, quickly though painlessly, and leaves you bored, boring, and distracted. Although my hundreds of Facebook friends tell me otherwise, it really just leaves me on a deserted, isolated island. And it’s certainly not paradise.
Many things in life are detrimental; there are advantages and disadvantages of everything. The Book really only leaves me shuttling toward my own regression though. I’m not sure I can include ‘being invited to a party to make up numbers’, nor knowing someone’s baby had their first steps, can really be counted as positive. So what does that leave? Only negatives. I find them easy to list.
1. It distracts me.
The obvious one. Distraction; such a wicked, devastating monster. We only live once and I’ve spent a fuck-load of that life on the book. Achieving something meaningful in life is so much harder when the hold of instant gratification looms in the distance (first tab open no doubt). It will probably take me five times as long to finish this article because of it. Oh, and how that little red balloon validates and allows me to feel there is no wrong leaving a work document, or at least an interesting read, to see what someone wants. Quick release of dopamine ensures that this addiction will only cycle and grow. I find it hard to fathom that little red balloon releases the same chemical high as sex or drugs. Literally. Easier and cheaper, I must say, though possibly more demanding. And attention span? Who has those any more? Now days if you haven’t got a form of autism enforcing a degree of focus, good-luck getting anything done.
2. It makes me less intelligent.
Not only because I spent the time I could have used to read something happening in the world that actually matters, but slowly, chronically it kills brain cells. I hate that I know what YOLO stands for but would likely fail a test on grammar… (and be totally be forgiven). Research suggests internet addicts have 10-20% smaller brain areas responsible for speech, memory control, emotion, sensory and other information. Although the study was apparent of countless confounding factors, I tend to agree. ‘Cause that’s my brain and how it works (or doesn’t work) now.
3. It makes me more superficial.
Shallow. I don’t think Generation Y need any more help being the narcissistic, superficial fools we are, growing up at a time when our idols are psychopath CEO’s. But Facebook actually managed it. Now we all have our own little CV we can give out to friends, potential suitors, and stalkers. How quaint. How efficient. How revolting.
4. It turns me into a judgmental fool.
Mostly I judge myself for not having the life that my Facebook friends deem to be having. It provides me a token of anxiousness thinking about what I did (or didn’t do) on the weekend, even if I realize I simply didn’t post a glorified version of my own little life this weekend past.
Perhaps I’ll do that next weekend. More people. More crazy. More hipster ‘you’ll never be able to even find the place’ rages. More food. More bikini pictures. More selfies. And obviously more Instagram (filters make life glow more, not just faces).
5. It makes me boring.
I’m not even sure what I talk to my friends about. And they’re all the clever, cool ones. Sure, I have my people who make ourselves literally mad with our self indulgent talk of our own philosophies’ and self demise. But other than that we talk about people. Other people. No real words on current events. The music at a music festival is brushed over by the absolute music lovers, but more or less it’s the photos that made the day anyway. Clearly our memories that we can re-live and show to others is what life is about today anyway. ‘Photo or it didn’t happen’.
If I had the guts, I’d delete my account. But I’d find that weird to have to go live real life, real experiences and have only myself to validate how I feel. I’m not sure many of us know how to do that anymore. You know, the living part. For us, and only us. That’s why the people who tell us stories (even if they’re embellished or straight-up made up) are so appealing. They tell us something we haven’t already seen or heard or gossiped about.
Without the book what would be our rating stick? How would we know we were doing ok? But I guess that’s my point. We wouldn’t need one. We’d be smarter, more fulfilled, interesting and much more cool. We’d be our own.
Facebook addiction is simply the worst.