I am a facebook addict. There. I admitted it. People tease me about it. People mention it to my husband. People see my name online and then say, “You’re always on facebook.” (You have to read that last sentence again with a high-pitched, pointing-a-finger type tone.)
So what’s the big deal? To me, facebook is both fun and relaxing. I love connecting with people. My close friends know this about me and when facebook became popular, several of them said, “Oh, this is right up your alley. It’s your sort of thing.” After all, I’m the girl who looks through the entire student directory every year when school starts to see if there’s someone I know who’s started at the kids’ school. I am the girl who looks through my parent’s country club roster to find names of people I know there. I love connections.
Why does it annoy me, then, when someone says I’m addicted to facebook? Why do I feel the need to tell them that I rarely watch T.V. When most people are checking out in front of the television, I’m checking out facebook. Instead of flipping channels, I’m flipping through ridiculous quizzes. Instead of listening to the latest celebrity gossip, I’m reading the latest friends’ posts. But it bugs me because some people mention the addiction thing like I have no life. Or like I have issue. Well, I do have issues. Plenty of them, in fact, but why is it up to them to nail me to the cross of facebook overuse? Hmm, that was a little bitter, wasn’t it?
I think the reason it bothers me is that I have a tendency to get addicted to things, to people, to traditions, to food, to shopping. To anything. I have an addictive personality. I tend to want more, more, more. That’s not always a bad thing. When I want more of God, I search for him in everything and I praise him for all the ways I see him at work. When I want more from my relationships, it’s because I see the potential for more meaning or intimacy with someone. I want to know his or her heart more. Yet, I am also willing to step back if what I want is not the same as what someone else wants or needs. That is where respect comes in. I may have an addictive personality but I’m hoping that these tendencies are not at the expense of other people’s feelings. Truth be told, my addictive behaviors have caused problems in the past. But I am grateful that I have grown in areas of my life, mainly spiritually and emotionally, so I can stop and think or pray or both before I run all over someone else’s boundaries.
So when I hear the addict word, I am sensitive because I am a work in progress. But with facebook, as long as I don’t forget to feed my children or take them to school, as long as I don’t ignore my husband or forget to go to the bathroom, I’m going to keep my facebook addiction at workable level and eventually I’ll learn to let the words of those who scorn me just roll down me and splat right on to the floor.