Hello, my name is David. And I’m a Facebook addict!
I guess for me, it all started around early 2007 when I began receiving emails with invitations to Facebook. Of course, MySpace had been the go to “street corner” if you shall coin the phrase. You could chat to online friends about music and books currently on your radar. It was cool and a massive leap forward from what were now becoming out of date “chat rooms”. To be honest though, it took me a good 6 months before I signed up to Facebook because by that time, most of the MySpace crowd had migrated over leaving a cavernous hole.
I still remember the first time I ventured onto Facebook. It was a Saturday afternoon and I had just arrived home from refereeing a game of rugby league when my then girlfriend, Melanie convinced me to follow her over to the dark side. So, like all good boyfriends, I did. And to be fair, it was grand at first. Quite thrilling actually to find old friends, school buddies from almost 15 years ago and even some relatives I had not seen or spoken to in some time. It was all done by desktop and there were no photo filters as such. I guess it seemed ok at first. Like all good addictions.
Within a few weeks, I had some old holiday snaps up and had connected with some friends. That was about it really. You must remember though. This was before the era of smart phones. We all still owned desktops and laptops so things like Facebook were limited in usage because people like me were still more interested in music forums on websites.
Over the years, Facebook grew into a monster and it took many of us with it. Once smart phones hit the market, it was the beginning of the end for life as we knew it. Time spent on Facebook grew because we could take Facebook with us everywhere. By 2010, it had consume my life entirely. It was the first thing I looked at each morning and the last thing I viewed before bed. I found myself slowly spending more time debating the merits of social environments. Getting fired up by an ever increasing number of uneducated (on life) and ignorant fools who used Facebook as an escape from their mundane lives of mortgages, car loans, credit card debts, jobs they hated and small children who drove them up the wall.
With the passing of father time, Facebook has become an alternative life for millions of people. They can spit their vile, ignorant, racist, homophobic and intolerant views out without any repercussions. There are also many positives about Facebook but I found more and more that the good was buried well and truly in my newsfeed. The more time I spent on the social media giant, the more frustrated I grew with the passing of time. Now, some 10 years on, I managed to finally wake up to my Facebook addiction and have spent the best part of 2017 working my way out of the spiderweb that was leaving me frustrated and irritated more than it was satisfied.
More and more, I am growing to like deleting the app off my phone for periods of time. Sometimes a few days and even a couple of weeks. I feel better for it and know there is a long way to go but I am getting there. No more having to see narcissistic selfies taken in bathroom mirrors. Less and less pictures of food and coffee. A diminishing number of articles about white Australian men protesting against Muslims wearing hijabs whilst they themselves cover their faces in balaclavas, Australian flags and hoodies. Can you see the irony in that?
Facebook has gone from being a cracking concept to a tired and sinking ship which no longer serves the purpose it was originally set up for. For me? Well, I’m just going to keep working my way towards using it solely for keeping up with friends holidays snaps and finding more relevant articles to read that are written in a more constructive and thoughtful process. The less time I spend on it, the better. I’m too old these days to keep battling keyboard warriors and the bathroom mirror selfie addicts that clog my newsfeed.
I wish you all the best if you also decide to eradicate Facebook from your life. It won’t be easy.