So at one point not so long ago my life was mine, in all it’s glory. Boring dull, working, crafty, cooking, baking, occasionally even cleaning. But then 1 day I got an invite to join Facebook from a friend. I ignored it with dignity. I couldn’t possibly see the point of falling into some social media trap better suited to fit my college age daughter. After about my 20th invite, I fell in, I joined, in fact I joined to see a picture. This was the beginning of the end. My first innocent baby step into what could be described in many cultures as reason for a divorce. Once I filled out all my info and found a photo of me that didn’t make me cringe too much. It was on. It started innocently enough, just accepting the friend requests as they came in figuring out a wall post from a comment vs an internal email. Friends from elementary school, yeah when dinosaurs roamed the earth, to college found me, adult friends who had moved on and away reconnected. Wow this is great. I posted pictures of the kids and the world was just a little smaller. Then one day a friend asked me to help them pick corn, milk their cow, or build a barn or something. It didn’t cost me anything so sure. Next thing you know I had 25 neighbors in Farmville and 200 more facebook friends. Then drinks, hugs, kisses, balloons, hearts, and smiles were tossed about in the virtual world like a roman orgy. I got another friend request to help them in a war. Being me, I couldn’t not have my friends back right? I mean I would battle to the ends of the earth or until I was bribed with cheesecake for my friends honor. Enter Mafia Wars, enter 500 more friends. My wall became so cluttered with help this, send that, find a lost duck, accept my juicy kiss requests one day I just realized it wasn’t fun anymore. Like the day my youngest said mom are we going to the store and I said, ” No I have to plow my crops duh”. I blocked almost all the aps. I tried to regain control over my wall again, I created other accounts for certain groups of gamer or virtual only friends, and limited my real profile to just people I knew or knew by close friend association there by being deemed in my coolness circle. But it was too late unfortunately. 5 accounts and over 5 thousand friends between them, had lead to 1 thing for sure. My husband had become a bonafied addict. His crack of choice. Mafia Wars. I have been looking for a 12 step program for almost a year. He has about 50 posts a day always related to mafia wars. He doesn’t acknowledge anything personal on facebook unless it is brought to his attention in real life via a phone call or email, thus defeating the purpose. On the upside. this and the drums he bought will go into my personal file of “midlife crisis” and when I compare what he could be doing ( the secretary) to mafia wars on facebook. Well it’s hands down. Can I bring you some coffee while you go virtually snuff someone in one of your wars honey from your computer in our house where I can physically see you? It’s my fault and I created that monster. It was born out of my monstrous behavior on Facebook that made me compulsively participate in everything that came across my wall and not turn down any friend requests, I mean how painful would that be for them?
So I weeded thru, then listed, then blocked, then actually removed, some people I was pretty sure I would never have any real communication with. I let my other accounts handle them. On the upside I met a ton of fantastic people, I get to see relatives and friends kids grow up via Facebook photos.
I had a close friend suffer a major life event, and watched the internet encompass her entire family thru love, support and charity. I have watched others try to use it as therapy. Not the therapy where you go and work out your problems, but the therapy where you pay someone to listen to you drone on about things you aren’t changing. I have realized a lot about my real life friends and family and virtual friends thru facebook. I realize things about myself thru facebook. I realize that I always have it on and up and logged in, even in the background, like now for instance. When I leave the house, I don’t log out. This may be an issue, since I always return to a boatload of attempted chats where you can almost hear the person on the other end saying…. ” Why don’t you answer me” . It never fails that when I do respond I get, “message can not be sent user is offline” .. Offline? What’s that? How could someone go offline?