Facebook, it’s everywhere. Everybody who’s anybody has a Facebook page. But, I’m old school and was resistant to hopping on that trend train. My fears of privacy and security warred with networking with other writers. After much encouragement from a few of my writer friends, I created a Boone Brux FB page. I rationalized away my fears by creating positive goals. I would open myself up to those that wanted to be my friend. I would support other writers by reading their blogs and books. I would develop a following of my own. Never could I have imagined the nefarious traps that waited within that den of temptation and time wasting.
If you have an addictive personality, Facebook is not the best place for you to spend your time. The first inkling that I might have a problem came when I began “friending” people. I received a thrill when a total stranger accepted me as their friend. The reason for this reaction probably has its roots buried deep within my junior high years. I started with people I knew, but quickly began taking the suggestions that Facebook provided. I had every intension of being a good friend, but as the numbers grew, the task became overwhelming. Then the guilt set in. Was I giving these people false hope that I would support everything they wrote and posted? I realized it was time for me to step back and reassess my friending. I received a few friend requests, which I happily accepted, but realized I was not being heavily pursued. That created a bittersweet reaction. No requests solved my urge to over friend, but I questioned my value as a Facebook friend. Like I needed more self-doubt.
Just about the time I’d gotten my friending under control, I found the applications. Oh you dirty scoundrels, tempting me with the promise of hours of pleasure. The first step I took down that path of mindless time wasting was Happy Aquarium. Wow, cyber fish, and I got money if I kept them fed, clean, and alive. I embraced Petey the penguin, Jaws the clown fish, and Calypso the crab. I made a home for them, loved them, and decorated their tank. But wait, what is this? I can look at my friend’s tanks? BIG MISTAKE! One of my friends had fabulous squid and aquatic paraphernalia, but her fish were hungry. Oh my God, her fish are starving, and her tank was dirty. Didn’t she check? Can I feed her fish for her? No? No? But I need to help. I need to save her fish!!!!!!! I sent her an urgent message, but still the fish went unfed. Finally, she popped up on the Facebook chat, which is a whole other blog, and I pleaded with her to feed her fish. She laughed as if it was nothing, and promised me she would. Whew, now I could go back to my writing.
But wait, somebody sent me an invitation to start my own zoo. Oh, I love animals. And so, the vicious cycle began. I adopted every animal possible, bought kiosks, hired help, found lost gold, shook my money trees. I even made another Facebook page under my real name so that I could adopt animals from myself. As you can see, I was sinking into the abyss of applications. However, my downward slid was not done yet. Tikki farms appeared, Happy Fish, yes more fish, and the Fairy Garden. How many hours a day was I spending feeding my fish, adopting animals, looking for gold, and harvesting my crops? It got worse. My friend sent me free chips to play virtual slot machines, Texas Hold’em, Word Challenge, Trivia Challenge, and the worst of all…Farkle. If you’ve never played Farkle, don’t start. Hours I’ve wasted Farkling my day away.
This was a problem. Where was my manuscript? Where had the characters of my imagination gone? What day was it? When had I last eaten? Why were my kids still at home? Had I forgotten to take them to the bus? I was only moving from my computer to get more coffee and pee. When I finally shook the hypnotic hold that Facebook applications held over me, I knew I had to do something drastic. Delete, delete, delete. Gone went Word Challenge, gone went Happy Fish, and yes, bye, bye Farkle. I stood up from my chair like a phoenix rising from the ashes. I shook my legs, trying to get the feeling to return to my butt cheeks and feet. Stretching, I smiled. I had done it. I had walked through the valley of FB applications. I had stared down the throat of the time-suck monster, and I had survived. I shut off my coffeepot, showered, rinsing the sticky residue of Facebook desire from my body, and drove to the store to buy groceries. A new day had dawned. The sun kissed my face and I smiled, knowing that I was a stronger, wiser, writer having Farkled and survived.