I must admit I find it quite humorous Ė in a disturbing, twisted kind of way Ė just how quickly our society has adapted, communicatively speaking, since the ascension of Facebook to the top of the ďcoolest thing going onlineĒ list in the past handful of years. And while Iím certainly no stranger to the hugely popular website, Iím fairly certain Iíve managed to avoid that insane addiction which continues to afflict an ever-increasing percentage of the worldís online population on a daily basis.
Yes, this chronic illness Ė while not officially recognized by the psychological community Ė is as dangerous as any Iíve ever encountered. And itís only getting worse.
Iím sure those of you who, like myself, frequent the world of Facebook know exactly what I mean. You know, those people who, no matter how hard they try, simply can not break away from their smart-phone, laptop, desktop or, nowadays, tablet for more than ten minutes without updating or checking their current Facebook status. Or, for that matter, the status of their mother-brother-uncle-cousin-friend-best friend-best female friend-etcetera (the list goes on and on).
And if youíre reading this wondering to yourself just what, exactly, Iím talking about, youíre probably better off in the long run. Why? Because this Facebook addiction is serious business.
These hopeless addicts, these Facebookaholics, represent people of all ages. Teenagers, adults (young and old), even toddlers are impacted by this growing threat. Iím sure that somewhere out there, right this very minute, thereís some small child waiting hungrily on his or her mother (or father) for some breakfast while she mindlessly re-posts music videos of her favorite 1980s hair band.
Thatís right, you guessed it, Facebookaholism at its worst.
In this day and age, we even have websites dedicated to the affliction. Iím not kidding. Most of theses sites even feature their own version of a 12-Step Program. Honestly, I donít know whether to laugh or cry, or both.
People lose sleep over Facebook. They ignore loved ones, not to mention their jobs. Some even break out in a cold sweat when their Internet connection slows and Facebook just isnít moving fast enough.
Again, thatís not to say I donít take advantage of (and even enjoy at times) the Facebook experience. The site itself can be a useful tool, provide all manner of entertainment and itís a great way to communicate with distant friends and family. You can share photos, the latest joke and, with a quick click of your mouse, ďlikeĒ any other posts that happen to catch your eye.
Sometimes, however, people simply go too far.
My personal favorites are those people who, literally, take zero time whatsoever to double check what theyíve actually posted. And Iím not talking about spelling errors here, Iím talking about the vulgar, senseless language that some Facebook bottom-dwellers seem to favor. Whatís sad is that thereís no way to tell if these poor souls are even aware of what theyíre doing. Do they realize that everyone out there in Facebook land (at least those theyíre connected to) can see, plain as day, what theyíve just put out there for all to see?
Believe it or not people, but there are ways to get your point across without pulling every four-letter word you can think of out of the hat. Oh, and then posting it online where everyone and their brother (or sister-mother-nephew-cousin-etcetera) can see it. Really, there is.
Actually, the more I think of it, the more I realize that my Facebook page could use a complete overhaul. Back before my days as an Evening Sun staff writer, I ďfriendedĒ just about anybody and everybody. The reasoning behind this was simple, really, I was using the site as a promotional tool for the various musical groups I was associated with at the time.
These days, however, I must say itís disheartening to see some of the rubbish people so casually throw out there on Facebook. Iím sorry, but I simply donít see the need for gossip, name-calling and vulgarity. Therefore, I think Iíll spend this weekend giving my profile a major overhaul. It may take me four or five hours (or longer) but hey, at least I can honestly say Iím no Facebookaholic.
What is that they say about denial?
Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.