Facebook or Crackbook?
I used to be a Facebook junkie. I am one of those moms who never wanted my daughter on a social network like MySpace. I was worried about stalkers, and, after watching Dateline, had the most horrendous pictures in my head as to what might happen to my extremely beautiful daughter.
Then, it happened. I caved. Not to my daughter but to my friends. More and more, the adult community was using Facebook. My friends were saying things like, “Oh Susan, you are so old fashioned. It is so safe.” “You join and get to keep an eye on what your daughter is doing.” “If you set her privacy settings, only people she ‘friends’ will be able to see her page.” Oh, all right, already! I will let her have a Facebook page and I will get one, too. She had already been grounded twice for having a MySpace page. I might as well get on the social networking train with her.
It was Christmas time, and we were on our break. We both set up our accounts. Since she was 14 and had a paranoid mother, she agreed to let me have her password. Otherwise, all bets were off. I had to be able to make sure this was a safe move, and I was prepared to intervene if I needed to.
I sat in amazement as she showed me how to set up my account. She showed me how to download and share pictures, how to find friends and suggest friends and invite friends. I looked at her and said, “You’ve had some practice, huh?”
Her response was, “Mom, everyone really is doing it.” I could only laugh because she was right. It was because of my adult friends and family that I had finally given into the Facebook mania.
Okay, so now I am set. Although, since she helped me set my account up, she accidentally put her birth year in. I can’t wait until July when I finally turn 18 in the eyes of Facebook. The irony is that she turned 18 in March. Good grief! She and I tried to change the date, but whatever she did, it could not be undone. It became one of our ongoing jokes. She now teases about being older than me.
The Lure – Still the Protective Mother
I signed on to Facebook in the beginning to check my daughter’s status, and every now and then I would sign in to see who was writing on her wall. I found nothing inappropriate. Now, I did keep seeing the same poses for profile pictures from young girls. Inevitably they would have their picture taken with their tongue provocatively sticking out the side of their mouth - they looked ridiculous. My daughter knew I would throw a fit if she posted such a picture, so she had a lot of fun satirizing that poise by sticking her tongue out in goofy ways for her profile picture.
Then there were the immature high school boy pictures on her “wall” of boys standing in front of a mirror with their cell phone showing in their hand taking a picture of their posed upper bodies that looked more like skinny, skinned squirrels than muscular, macho men. I would laugh at these pictures, but I told my daughter, “You need to tell Jack to post a new picture or you can’t be his ‘friend’.” She would tell the person, and sure enough, he would change his picture. (Too bad she didn’t get to talk to Weiner… Oops, sorry, I digress.)
Once I got past the idea that every “bad guy” was targeting my daughter, I started to enjoy Facebook, myself. I started posting statuses and commenting. I reconnected with old friends from high school. What a great source for a class or family reunion. I was hooked. Then I got hooked on two of the games, Farmville and Bejeweled Blitz. “Oh, I’m sorry, did you really want supper tonight? I lost track of time.”
I was pathetic. My husband would get so frustrated when he came in and found me playing Bejeweled. I would try to stop, but as soon as he left the room, I was back to the game. He still does not "get" Facebook and is what we “premium” members call a Facebook snob. He still has not caved even though almost everyone we know is on Facebook. He does take a peek at my account sometimes just to see what’s going on with old friends, especially after I read him some silly status or story.
My addiction was so bad that I fought with my daughter over the use of the computer. Being the one who owned the computer, I won. “Mom, it is like you are crack.” I had become a Facebook addict.
It was so much fun talking to old and current \ friends on Facebook, but I was neglecting my family. It was an obsession. I would even leave the computer on my Farmville page and ask my husband to “harvest” my fruits and vegetables. He would roll his eyes at me. I finally walked away from Farmville because I couldn’t stand knowing I had “left a crop to rot.” I know, crazy!
Bejeweled Blitz was easier to play. I didn’t have to worry about anything “rotting” or going away. Then my competitive side jumped out of me. I wanted to be the highest scorer. I usually was, too. Then they came up with Friday night free 2x jewels, which multiplied your score. Man! I had to be there to play with the 2x jewel. Friday night was so inconvenient, though.
I know, I know! I was crazy with the obsession. Crackbook was an excellent name replacement for Facebook. It gives me no comfort to say I wasn’t the only one. There were news reports about couples getting divorced because one person was spending too much time on Facebook. Maybe it was more to it than just time on the site, but with me it was a total interruption to my family. My Facebook account was always open so I didn’t have to fool with signing in. My kids and husband could look at it any time and did. I knew I had to cut back.
It was hard, but there was absolutely no creative value in spending my time playing Bejeweled Blitz. I had always wanted to write and had written a few things and started some writing projects. I had taken online writing classes, so I decided that was what I was going to do to rid myself of the Facebook addiction. I began to take a class for writing on the web.
So, here I am. I am now addicted to Hub Pages. I love it! I still check in on Facebook to see my friends and family, but I am not there every free second. Hub Pages saved me. If you are addicted to Facebook, I highly recommend you get out of that creative rut and move over to Hub Pages.
NEW NOTE: I have had a Facebook relapse because of a NEW GROUP with these really fun people...
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© 2011 Susan Holland