the facebook thing

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So, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of bemused looks and shakes of the head lately. It’s all because of this Facebook thing. The thing is, I’ve decided that I may have a problem, and armed with that knowledge, felt like I needed to do something drastic.

Essentially, I was spending an embarrassing amount of time Facebooking. If Facebook stalking exists, I’m definitely a top ten offender.

I’ve got about two point five hours that I spend with my family each evening after work, and rather than interact with them, I was poring over other people’s lives and things.

Pretty hollow stuff.

What’s worse is that my friend list exceeded 200 people. I’m not quite sure how that happened…maybe my list procreated while I was sleeping. But I can tell you without a doubt that I do not have 200 friends. I do not have 100 friends. I’d be hard pressed to even make it to the big 5-0.

In high school, I was light years away from popular. If I had a label at all, it was of the goody two shoes variety. I didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. I never ditched class or strayed off campus.  My first boyfriend occurred my senior year of high school and kissing was as scandalous as we got.

I could count my friends at that time on two hands.

Yet here I am, more than ten years later, and suddenly, half my graduating class comprises my list of friends. And I’m spending more time with the people that I share only the best of myself with, than with my own family, who love me in spite of all those other, not so fabulous parts.

I may be in the minority with this mindset, but to me, there’s something wrong with that picture.

So I pulled the plug. Deleted my profile, with nary a warning given. And I realized at that point what a crutch Facebook had become for me.

When Whitney Houston died, I was crushed. And being that I married a slightly older man, I assumed there was no way he could relate to the profound shock I was feeling by the loss of a childhood icon.

So I reactivated my Facebook account. How else was I supposed to share my feelings of loss? If I didn’t shout my feelings of grief from the rooftop to all 200 of my nearest and dearest friends, how would I ever work through it? Surely, this was a situation that begged for reactivation.

And then it hit me.

I had somehow found my way to a place where I had allowed something outside of myself to define my existence. If my experience wasn’t shared on Facebook, it hadn’t really happened.

With that realization, and an embarrassingly reticent sense of deja-vu, I deactivated my account for the second time in less than a week.

Next week, I’m planning to attend kindergarten with my son. He’s learning how to make friends (without the aid of a computer screen to hide behind!). I think those five year olds could teach me a thing or two. That, plus I’ve heard rumors of nap time and snacks. Count me in.

My name is Michelle, and I am a facebook addict.


  1. Elicia B

    I actually noticed your absence… I love your blog.. I hunted you down…it has really been something to look forward to, in my new found loneliness of a stay at home mom. You make me smile ..glad I found you. xxx Elicia Blahnik

    • Michelle Painter

      You’re a rockstar! I love that you hunted me down. 🙂 Staying home is the toughest job, hands down. I did it with both, and although I was grateful to do it, it was still incredibly tough. It’s almost frightening when you realize that you can’t wait to get out of the house…to go to the grocery store. I’m losing my tenacity with the fb lockdown, so you may see me again soon. Will power is not my forte. xoxoxM

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