Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are you a Facebook Addict?

Have you ever experienced some kind of a high after noticing that someone sent you a comment on Facebook, someone tagged a photo of you doing something either incredibly nasty or stupid or possibly both? Are you one of those people that spends endless amounts of time looking through people’s profiles on Facebook and other such community networking sites? If the description fits you, you’re a Facebook Addict!

I thoroughly understand when something’s new and we all want to be constantly on it especially in today’s high tech digital world where everything is…..well digital! I was quite excited when I signed up on Facebook 2 years ago. I learnt a few new things about some people I know, caught up with old friends and had some laughs looking at old pics.

It's always great to catch up with old friends from around the globe and see pictures of their kids and the family vacations I guess. But people, please know when to draw the line. I read somewhere that a lady was prosecuted when she ignored her daughter’s request for homework help because she was too tied up with Facebook. Turns out she spent an average of 10 hours on the website!

On a separate note, sites like Facebook promote a certain narcissistic approach towards one’s self. I think it is because we think we are all interesting, we feel the need to let people know about the important details in our lives. But seriously people, know to differentiate between the milestones & the unwanted notes in your status updates. You might want to share the fact that you just got married or gave birth to a really cute baby but please don’t let me know if you’ve just trimmed your toe-nails or shaved your goatee! And yeah another thing; if you’re down and depressed, how about you pick up the phone and call a friend. (this holds true for bloggers as well btw)

Here are 4 signs that you may be a Facebook or Twitter Addict:
- You spend over an hour on Facebook a day
- You spend half your time at work on Facebook
- You’re spending time sending your Facebook buddies virtual gifts, drinks and forgetting the real world of friends
- You’re accumilating a lot of Facebook time reconnecting with your high school sweetheart (particularly inappropriate if either one of you or the both of you are married)

Ways you can detox from sites like Facebook or Twitter:
- Disable SMS alerts from facebook and Twitter; these can be quite distracting especially when you’re enjoying a holiday with the family or a quiet weekend with your girl.
- Stop adding friends. In real life, you’d never be able to keep up with all the 300+ people on your Facebook or Twitter account so at least when you stop adding friends, you’ll keep your circle of friends down to a more manageable level.
- Make friends with people that are not or these sites. And when they ask you if you’ve heard abuot them, pretend you don’t know what they are! ;-)
- Call your close friends or try and meet up with them if you can instead of leaving him or her a tweet or a wall posting

The best piece of advice; check your profile once a month (like me) and only make contact with people you know well or knew well but went out of touch with over the years. And remember, making new friends is an art best practiced in person, not online. Cheers!