Facebook has rendered me an utterly useless human being

http://shavingoccam.com/2007/09/25/facebook-has-rendered-me-an-utterly-useless-human-being/

I’ve always been prone to distractions. Be it looking out the window (and getting smacked by the teacher) in sixth grade or building a giant beer can pyramid in college, I have always been one to find something to distract me from getting done what has to be done. I like to think that I thrive on deadline. The reality is more likely that I have a mixture of ADD and acute boredom with anything I’ve done more than three times.

But now I feel I found the ultimate distraction – and I’m wondering if my life will ever be productive again. I guess I was kind of late to the game, but I joined Facebook about six weeks ago. Since then I’ve reconnected with friends from High School and scanned their profiles to see if they are more successful than me (including old girlfriends), added about a million applications, and watched with anticipation the online lives of people I barely know or knew so long ago it shouldn’t count. I must check my newsfeed at least 20 times a do or more. I don’t know what I’m looking for. It’s like when you are bored and keep going back to the refrigerator, only to find that there is nothing there that interests you again – just like the last five times you opened the door.

I can at least justify my Facebook obsession with the fact that I do have to keep up with social media for my career as an interactive marketer. I have to know the latest trends. Well, I have been on Myspace for more than a year and half and I probably only check that spam-ridden page about once every two weeks. I am a LinkedIn fanatic and have almost 3,000 connections there, but I don’t spend more than 10 minutes a day there. Why am I so obsessed with Facebook?

I know that it has to with the news feed. Sometimes I like watching it and seeing what the people who I know are train wrecks are going to do to embarass themselves more. I love finding events that I wouldn’t have known about and then realizing that I don’t have an unlimited travel budget for cool gatherings where I would talk to cool people but make no money.

Why do I feel the need to post my status on Facebook at least once per day. I used to laugh at those who became all obsessed with Twitter and would diary their most mundane activities to groups of semi-strangers. Now I do it every day. Keep me away from Twitter or I’ll never get anything done.

Alas, I guess I must just get over my obsession and realize that I will get everything by deadline despite my constant interactive peeping-tom activities at Facebook. Does anyone know of a 12 step program for digital voyeurism?

Comments

  1. Tinu Abayomi-Paul says:

    Ha, wow, I’m sorry to hear this. The only thing I can suggest is getting on Facebook at the end of your day instead of the day so there’s a self-imposed time limit- whenever you go to bed.

    Then there’s multiple tabs – I do FB in one window and continue my work elsewhere.

    Third, make it more useful – incorporate every aspect of marketing that you can into FB. For example, add the Stumble App, import your blog posts, participate in groups that will lead people back to your site from your profile.

    Let me know if you find a DV group though. Maybe they can help me kick Twitter. I start and I stop…. it’s like smoking…

  2. I used to make fun of my wife for constantly reading StalkerNet. Now I do it myself. What’s good for me, though, is my friends are relatively boring, so I’m not that tempted to check on them every hour. ;-)

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