Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I'm an…online-collection-of-faces-aholic? Damn. Certainly doesn't have quite the ring of intrigue as "alcoholic" or "heroin addict."
You see, I have what you could consider a slightly closer than kissing-cousins relationship with addiction. I’m a recovered alcoholic and addict who’s been sober for some time. Yet, even though “the plug is in the jug,” as they say, and “the cherry is off the joint,” as no one has ever said until now, I’m an addict through and through. In short, if it has even the remotest propensity to make me feel good or alter my perception of reality at any reliable speed, I want it—I want it now and I want it later, and I want more of it than I already have in the “now” due to the seasoned foresight that it will invariably run out at that time of “later.”
As the years have passed, my drugs of choice have attenuated in their destructive punch. I’ve given up the more egregious vices like cigarettes and chewing tobacco, and I just recently put a huge dent in my sugar intake. At this point, the only un-itchable itch left seems to be incessant gum-chewing; well, that, and Facebook.
For a time I protested, quelled my knocking anxieties with, “There’s no way I could ever be addicted to Facebook. I’m, like, cool and all ‘anti-establishment’—right, dude?” (This is called the “denial stage.” I’m fully acquainted with this fluffy la-la land interim betwixt rational human and depraved addict.) I mean, the only reason I even have a Facebook account is because a convert buddy of mine finally got fed up with my grumpy-old-man resistance to the growing trend, stole my email address and set one up at me. From across the room, I remember guardedly watching the birth of my new Facebook account, like a sequestered hostage witnessing the execution of a beloved you secretly wanted to be rid of.
Three years later and I’m just one of the 1 out of every 12 people in the world hooked on Facecrack.
I know what you’re thinking: “One in twelve? In the goddamn world? No freaking way. What, am I a cyborg, too?”
Yes, one in twelve. And yes, unbeknownst to you, you are, in fact, a cyborg—and the battery on which you run is Facecrack. But don’t worry, there are hundreds of millions of others just like you, who are, mouse in hand, suckin’ up every last blue-and-white puff like it’s their last.
Now, to be fair, I’m not that bad. (As you see, I’m not out of the “denial stage” woods just yet.) But seriously, I’m not. (I think I see a clearing up ahead.) Hey, I’m not!
Well, to be even fairer, as an addict I don’t exactly have the most accurate scope on addiction. So, you be judge: I use Facecrack for about 20 minutes a day. (I’m lying. I really use it for about an hour a day. (My internal dialogue is lying, I really use it closer to an hour and a half a day.)) What do you think? Yep—just what I thought: rhetorical questions on pieces of paper are unanswerable.
Therefore, I decided to go out and talk to other Facecrack users, to really feel the pulse of the people.
Luckily, Facebook recently added this really sleek “Ask Question” poll feature on the home page interface, which made my “beat” reporting a nice, from-the-comfort-of-my-own-couch flat line. I posited three statements to my Facecrackhead constituents, from which they could select which, if any, resonated with them:
1) “I've deactivated my account before because I felt I was using it too much.”
2) “I have thought or told myself I wasn't going to use it and did so anyway.”
3) “I have ‘given up’ Facebook on occasion or limited my usage.”
Out of the participants, 43 percent said that they’ve deactivated their account before because of overuse; 29 percent said that they’ve sometimes used it despite promises they made to themselves not to; and the remaining 28 percent said that they have, on occasion, gone on the Facecrack wagon. Interesting data, yes, but what does it all mean? It means that my Facebook friends use Facebook too much.
In light of this stunning information, I realized the value in capturing a differing opinion of Facebook, likely from someone who wasn’t a Facebook user. And, if a “People Who Don’t Use Facebook” social network ever springs up, I’ll be sure to poll that crowd.
Mark Feigenbutz is a comedian and writer who is currently studying creative writing at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.