A few weeks ago my son and I were playing with his cars on the living room table. As I randomly picked up my phone to give things a quick check, he questioned why I was playing on my phone so much. I didn’t have an answer. I have a problem. I am addicted.
I recall the days when I used to be a smoker and I was chained to the habit of lighting up a cigarette. Each one seemed to soothe my nerves and distracted me from the issue I was working on or thinking about. For a brief moment I could just concentrate on inhaling toxic fumes and nothing else, I was briefly free from my worries. I can still vividly recall hating each cigarette that I would light but somehow subconsciously I loved it. I was feeding my nicotine addiction -so I thought.
Over the years I had developed the same relationship with Facebook. I begun to dislike checking my timeline because often I would end up anxious and self-conscience. Counting the likes and wondering why whatshisname didn’t like my picture or wondering why whatshername hasn’t commented on my stuff. Do they even like me? What did I do to piss them off? Yes I am being narcissistic! But aren’t we are all guilty of it from time to time? Some of us are more sensitive to this timeline preoccupation than others. Yet, we all keep coming back to the Facebook feed to fill some kind of void in our lives. If it didn’t fill some kind of void, we would likely never go back. I know Facebook is disturbing my mental health, so why do I keep checking my timeline? I am feeding my ego addiction -so I thought.
I seem like I am blaming Facebook for my current woes. I am not. Just as I didn’t blame cigarettes for my past. My blame is solely on me. It isn’t the cigarettes, it isn’t the Facebook feeds, it isn’t the blah, blah or blah… it is my addiction to the distraction from the problems in my life. Instead of spending time learning and enhancing my career, I spend my time distracting. Instead of spending time doing things to capture my creativity, I spend my time distracting. Instead of spending my time living, I spend my time distracting. I have wasted a lot of my limited life on distracting myself from living. How sad is that?
I know I am not alone with this addiction. I see it everyday. People with their eyes buried in their phones like soulless zombies. People who are heavily medicated either legally or illegally. People who are spending obscene amounts of time watching TV or sports. Everyone of us is chasing the fix; the fix to escape our reality and avoid our perceived problems. Over time some of our problems do get resolved on their own, but we end up distracting ourselves from the solution that rarely works out in our favour. We are left hopeless and powerless over our lives.
Some people may be fine with that, I am not.
It is time for me to rid myself of all the noisy notifications and Facebook feeds. It is time for me to turn off my phone when all of my family members are safe at home. I must immediately stop my addiction to distraction and I hope that someday I will never have to reference my Facebook feed to recall the happier times I had spent with him… distracted.