Calling All Facebookers . . . Help!

September 27, 2014

I finally joined Facebook but I don’t have the technological skills to know how to use it. This morning I got so excited; I saw pictures of my extended family and wanted to let them know how glad I was to see their wonderful faces but, I couldn’t figure out how to send them a message.

It was great seeing all their pictures and wishing I could see them in person but I couldn’t even tell them that because none of the buttons that I pushed did anything. For those who learned how to use a computer when they were still in school, they wouldn’t understand how inept I feel when technology goes beyond turning the computer on and off.

The most amazing thing about all this is that I didn’t tell anyone that I was going on Facebook but, this morning my extended family all sent me pictures of themselves and their children. How in the world did they know I had joined Facebook? If no one knew that I was joining Facebook, how did they find out and, more especially, how did they find out so quickly?

Then, too, some of my clients wanted me to “friend” them and I’ve never discussed social media sites with them, let alone told them that someday I’d be joining Facebook so that they would be notified if my name ever appeared on their screen.

Without ever having been on any of these sites, I can still understand both the lure of them and how easy it is to become addicted to them.

The lure of them is easy. You have hundreds of nameless or faceless “friends” who never get to interact with you in real time. They see you at your best and/or they see whatever you want them to see. If they disappoint you, it’s not at the crushing level of feeling that it’s your fault and it doesn’t play into your deepest vulnerabilities and insecurities except if you are a victim of bullying and dealing with a gang of vicious people who take the bullying into real time.

For people who have addictive personalities, it’s very difficult for them to disengage from the Internet, let alone from the comments about themselves that are there for all the world to see. And, unlike TV, their addiction to what is on their computer screen is now amplified by their interactions with the people in their virtual reality.

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