Hello. My name is Renae, and I am addicted to Facebook. I’m also addicted to an online game I play through my Facebook account, called Words with Friends.*
It started out innocently enough. Ironically, I was encouraged to open a Facebook account several years ago for professional purposes. To make business contacts and build readership.
But then, all these people from my past started popping up! My high school music teacher? We’re now Facebook friends. Elementary school chums? Yep. We’re connected. I even learned that my friend Vickie, from elementary school, grew up to be none other than Anna Nicole Smith! Seriously. I’m not kidding. We were in the same class from third through fifth grade. Sweet girl, and I’m still sad when I think of how her story turned out. But that’s another article.
Now I have over 1,200 “friends,” many of whom I’ve never met face-to-face. Needless to say, it’s a huge distraction.
Just now, when I logged onto Facebook to find out how many “friends” I had, I forgot I was just logging on to do research for this article. I had to scroll through the news feed, find out what Robin and Tiffany are having for dinner, comment on Ben’s nice-looking set of teeth now that his braces are off, and check how many people had “liked” my last status. Ten minutes later, I remembered this article.
And don’t even get me started on Words with Friends. It’s the online, interactive version of Scrabble. So easy to cheat, too, but don’t ask me how I know that. Of course I never cheat. I’m a writer. Words are my business. Why would I need to cheat at Scrabble?
Besides, they really should change the name to Words with Opponents. There are no friends when it comes to Scrabble. My goal is to crush my opponents beyond any shred of dignity and leave them crying like little girls.
I mean, it’s a nice, friendly online game. Educational, and all that. Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.
Anyway, back to my original point. I am addicted. So a couple of days ago, I decided to detox from Facebook and Words with Friends. I deactivated my Facebook account and resigned all my WWF games, letting my opponents win. Now that was hard.
I made it almost 48 hours before I logged onto my daughter’s Facebook account to check up on all our mutual friends. But since we only have a handful of mutual friends, that didn’t take long, and I was still left wondering what Robin and Tiffany were having for dinner.
So this morning, I reactivated my account. But you know what, the last couple of days were kind of nice. I had more free time. I was more focused on my family. And I was more present in everything I did.
I’ve decided to make a new rule for myself. I’m only allowed to interact with my online friends when my in-the-flesh friends and family aren’t around. They deserve my full attention. I don’t want to be remembered for the way the top of my head looked, as I was posting a new status using my iPhone.
I’m so glad God is always fully present for me. Can you imagine what life would be like if, every time I went to God with some new crisis, big or small, He said, “Hold on. I need to check Facebook and see what Mary and Martha are making for dinner.” He never does that.
Every time I step into His presence, it’s as if He drops everything and treats me like I’m the most important thing He’s got going on. He listens. He comforts. He gives wisdom. He laughs with me, cries with me, and genuinely cares about my every thought, my every concern.
I’m going to do my best to follow His example, and show that kind of love to the people He’s placed in my life. And, while I’m getting things right, I suppose I’ll try very hard not to bamboozle anyone at Words with Opponents. Not that I would ever need to do that.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalms 46:1.
*This article was originally written/published by the author under the title “Detox.”