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Oh, the lure of Facebook. Just think of the friend requests when you see that icon activated. It’s like getting a present: Who wants to be my Facebook friend?
When I first joined Facebook, a former co-worker posted to my wall. She jokingly warned me what a big “time suck” Facebook was. This was back in 2008 before it even was a big time suck, compared to nowadays with ever-increasing interacting between its billions of users and trending news stories.
Facebook has exploded. And now, years later, boom! We are addicted to and love Facebook.
Facebook before it became a habit
Initially, Facebook wasn’t all-consuming and addicting. Most users probably checked into Facebook once every few days. They browsed around and enjoyed the friend requests as long-lost friends joined and started looking for their long-lost friends. I maybe spent two hours a month on Facebook, if that.
Facebook wasn’t top of mind; it wasn’t a priority. And for sure, it wasn’t a habit.
There were entire months when I didn’t log on Facebook at all. So many of my friends still weren’t on it, and if they were Facebook members, they were using it sporadically, like me.
But as the years went by, it sort of reached a tipping point for me and millions of others. And now, Facebook has become a multiple-times-a-day habit. It’s so powerful, people even describe it as Facecrack.
Why? How did we all get so addicted to Facebook? Why do we love Facebook so much?
Of course we love Facebook
Think of all the Likes you get after posting something.
Don’t you love to see all the Comments to your posts? Don’t you just love all that attention?
It’s like an online popularity-making machine.
The more you put out there, the more affirmation you will get back.
So you post and post and post. You comment and comment. And you like and you like.
And you are really hoping to get likes and comments back, aren’t you?
All of that positive affirmation is very addicting. Really, how much positive feedback do we generally get in our daily lives?
Not enough! We’re exhausted… overworked and stressed out.
We work hard each day to feed our kids, get them to school, get ourselves to work, help with homework, run kids to activities, volunteer, clean the house, go grocery shopping, and on and on. These are thankless tasks. And if we aren’t working a “job” job, we don’t get a check.
There’s really nothing tangible to show for our hard work.
We aren’t getting the accolades we crave to keep us going. Yet, we can get practically instant attention and kudos from Facebook.
As if that isn’t addicting enough, Facebook offers lots more than attaboys. There’s just so much to do in Facebookland.
We can sit in the comfort of wherever we are and can chat with anyone we want. We can vent, seek advice, show off. It’s easy to post perfect pictures and craft witty remarks.
We can create whatever image of ourselves and our families we want to. For all of us long-time-married people, it’s like dating used to be: We can be our best selves.
Facebook is like today’s video games
Like so many video games today, Facebook is infinite. Remember the video games we grew up with? We had only three lives in PAC-MAN. You would eventually be destroyed in Space Invaders. Those cars in Frogger would smash us. The games ended.
So many of the video games today go on and on. Building, crafting, mining, creating. I’m not sure what my kids are doing in some of those games but they’re completely captivated and engrossed. It’s like that with Facebook too. Sometimes we are in it and realize many (many) minutes later that we’ve somehow been lost in memories or in conversations. We were in a daze, a Facebook fog.
Facebook as an escape
Without productive things to focus on, what once became tempting now has become a habit. Many of us want to learn to break the Facebook habit and spend less time lost in cyberspace.
But for all the escapism it provides, Facebook is really quite practical as well. Thus, the conundrum.
Using Facebook as a resource
There are so many fantastic reasons to use Facebook.
It’s just so darned convenient. Type a few sentences and click Post, and hundreds of friends and family members can see what we are up to. It’s like a monthly, weekly or daily holiday card. You don’t have to wait until December to update everyone and get everyone’s updates via USPS. Now, you can see them online, 24/7.
Facebook birthdays are awesome as well. We can reach out to all of our Facebook friends, and they can reach out to us on our big day. Who doesn’t love that? Many people use Facebook to invite people to real-life and virtual parties.
How Facebook helps us
It’s human nature to want to connect with people, and Facebook makes it super-convenient, easy, free, and fast. Of course we are lured into the siren song of Facebook! It’s great for:
Keeping in touch with family and friends
Facebook is a brilliant, time-saving resource. There just isn’t an easier, faster or better way to keep in touch with hundreds of friends and family members.
Securing new friendships
Facebook helps secure friendships with new people. It is an easy way to stay in touch with fellow moms, church members, co-workers, classmates, teammates, and neighbors.
Learn “who is who” when moving or changing jobs, schools, etc.
Whether you move to a new state or across town, and even when your kids start school, Facebook again comes to the rescue to help connect the dots with people and learn who is who.
Knowing what is going on with friends you see all the time
Do you feel like you are missing out on all the excitement if you don’t log on Facebook every day? What are all the moms talking about? What’s going on at school? What did you miss?!
Getting back in touch with long-lost friends
Oh, the joy of finding a former neighbor or beloved ex-coworker. My favorite is when I come across an elementary-school playmate. For those of us who have been adults for decades, that means we can reconnect with classmates from 30+ years ago. Simply type a name, click, and scroll. Most likely you can easily see where this person lives, if they are married and/or have kids, and what they look like. Who is the adult version of the child you once knew? How great to become Facebook friends and reconnect. You don’t even need to send holiday cards when you can see them on Facebook.
Showing off your accomplishments and your kids’ activities
Who doesn’t love to brag and boast a bit about themselves or their family?
Who doesn’t love being included on Facebook in one of these posts where lots of people are tagged?
More Facebook resources we love
Facebook is very practical and time-saving as well. Sure, we can use a massive email to include everyone in our group, team, or committee. But when you are making decisions and need feedback, setting up a Facebook group is so much better.
Using Facebook for group communication
Maybe you’re in a Facebook group right now. I’m in several: Volunteer committee at church; scouts; high school reunion; and a few others.
Once you’ve seen the power and convenience of setting up a Facebook group, you will never return to back-and-forth emails.
So often I have to break my Facebook hiatus because I feel the pressure of missing some important information that people share in my Facebook groups.
One of the best things about Facebook groups is that you can actually see who has seen the post and who hasn’t seen it. It’s a great way to ensure everyone has the information they need.
Using Facebook for group support
Are you looking for support in some way? Do you want to be (virtually) around people who understand?
You can start or join an exercise or weight loss Facebook group or one for moms with twins. There’s most likely one for most things you may want to discuss with others who share your interests.
Even more Facebook resources
Facebook is a brilliant resource for businesses. It’s inexpensive, timely, and easy to reach your exact demographic.
What business doesn’t long for positive viral press? Marketers work to increase Facebook traffic through Likes, Followers and Comments.
It’s a real tool, and a company without a Facebook presence is sorely missing out.
Using Facebook for business
Even when I try so hard to stay off Facebook, it’s even more difficult because of relying on it for my business.
I can now legitimately use the excuse of needing to go onto Facebook to update my business page, comment on customers’ comments, and to post new information.
It’s inexpensive to run Facebook ads. It has become a real goal to brand-build through Likes and Followers. Nowadays, it’s practically necessary to be on Facebook if you have a business.
And so the Facebook addiction continues….
What else can Facebook help with?
More and more, people are getting their news solely from Facebook. It’s easy to learn about places to go, recipes to try, what to watch on television, what to read, and what’s happening in our world.
Of course we love Facebook… it’s our go-to online for everything we need and want.
- Using Facebook for news – It’s easy to be on Facebook and see the trending stories. The bait could list a place or a famous person. We are tempted to click to see what is happening.
- Using Facebook for politics – Enough already! Most of us are over the political posts but there are those who continue to enjoy posting. It’s interesting to learn more about your Facebook friends’ viewpoints but you have to be careful to not engage in harmful debates or get too annoyed with people’s comments.
- Using Facebook for discounts – In addition to the advertisements that Facebook puts in front of us, our friends often talk about a great sale or deal they got. Here you can learn about back-to-school shopping deals and more.
It’s a true test of willpower when trying to log onto Facebook with the sole purpose of checking on something or to post something. And we’re not alone in our quest to manage our Facebook time. Truly, we are addicted to Facebook.
Bewitched by Facebook
We can rest assured we are not alone. It is mind-boggling to comprehend but Facebook now has over one billion active users. It is easy to become lured, spellbound and bewitched by Facebook. It’s a real-time, virtual yearbook about practically anyone you’ve ever met!
Add in the convenience of keeping up with family and friends, using Facebook for groups and for business, how can it not be addicting? It’s difficult not to love Facebook.
Why we love Facebook
These are interesting times now that Facebook has become a habit.
Everyone is able to create whatever image they want of themselves 24/7. It’s permeated our society so much that we may feel closer to our (virtual) Facebook friends than to our (real-life) friends we see much more often.
Whether you love Facebook or not, you have to admit, it’s convenient. You can easily blast out your latest and greatest while keeping in contact with almost every person you’ve ever known.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to see what else is better out there to distract us for a bit.