06 November 2013

Why I am “obsessed” with Facebook, and why I’m okay with that

Multiple men in my life, my friends, and my immediate and my extended family have all said the same thing to me about my “obsession” with Facebook: it’s unhealthy, not right, weird, a waste of time, and stupid.

The same exact comments could be said about someone who is obsessed with internet porn.  Yet, we’re talking about Facebook.  Why does this reflect poorly on me as a human being?  Why is being active on social media a character flaw?

I don’t get all my worldly updates from Facebook.  I read USAToday, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News on a nearly daily basis. 

I’m not selling jewelry, fitness advice, or nail polish. 

I’m not asking people to agree with me. I’ve already been defriended by a few people for my support of gay marriage.

I’m not hiding behind social media to not participate in my real life.  Yeah, I kind of/sort of have a pretty awesome one.

I’m not crafting my image, trying to find dates, or looking for followers. 

Then why not write this blog in my journal?  Why not just exclusively call or text my friends, instead of Facebooking?

The only reason I’ve got; the only reason I can wrack my brain to come up with is, because I like learning.  I like learning about women’s issues, race issues, unemployment issues, healthcare issues, and yes even issues of how to fix my hair in 5 minutes on a hurried Monday and how the Hills stars can describe the situation in Syria.

I like learning about how one friend gave up how his worldly possessions, packed up his family, and became bible translators in Africa because they felt called.  I like learning how someone in 2013 can think global warming doesn’t exist.  I like learning about GMOs and how one friend, who is a scientist, thinks they’re good, and another who is a full time mom thinks they’re ruining our food and our planet.   I like learning about Kony and Karzai and union strikes and rape allegations from not only the news, but from the people it affects, from the people I call my friends.

I can read about Kony in Uganda on CNN, and I can see pictures of my friend in Uganda working with women and their children who were sex slaves and child soldiers of Kony’s.  I can read about a preacher being stopped from burning the Koran on USAToday, and I can sigh with relief to see one of my friends complaining about how bored he is in Afghanistan and surviving just another day without incident.  I can read about the feminists revolt of Pinterest on Huffington Post, and watch my friend as she tries to raise her son without gender specific parenting roles so he’ll respect women.  I can hear all about Obamacare and the horrible wrath it is raining down on all of us on FoxNews, and I can see pictures of my friend’s mother recovering from a cancer her private insurance wouldn’t pay to fight.  I can read of another unemployed veteran searching for work, and I can support the organizations who are trying to do something about it.

I feel connected to a world where people like me, and not like me, are suffering, supporting, blaming, bolstering, lifting up, tearing down, having fun, getting fit, losing, loving, and living.

So I may be wasting my time, ridiculous, self absorbed, addicted, obsessed and annoying. 

Well, at least I’m not watching internet porn.

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