The log out freak out

“You’re addicted to Facebook,” Mouthing Off Editor Dan Simons, while

slaming his fifth energy drink of the day, said to me last week.

I told him he was crazy, and on Facebook Chat, no less.

He said I should seek help, which made me think, “Hmm, I wonder if

there’s a Facebook group … I could join that.”

Maybe he’s right. It’s time to ditch my disease. I’ll need support

though. If I create a cause …

That’s it. I’m forcing myself to quit. Cold turkey. Temporarily

anyway, so maybe just room-temperature turkey. No Facebook for an

entire week. This should prove to be quite eventful. In fact, I’ll

make an event and …

Damnit. This is going to be a rough week.

12:01 p.m. Tuesday

My Facebook status reads: “Mike Sandula, for the sake of objectivity,

will not be on Facebook for an entire week. Call, text or e-mail if

you need to get a hold of me. Thanks. :D”

2:11 p.m. Tuesday

Just over two hours in and I find myself wondering how many people

have commented or liked my last status. I need help.

11:36 a.m. Wednesday

Per my normal morning routine, I just fired up my MacBook, opened up

Safari, and went to click “Facebook” on my bookmarks bar. I’m probably

going to have to remove that if I’m to make it through the week.

12:38 p.m. Thursday

During our Post-Mortem staff meeting, my fellow Posties expressed

doubt that I can go all week. Game on. Only 120 more hours to go.

3:47 p.m. Thursday

In class. Bored. I’d text someone, but the professor doesn’t allow

cell phones. He only allows laptops because he thinks I’m taking


I could surf the Internet, but truth be told, I don’t even want to go

online anymore. I deleted Facebook from my bookmarks, but it’s still

too tempting. It’s like when you break up with someone and you avoid

your usual hangout spots out of fear you might run into her.

The twitching isn’t as bad as I thought.   I’m stronger than this, I

can go without notifications, a poke, a Mafia Wars invite. Is there a

Facebook Anonymous?

4:42 p.m. Friday

I just overheard the funniest thing in Café O’Bears. It would have

made for a great Facebook status. What a waste. I could tweet it, but

it’s just not the same.

6:13 p.m. Sunday

We had a family get-together today and my brother took a picture of my

grandma and I. I told her I’d tag her, to which she said, “What?” and

I quickly responded, “Oh. Never mind.”

10:45 a.m. Monday

Remember MySpace?

Yeah, I didn’t either until I was desperate for social networking of

some kind. It took only two minutes of seeing that only

semi-acquaintances that I never talk to seem to use it anymore to be

reminded of how horrendously lame it is.

Painfully cluttered profiles and the songs of a random band starting

up without my say so makes me long for the clean, white background

quietness of Facebook.

I can do this. I can stick this out for one more day.

11:02 a.m. Tuesday

Just one more hour. At this point I’m merely bracing myself for the

hundreds of notifications I know my fellow Posties left me. I turned

off all e-mail notifications a long time ago, so I don’t even know

what to expect. It’s going to take a full week of nothing but Facebook

to sort through the madness.

12:03 p.m. Tuesday

Holy Hell.

I definitely got Facebombed (when a person or group of people leave a

string of comments on your wall with the sole intention of giving you

dozens of little red notification flags).

Fortunately, being away from Facebook for a week left me immune to

Facejacking (when you leave your Facebook up and your “friends”

sabotage your account).

Never, ever leave your Facebook account open. I’ve seen damage done to

profiles as innocent as a simple status change to friending the

weirdest person we know, changing your relationship status to being

engaged to a sibling, changing the profile picture and listing “Office

Dumbass” as our job title.

Now I need to write a story about my week away from Facebook for the

Mouthing Off section, but I’m too distracted by all these comments,

invitations, requests and messages.

It’s good to know that while I was productive and getting homework

done, my co-workers were reciting entire conversations from “The

Office” in the comment section of a wall post. Oh, and each one of

them “liked” it too.

My personal favorite was a message from Graphics Editor Jason Willis

that simply read, “Yo.”

The “99” at the bottom right-hand corner of my screen won’t go away.

It even briefly read “101” (Couldn’t snag a picture or a screenshot,

but I had witnesses). I thought it stopped at double digits. Did this

experiment break Facebook?

But even more historic than being the first person to break triple

digits for little red flags was the fact that I successfully went an

entire week without Facebook, a feat never before accomplished by a

college student.

By the way, one string of a dozen back-and-forth e-mail messages does

not count as cheating, regardless of what a certain sassy ginger

co-worker may tell you.

I’d lecture more about the dangers of Facebook, but someone just

commented on my status and I need to reply.