Rantings of a Designer | Overcoming My Addiction

Hello. I’m Chinelle, and I am addicted to Facebook.

I know you might think that it’s kind of funny for me to say this, and that I MUST be joking around…
but I’m not.

I have been struggling with this addiction for some time now and I feel like it has been eating me alive.

I know that I am not alone.
So, this post is dedicated to all of you out there who are fighting this same addiction.
Maybe you are too afraid to admit that it has became a problem, or you don’t even see it as a problem.
My hope is that MY STORY will open your eyes to the reality, the severity, and the impact that Facebook, as well as other social media sites have on your life.

__________

For the past few years, I have been struggling with this downplayed addiction.
I mean, Facebook isn’t a drug, right?
It’s not cigarettes.
Not porn.
Not illegal.
…it’s just social media.

So how in the world can I say that I’m addicted??

Well, the definition of addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. (dictionary.com)

I AM ADDICTED.

I often say that God is first, and my family comes second in everything, even throughout this site.
But I was lying to you all and trying to convince myself!
In reality, Facebook and checking my email constantly (like every few minutes, throughout the day) is what was coming first.
It was consuming me.
I would find myself  sitting on my computer for hours just bouncing around on Facebook.
Not doing anything productive.
Not actually working.
Not playing with my children.
Not talking to my husband.
Just Facebook.
And then, when I finally did get off my computer, I would get on my phone and do the same thing.

Checking facebook was, quite literally, the FIRST thing I did when I woke up and the LAST thing I did before closing my eyes.

__________

This past Friday, I finally made a real stand within myself to try to take back my life from this addiction.
I  deleted all of the Facebook apps (Facebook, Facebook messenger, and Facebook pages) off of my iPhone.
Although this is probably the 12th time I’ve done this, something in me completely broke this past time.
Maybe it was seeing my baby boy trying to master walking and realizing just how much of his 1st year I spent on Facebook and not truly enjoying him.
Or maybe it was the other day when my 3 year old was practicing writing his name, so excited, and I stopped to look at my phone.
To which, he responded, “Put the phone down, mommy”.
THAT. BROKE. MY. HEART.
I do not want the majority of my children’s memories of me, to be of me sitting in front of my computer or glued to my phone.

I feel like God really understands my desire to shake this thing, too.
I say that because although I deleted the apps, I could still access Facebook off of Safari on my phone.
Saturday morning, I went to check Facebook, like I usually do before getting out of bed, and accidentally signed myself out of it.
I realized that it happened for a reason, because that NEVER happens.
So, I just left it.
For the ENTIRE DAY I didn’t once check Facebook, and that feeling I had was SO AMAZING!
I was so proud of myself for being “one day sober”.

This morning, I went to take back some tables I borrowed from a neighbor a few weeks ago.
I left the house and realized I didn’t even remember the address.
But I knew she had sent it to me in a Facebook message.
While on her street, I attempted to access Facebook again from Safari on my phone, telling myself that I’m only logging in to get this info and then I’ll log back out. It’s totally harmless…

But, again, I believe that God closed that door of temptation. My phone wouldn’t allow me to even open Facebook.
(I ended up just calling my husband and having him get the info for me)

In hindsight, I honestly can’t say that I would have been able to keep my word to myself and just log back out after I got the address..
So I am very glad that I couldn’t login in the first place.

I have now even gone so far as to remove all of my email accounts off of my iPhone to help decrease the distractions that my phone was causing me.

This battle of mine has only just begun.
I know that it will not be easy by any means.
I know that the struggle will never completely go away, because I use Facebook as a marketing tool for my business…
but over time it WILL get easier to manage.

I want to be more PRESENT with my family and less consumed in social media and the lives of everyone else.
Because, at the end of the day, when I’m on my last breath, I won’t be asking for my phone or computer to post a status, I’ll be asking for my family.
That is what really matters.
I only wish that I had never lost sight of that.

9 comments
  • Jordan BurchAugust 4, 2013 - 10:44 pm

    So I started my own little group a while back, called MAFFFTF {moms against facebook for family time friday!}
    Kind of silly, and way too long (poorly branded obviously) but I wanted to have one solid day of no statuses, no checking, no messaging, (NO POSTING ADORABLE PHOTOS OF MY KIDS) just normal. and it was really hard.
    you have inspired me to start back up again and be present with my kids more as well. love your post*.ReplyCancel

  • Stella ReynosoAugust 4, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    It is HARD. I do my best to schedule my posts at the end of my office hours each night, and when I am successful, it’s so freeing! No rushing to the computer to make that first morning post that will hit that “high traffic” time and net me the most views. I can roll out of bed, feed the kids breakfast, finish my coffee while it’s still hot (gasp!), and not get sucked into one thing, which leads to another, which leads to 4 hours straight of I-couldn’t-even-tell-you. GOOD for you for taking that first step, and know that you aren’t alone. <3 There are others fighting the same battles, seeking the same connections, and learning, slowly, the right priorities.ReplyCancel

  • Ginger HuntleyAugust 4, 2013 - 11:00 pm
  • Jill Hudson BlairAugust 4, 2013 - 11:46 pm
  • Devon MichelleAugust 5, 2013 - 12:13 am

    Thank you for this…it is truth and it is my struggle as well. Although it is meant to “bring people together” it has caused more heartache than connection more often than I’d like to admit. Praying for the best for you!ReplyCancel

  • Christopher S PierreAugust 5, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    WOW Baby… That is AWESOME! I’m really proud of you for taking this challenging step and the distance you went by taking the time to write and post this article… I LOVE YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Jude ParryAugust 5, 2013 - 11:51 pm

    Just like any addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I too have an addiction to facebook, checking emails, looking at Instagram. Before I know it the day has passed, little has been achieved and it is time to collect the kids from school. I see their addiction with ipad and ipod games starting too and I realise the example I am setting has to be broken. Logging off now – and going to go clean the kitchen 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Princess GiaAugust 8, 2013 - 5:43 am

    Chinelle, I am so VERY proud of you. Not only for confronting/confessing your addiction, but also for doing it publicly. I recently had a somewhat similar revelation. I have a wonderful two year old, and I realized that being on my computer, texting, and ALWAYS trying to make sure that everything’s perfect was causing me to miss his little life. And that’s definitely one regret I don’t want in my life. He’s rambunctious. He’s mischievous. He’s stubborn. He’s funny & full of life. He’s brilliant & wise beyond his two years. He’s fascinatingly incredible. Most importantly…HE’S MINE! He needs to know that he is my priority & the love of my life…I can’t do that unless my focus is on him. ALLL that rambling to say THANKS A MILLION for the support! Well wishes on your “journey”. Oh, and kudos for taking the stand!ReplyCancel

  • Julie RoweSeptember 5, 2013 - 1:33 am

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