Are you addicted to Facebook – the social media website? Do you find yourself logging on whilst at work, at home in bed, on the toilet and in the bath?
Following on from my popular article, The Self-Importance of Facebook & Twitter, I aim to find out just how addicted to social media you are, using this simple story test.
Select the options that best apply to you…
1. It is 8am on Monday morning and you wake up feeling weary, having ended a late-night Facebook Poker game at 5am. You lost $8,456,947 to a guy named ‘Billy J‘, who you’ve never met (it’s a good job the money isn’t real). You stare are your alarm clock in disbelief – in 10 minutes the bus leaves for work. Which of these best applies to you?
- You get dressed quickly, grab a piece of toast and scamper to the bus stop, with your shoes on the wrong feet and your underwear sticking out of your trousers.
- You log straight on to Facebook to check your messages and your poker balance (hey, they give you $10 worth of chips just for logging on, reducing your balance to -$8,456,937). You then post a message onto your boss’s wall to say that you’re going to be late for work (he’ll forgive you because you can get him into trouble with his wife by tagging him in those ‘Christmas office party’ photos from last year, where he was caught in a compromising position with Angela from Accounts)
2. You feel unpopular, and it’s not surprising. Other than work, your only regular trip into the outside world is when you take the bin out for the dustmen. Your only offline friends are the bus driver (who you’ve known for ten years) and the rat that lives under your kitchen floorboards (who you’ve known for three months). It’s time to think seriously about changing your life to increase your social circle. Do you:
- Make a resolution to make changes, find a local club to join and start a gym membership (a good way to meet new people).
- Start a Facebook group called “If I get 1,000,000 followers I will get a tattoo of Barack Obama on my bottom” and wait for lots of people to join (which, inevitably, they will).
3. You go to the cinema with your friend (the bus driver, not the rat). Which of these applies to you?
- You relax and watch the film, enjoying the great plot, dialogue and scenery.
- You sit in your chair, posting the plot twists onto Facebook every 5 minutes, thinking you’re great. However, in actual fact, you’re just ruining it for anyone wanting to see the movie themselves and pissing off the people sitting around you, who think you’re a moron.
During the movie, a drunk guy, sitting two seats to your left, passes across a beer label with the following words scribbled on the back: “You have received a friend request from Billy Johnson. Accept / Decline.”
4. It’s your Mum’s birthday tomorrow (a handy message came up on your Facebook sidebar to remind you). Do you:
- Visit the shops to buy her a present and a big bunch of flowers, taking time to choose a present that she’ll really love.
- Send her a ‘virtual gift’ bunch of flowers, costing $1, and then post “hpapy brithdy” on her wall (mis-spelled because you get distracted by an incoming chat request from a Russian hooker).
5. Musical Interlude…
“If a picture paints a thousand words, then:”
- “why can’t I paint you?”
- “I’ll stick it onto my ‘super wall.'”
6. You haven’t heard from your brother in a couple of weeks. He has been going through a terrible time recently. He lost his job, his girlfriend dumped him and his goldfish died (of neglect, but that’s not the point!). Do you:
- Give him a call, check he’s ok, have a long chat and invite him over for a meal.
- ‘Poke’ him.
7. Your best friend, the bus driver, has just called. His wife has just given birth to a little baby girl. Which of these applies to you?
- You visit the hospital to congratulate him and see the baby (you’ll have to get a taxi, as there is no bus today and the rat has eaten through your only pair of shoes)
- You sit there shocked – you didn’t even know his wife was pregnant… in fact, you can’t even remember him being married. You then do him the biggest favour that any best friend could. You go onto the Facebook website and set his day-old daughter, Dorkis Clapsaddle, up with a new account.
8. You hobble into town, to buy a rat trap and a new pair of shoes, and you spot a man on fire. His drunken attempt to juggle fire has clearly backfired, and now he is well alight. His trousers have burnt away, revealing a tattoo of Barack Obama on his bottom. Which of these applies to you?
- You rush towards him and help put the fire out (using your coat, bag or the little old lady standing next to you)
- You rush towards him, retrieve your phone from your pocket, take a photo (making sure to include the tattoo) and share it with your Facebook followers (ensuring you caption it with “look, a man on fire!”) Then, not wanting to waste the opportunity, you take a quick video and upload it to Facebook and YouTube.
The fire is finally extinguished. Lying on the ground with second degree burns, the guy hands you a beer label… on it is scribbled “Billy Johnson has invited you to join the Facebook group ‘Learn How To Juggle Fire Without Getting Burned.’ Accept / Decline.”
9. You have decided to throw a party at the weekend. You’ve invited lots of people from work, including your boss and Angela from Accounts (you’re hoping to get some new blackmail material). The bus driver will be laying on transport and Billy Johnson and friends from your fire juggling Facebook group will be providing entertainment (you’ve ensured you have a ready supply of fire extinguishers). However, you don’t know what to wear. It needs to be something nice, but also something that allows you to hide in corners and take embarrassing photographs. Do you:
- Go out to the local shopping centre and look for a nice outfit that will give a good impression to guests.
- Take photos of your current wardrobe and then set up a poll, inviting the current 999,956 followers of your ‘Barack Obama tattoo’ Facebook group to vote for their favourite outfit.
10. A week after the party, you’re cooking in the kitchen with your brother (the good news is that he is still alive… unlike his poor goldfish!). He makes the suggestion that you might be addicted to Facebook and suggests a ‘Social Media Detox’. Do you:
- Agree to it – it can’t do you any harm and it’ll prove that you can live without social networking. Hey, you might even enjoy it!
- Shout at him “I’M NOT ADDICTED,” before bludgeoning him over the head with the only thing you can reach – a fire extinguisher.
So, are you a Facebook addict?
Right, it’s a simple calculation. If you have answered with mostly b’s then you have a Facebook addiction, which can probably be sorted out. If you have answered with ALL b’s, then you should proceed directly to the lunatic asylum (that’s not a Facebook group, by the way) for a ‘digital cleanse’ (similar to colonic irrigation, but the other end). Oh, and before you go, don’t forget to update your status to let all your friends know where you’re going…
If you have answered with mostly, or all, a’s then congratulations, you’re not addicted. Send yourself a ‘glass of champagne’ Facebook gift, in celebration.