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Lions Roar : July 2013
MY FACEBOOK ADDICTION BEGAN six years ago when my husband said to me, with no apparent irony, “Facebook is so cool! Why don’t you join so we can become friends?” A year later, we relocated to a city where we had no friends or family. The lively and loving exchanges with old friends through Facebook mitigated my sudden isolation and got me through a pretty tough year. Eventually, I made friends in the new city, but my Facebook habit continued. In fact, it intensified. After five years of clicking through the News Feed, however, disenchantment began to creep in. Who would have guessed that normally exciting stuff could become so repetitive? Same-ol’, same-ol’: snapshots of chic restaurant meals, babies, vacations, calls to rally around causes—Oh my God, how many causes can someone take on?!—snippets of wisdom from Buddhist teachers, cartoons, jokes. I became further disenchanted when I realized I was using Facebook for approval, a sense of belonging, and subtle self-promotion. And I often mentally rebuked some of my Buddhist friends for their own blatant egotism. I then made a commitment not to post anything personal. Using the guidelines of right speech, I only commented on oth- ers’ status updates and posted what I found truly useful, uplift- ing, and funny. Doing this helped me recognize where Facebook was entangling my ego. It also changed the way I sought approval and friendship. Now these came from the people around me rather than through online connections. Paring back on my postings showed me how I had been liv- ing my life through “Facebook status possibilities,” rather than just being in and enjoying the moment. Anything interesting Why I Quit Facebook What if our online life gets in the way of our flesh and blood connections? SUMI LOUNDON KIM on how she cut the wireless tether. (It wasn’t easy.) SOURCEPHOTO:©.SHOCK/VEER SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2013 27