Hello. My name is Nikki and I’m a Facebook addict.
I’ve tried with all my might to break myself of the habit of clicking into Facebook every other minute of every single day, the past couple of weeks; fail. I think I could resist if I was in the deep woods somewhere with no internet access or a device of technological wind catching available for my dawdling.
But only if I was not by myself.
As I struggle through the compulsion to click there AGAIN, I realize it’s not actually Facebook that draws me in; it’s the mirage of connection and relationship that it mimics that is the draw. And my incessant clicking is reflective of the deep well of emptiness that I feel sometimes. I want to connect deeply and desperately, but each time I click on the book of faces, the well becomes deeper and dryer and emptier; because I pour myself out for a device that does not reciprocate. It is a machine that churns words and faces and stories for all those who are starving thirsty; who at the sight of a mirage will drink the sand.
To be clear, I am actually acquainted with the hundreds of friends I have there (which surprises me that I know or have known that many people) and their place in my life is important and relevant. Each one has formed and fashioned who I am and I’ve been enriched beyond measure by knowing them. I’m eternally grateful for each and every one.
However, there is a deep longing that is not and cannot be met by friendships and acquaintances relating only through an electronic device.
I have come to realize over the course of time with wisdom’s education that I’m deeply introverted…but have lived as an extrovert for a very long time. It is exhausting. I think, and this is only my perspective, that extroverts are recharged by many conversations with many people and are very social; can mingle well in crowds and are not intimidated by fleeting conversations. I couldn’t ever figure out what was wrong with me because all of this kinda sucks the life out of me. I’ve finally realized I’m not wired that way. I need alone time a lot to recharge, but I’m lonely because I need one on one, face to face conversation. I want to know people deeply because it’s the way I was knit together. Facebook does not offer deep relationship. Neither does email. It’s a reach out and touch someone (but not really touching) option, but it comes and goes and moves on whether I am a part of it or not.
Nowadays, when I’m in the physical presence of someone I feel a deep connection with, it actually intoxicates me. You know, too much of some things can do that to a person. It can also make someone sick if there is too much, too fast, of something they’ve been starved of. It is sad to me that a short amount of time with someone causes intoxication, because it speaks how disconnected I’ve been from the things my physical person, not to mention my soul, desperately needs and was created for.
I can see all this disconnection and acknowledge it and want to change it, but actually changing it requires some risk. It means I have to do it; reach out and actually invite someone into my starved world. It means allowing awkwardness and discomfort to have its way for a time; it means doing it afraid and showing fear that it’s a liar. There’s no way around the matter; it just has to be done; work THROUGH it, not around it.
I’m single. And lonely. But grabbing a man and choking the life out of him to satiate my own starved one is not the answer. At some point a man will come and I don’t want to choke the life out of him because of my desperation for connection. So what is a person to do in this scenario? Play the field? Date as many men as possible until one lets me choke the life out of him? I mean, until one surrenders? I mean, until I find one as needy as I am? I mean… Does it mean signing up with every singles dating or match making site in order to become visible to as many as possible? I don’t think it’s about a man at all.
I think…it’s about cultivating relationships with all kinds of others; women, specifically (for women, and men for men). Go about making friends and doing what God has called me to do, during this time. Serving others and getting to know them I’m beginning to understand is richly satisfying.
So today, I would love to get to know you, whose eyeballs scan these words. Can we step away from the cyber book of faces and schedule a cup of coffee and share life and stories in real time? Can I look into your eyes and get to know who you are? Because you are a treasure and worth getting to know; for real. I want to be rich because I know you; because the things that matter in your life really matter to me. And I want you to know that.