The Obsession Network

Let’s be honest: Facebook is not good for ex-boyfriends.

In fact, it is probably the worse idea ever created for us love addicts. It has every tool necessary to figure out whatever it is you want to know about someone –regardless if they want you to or not.

Think about how many times in a day you check FB or update your status or go through someone’s pictures or read conversations that have nothing to do with you. Or what about just taking a look at what your ex is up to, because you’re finally at the point where you can? And if you’re not at that point, you “test” yourself by looking at his profile and seeing how it makes you feel to see another gal writing on his wall? Better yet, have you heard of Facebook-drunk-stalking? I’m sure you have. Instead of just avoiding drunk-texting, we now have to avoid drunk-Facebooking. I mean, Facebooking is even a verb now?

I’m as guilty as the next person of having all of these ridiculous habits, and if you are my ex-boyfriend (or someone I remotely was interested in), I admit to knowing or doing the following:

  • What you’re currently doing career or school wise
  • Who you’re dating and who you have dated in the past
  • Any picture you’ve been tagged in or made your profile picture since we broke up
  • Current trends concerning your statuses
  • If I’ve had access with privacy settings, I’ve read wall-to-wall conversations
  • If you’ve invited me to an event, I’ve seriously considered going
  • If you’ve been on Facebook chat while I was on Facebook chat, I’ve wanted to (and maybe have) IMed you
  • If you wrote on my wall (even if it’s just for my birthday), I’ve thought long and hard about what to write back
  • Anything you have posted on your profile as information, including websites, quotes, etc, I’ve stalked
  • I’ve glared at the screen when your current girlfriend wrote something sweet on your wall
  • I’ve felt very angry, nauseous, annoyed, jealous, and just flat-out bitchy when I’ve seen cute pictures of your girlfriend and you
  • I’ve tracked things you’ve done and tried to make conclusions based on pure assumptions (like you became friends with her five minutes ago and then she wrote on your wall about last night…so you met her last night? Or what?)
  • If you’ve become engaged, I’ve been highly, highly angry for a full day. Sometimes more than one
  • If you’re not engaged, but I think you will be, I’ve cringed when looking at your wall
  • I’ve probably deleted you from my feed, but I still go stalk on my own
  • I’ve blocked you and unblocked you (did you guys know about the 48-hour rule?), removed you from friends, and re-added you (thank you ex-boyfriends for playing along)

Yeah, maybe this doesn’t paint me in the brightest light, but if someone is going to give me access to your profile, as a journalist, and as a love addict, it is my duty to completely dissect your profile. While Facebook is coined as The Social Network, is does not create a network of love but rather, an “obsessive network.”

And in an effort to un-obsess my life, my thoughts, and my relationships – I’m attempting to get a little less crazy with Facebook. At least in terms of my former flames. I hate when my confidence or my mood goes from super-high to an all-time low when I see one update or one picture or one wall post that makes me sad.  And I hate it even more that I have to physically and emotionally remind myself to not look at someone’s profile because of the damage it could do. Seriously, Facebook is having all these troubles with privacy issues and I think it is rubbing off on its users.

Yes, I’m “friends” with my ex-boyfriends, but only by Facebook’s definition. And I wouldn’t want someone who I really am not that close to digging around into every corner of my profile (but if they do, they’re probably reading this, go figure) – so maybe I should give my former loves the same respect.

So, with the start of step 4, as I dig back into my obsessive habits and try to correct them, the first task…is taking a big ‘ol step back. No more obsessing over what someone writes on someone’s wall who I kissed three times sophomore year of college. No more analyzing the facial expressions of a couple that came to be right after he broke up with me. No more blocking and re-blocking an ex just to see if anything changes.

This journey is not about what my ex-boyfriends are doing on Facebook. It is not about who they are sleeping with instead of being in love with me. It is not about our past, what we’re doing in our presents, or what will happen in our futures. Because any part of “we” or “our” or “us” doesn’t exist.

What does exist is everything I’ve learned from those relationships, the internal battles I’ve had to fight (and will continue to fight) to let go of love and to finally, with the start of this blog, take a stand for myself. And to know that if I wanted to, I could be Facebook official, in love with, in a relationship with… myself (although I won’t do that because that’s just takin’ it a little too far).

So sorry, Facebook, but I’m only going to give you 75 hits a day, instead of the 150 I’ve been giving you the last five years.

But if so-and-so does get engaged, whoever he may be, no one tell me until like step 11, okay?

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18 thoughts on “The Obsession Network

  1. I just read myself in your blog about facebooking obsessively! It happens not just to the young looking for love, but for the middle-agers like myself who find themselves in a dead marriage and discover themselves unhappy because they found an “old friend” on facebook and decided that meeting would not only be a good idea, but tons of fun! So here is my question, is normal to obsess over something you never really had? Is the desire to be happy and want to spend more time with someone more important than your self respect? I don’t know the answer to that question… I am still trying to figure that out myself!

  2. I think Facebook has opened a Pandora box and human beings have a REALLY hard time resisting the urge to discover someone or something that is really none of their business! Like my grandmother used to say “Curiosity killed the cat” and No, satisfaction didn’t bring it back. Even though it is probably a Southern term, I think the message is clear in that curiosity about other people and their lives (especially people that we are not involved with anymore) can kill the joy and happiness in our own lives.

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  7. This is funny – but not funny. I totally see myself in this! Except, my ex was on Myspace (this was 3 to 4 years ago), so I’d check his and his current gf’s profiles. I was definitely bummed when they got engaged and that’s how I found out. So much time has passed – he’s on FB now, but I don’t even care.

    I totally understood you though – I was nodding my head the entire time.

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