I can’t even remember the day I signed up for Facebook. I have heard of it through my sister in law who at that time had 200 or so Facebook friends. Friendster was the in thing that time as well as Multiply. Of course, I had to maintain my own accounts on those two social networking sites. New words were added to my social siting vocabulary: reconnect, upload,post and shout outs. I began reconnecting with old friends, really old friends and waited patiently for the new pictures to be uploaded. Until again, I was re-introduced by my former supervisor to Facebook. He told me that it’s definitely much better than Friendster. So I did. I registered and created a profile. It was unfamiliar yet simple. I said to myself, It’s like a upgraded and more sophisticated version of Friendster.
Months have passed and I was completely into it. No longer was I logging in to my Friendster account and I deleted my multiply account too. I found a new friend – Facebook. Some of the older older friends I haven’t seen in ages, I found in Facebook. To some extent, it has indeed reconnected me with people close to me in the past whom I just lost touch with after many many years. It’s great to see them again, all grown-up, with their own families and even some having a life outside of the country. I get a sneak peak of what their life is at present… it’s like having Showbiz Central or The Buzz in real time, the only difference is that the celebrities are my friends and family.
But the pitfall of being lured into the Facebook community is my addiction to the games. I think it was two years ago when I started receiving invitations to be someone’s neighbor for so and so game. I enjoyed playing these games. One lets me have my own cafe/resto world where I could cook international dishes and decorate my restaurant at the same time. Another allows me to have a virtual pet whom I can take care of by building it a its own house and buying stuff for the pet I chose. But my favorite is the one that takes me to the countryside, the rural setting and allows me to plant and harvest, plant and harvest and plant and harvest. I got so addicted to this game that I even forced my husband to have his own farm so we could be neighbors. This went on for months until my marriage was being affected. I remember creeping out of the bedroom when my husband is sleeping at midnight only to check my crops if they are ready for harvesting. The game has engulfed me and my time.
I remember having arguments with my husband because of the length of time I spend playing these games. He would always be checking on me when I’m logged and telling me, like a child, to stop it already. I would always frown and wish I did not have any husband to check on me all the time. It became an addiction until God already intervened.
During those times when I pleaded for more time from my husband, I knew he was praying that I come to my senses and stop. He would always say, “It’s just a game. It’s not real!” These were constant utterances from him until finally, I stopped. One day, I just felt a tug in my heart telling me to stop and I could even hear my husband saying those words again over and over. So I did realize that it’s not real, that it’s just a game.
I was in hibernation for quite some time soon after that. I tried my best to stay away from my favorite games and with God’s grace I was able to control my planting and cooking urges.
Lately, though, I can see myself getting back to the gaming world again. But I believe its different now. I don’t stay up late or creep out of the room at night to expand my city or rearrange my shops. I set aside a certain time for this in a day and do something else. Something worthwhile. Something more productive. Something more pleasing to my Father in heaven. It’s really embarrassing for Him to see me spending too much time on things man created instead of spending more time with Him.