You assured yourself it’d be quick. You promised you’d just “check and see if you had any new notifications from the last twelve minutes” and then promptly return to working. You thought you could show restraint and experience shame before the binging got too bad, but this was just like your last diet attempt all over again.
You hop on Facebook and there’s nothing new to respond to. Cheated and spurned, you feel like a jilted lover. You give no reaction, though—only twelve minutes have passed since you last logged off and whining about this now would be a little attention whore-y.
This becomes the tipping point. This is the recovering alcoholic accidentally taking communion wine. This is the indebted shopping addict mistakenly getting their neighbor’s pre-approved credit card in the mail. This is the point when you should turn back, close Facebook, and resume productivity, but you don’t. Instead, you justify scrolling down through a bit more of your News Feed. You figure that your unpopularity over the last almost-quarter hour saved you some time responding to notifications, so this indulgence is basically owed to you now.
Status, lists, videos, pictures, they all keep loading and you keep on scrolling. You’re bombarded by titles packed with superlatives, and you don’t see a rational option other than clicking through each to assess for yourself if it really is the “most incredible,” the “year’s best,” or “completely life-affirming.” These forays last a unsatisfying minute or two and afterwards you’re just left feeling disappointed, used, and thinking something like, “Dammit, Becky, that’s not the cutest baby guinea pig ever—I know I’ve seen much more adorable, fat little Italians before!”
Fresh off dismissing Becky as a reliable source of cute videos, you continue on. Attempting to minimize your disgust, you try to rapidly move through the innumerable posts from old acquaintances that are perpetually jamming up your feed with Biblical scripture, political tirades, and pictures of their ugly babies. No matter how many you scroll through, they just keep on coming while your disdain keeps on festering.
Your social network further forces your hand. Whether someone posted “Five Salad Dressing Recipes We’re Sure Jesus Would’ve Loved”, “7 Signs Your Baby Will be Famous”, “Global Warming Linked to Al Qaeda, Military Homosexuals, Ironside’s Cancellation,” or something else equally-idiotic, you know you have no choice but to hate-click through the link, just so you can confirm your abhorrence. They’re each like a Sinbad movie or a graphically-upsetting car fire—devastatingly terrible, but you want to look just to see how bad it really is.
Aggravated, you can’t help but wonder why any these friend requests ever seemed like good ideas. But then, like ironic clockwork, you ex’s page rears its once-sexable face and you welcome it as a diversion for the torrent of friend loathing you had become lost in. You figure this isn’t weird; you’re not going to creep it too real.
Thirty minutes later and you’re still on your ex’s profile page. You’ve analyzed every comment or photo they’ve posted in the past two weeks and you’re now a bubbling crock of misplaced jealousy and relief that you two are no longer together.
Maniacally, you consider messaging them, but instead catch a glimpse of your computer’s clock. Ninety minutes have passed since you’ve broken eye contact with Facebook, but at least you have a lot of opinions on adorable things and justified high-school-friend hatred to show for your time.
Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive, and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.