6 Hilarious Old-Timey Versions of Modern Vices The 5 Worst Things About Getting a Job in a Small Town The 6 Most Undeserving Lottery Winners in History
Cracked Columnists

30 Harrowing Days in Rehab for Facebook Addiction

For some time, I've wanted to write about Facebook addiction. Something that synthesized the growing psychological literature on this phenomenon and presented it in an amusing fashion. Unfortunately, after a fair amount of reading on the subject, I could only find one sentiment worthy of repeating here:

Facebook makes you feel like youre doing something while doing nothing and, yet, in its own way, makes you too tired thereafter to actually do something. Its a lot like filling out a moveon.org petition.

The problem is, the person who wrote that was me. And it just seems, I dont know, unseemly to quote yourself...

So consumed by writers block and boredom, I decided to kill time by taking this Facebook Addiction quiz. To my great surprise, I learned that I was 56 percent addicted to Facebook! I know! Me. An addict. Sure, 56 was still a better score than my recent crystal meth urinalysis, but I knew from all the medias reporting that Facebook addiction was a far more serious condition. So I did what any responsible columnist would do: I checked myself into a 30 day rehab program for addicts like me. The following is a true account of my harrowing adventure.

DAY ONE
20100330152015The first day got off to a rocky start. I sat in a circle with a counselor and other Facebook addicts. Their sunken black eyes peered out from pale, gaunt faces. Our counselor David, a middle-aged man with a ponytail, led the discussion. In the days to come, I would learn to respect David. Hed seen some dark times way before most of us had had our first social media high. Once a successful businessman in the 90s, David had lost everything. Until eight years ago, he was still turning tricks in public restrooms just to score ten minutes of Internet time on Friendster. But I didnt know that then. On that first day, he was just some guy busting my chops.

DAVID

Hello, everyone. Id like to introduce a new member of our group.

GLADSTONE

Hey, everyone. My names Gladstone.

DAVID

And?

GLADSTONE

And nothing. Thats the full name. I just go by Gladstone.

DAVID

No, I mean, Im Gladstone and Im .

GLADSTONE

The creator and star of Hate By Numbers?

DAVID

No. No one knows what that is. I mean, Im Gladstone and Im a Facebook addict.

GLADSTONE

Hey, only 56 percent!

At that point, an older woman named Natalie chimed in. I could tell that she had been quite attractive in her day. But now, her once full lips had become thin and dry from too many Facebook groups. Shed become the kind of chick whod join anything.

NATALIE

Percentages dont matter, Gladstone! An addicts an addict!

GLADSTONE

Oh, well, sure you say that. I mean, youre probably shooting like 90 percent. Tell me. Are you jonesing for a Farmville fix right now?

DAVID

Gladstone! That kind of hostility will not be tolerated. And Natalies right. An addicts an addict.

GLADSTONE

Fifty-six percent! Im less addicted than like nine out of 10 of you. I dont even know why Im here!

Suddenly, Pedro, a middle-aged man with thick plastic-framed glasses and a thin suspicious mustache broke the tension.

PEDRO

Excuse me, David. I know this group is about Facebook addiction, but I was wondering. How do you know if youre addicted to MySpace?

DAVID

Simple. Tell me, Pedro. Its 2010. Do you still have a MySpace account?

PEDRO

Yes.

DAVID

Then you must be addicted.

GLADSTONE

Hes right, Pedo. I mean, Pedro.

DAY 15

By Day 15, I was starting to appreciate the meaning of my addiction. Natalie, now almost 30 days sober was starting to regain her looks, and it turned out this older woman was actually seven years my junior. In fact, Im not sure if it was her addiction that aged her prematurely, or if Id just forgotten what people over 22 look like from all the time Id spent around Facebook teens. In any event, although it was against group policy, she and I had been having sex in a seldom used broom closet. Id explore her body, taking my cues from her while she moaned things like dislike, like and omg, they need to invent a please dont stop button! Not to brag, but Natalie was reaching climax at rehab so often, that if the Internet were allowed there, she would have had to ditch Facebook for a more real time Twitter account.

In any event, on Day 15, we explored the origin of my problem: sober33

DAVID

Today, Id like to talk about why we began using Facebook in the first place. Gladstone, why dont you begin?

GLADSTONE

Yeah, its stupid. I didnt even want to. I did it just to promote my website. Like networking.

DAVID

So you joined for professional reasons, but then you got hooked on what? The quizzes?

GLADSTONE

Uh, no, Im not a 14-year-old girl.

DAVID

The apps like Farmville?

GLADSTONE

No. See above.

DAVID

Connecting with old friends?

GLADSTONE

No. I barely know any of my Facebook friends in real life.

DAVID

Then what?

GLADSTONE

Well, I guess I got hung up on women telling me how great I was.

DAVID

Oh, but Gladstone. Its the Internet, dont you realize that eight out of 10 of those women look hideous in real life and/or have a penis?

I thought about what David said for a moment. In my heart, I knew it was true. Slowly, I turned and spoke the truest sentence I knew.

GLADSTONE

I like those odds.

DAY 30

There have been many proud moments in my life. Calling Jessica Simpson a fat and untalented. Ironically pretending to strike a blow for Judaism against the Black Eyed Peas. And, of course, murdering Daniel OBrien. But Day 30 of my treatment, when I was declared clean and sober, would have to be like nine or 10 on the list. Definitely top 20.

In 30 days, Id learned that Facebook was one huge masturbatory time suck. Yes, of course, I already knew that at the beginning of 09 as evidenced by that quote at the start of the column, but now I learned it again. And it was taught to me by someone who was paid to say it, so it's that much more true.

sober2I also learned techniques for dealing with the cravings. For instance, now when I want to play scrabble at three in the morning, instead of going online, I wake my wife and take out the board game. And if I want to play scrabble with someone I dont know, I ask her to wear that wig and talk in a German accent. By the way, it turns out that that chick Natalie was my wife. I knew she looked kind of familiar. I just hadn't seen a lot of her in the last two years, what with the HBN and social media-ing we were both engaging in.

I approached the center of the circle and held up my sobriety medal with pride. David was quick to offer support.

DAVID

Gladstone what the hell are you doing? Sit down.

GLADSTONE

I just wanted to thank you all for believing in me. This medal means a lot.

DAVID

First of all, we don't give medals. And secondly, if we did, you wouldn't get one. Just this morning, I caught you trying to update your status on a calculator.

GLADSTONE

Well, if I didn't graduate, how did I get this medal?

DAVID

You won it at some stupid reading and you never take it off because you're a huge narcissistic loser.

GLADSTONE

Good one, David. But if I'm such a huge narcissistic loser than why would someone as cool as I think I'm so great? Yeah, you think on that.

So I left the treatment with Natalie/wife and medal in hand, proud of conquering my addiction. Understandably, the group was saddened by my loss. Pedro called out.

PEDRO

Gladstone! Don't go. How will we live without being part of your life?

GLADSTONE

Oh, don't worry friends. I'll keep you posted on... (wink) Facebook.

The group stared back blankly, and I recovered gracefully from my faux pas.

GLADSTONE

Um, I mean, not Facebook. Twitter. No. Um, a letter? Yeah, like with paper and stamps and stuff. That still exists, right? Cool. I'll drop you line.

And with that, I closed the chapter on my days of addiction and started my new life.


Help Gladstone battle his addiction by visiting his revamped website and/or subscribe to his site's feed. You can also follow him on Twitter and, of course, stalk him on Facebook. UPDATE -- Facebook friends almost maxed out. Why not join the Gladstone/HBN fan page and stay abreast of Gladstone/HBN events?

  • Random

Recommended For Your Pleasure

Gladstone

  • Rss

More by Gladstone:

See More
To turn on reply notifications, click here

95 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!