Bryan Porter

'I am addicted to Facebook'

2007-08-24 09:14
<b>Bryan Porter was glad to discover that there were people sadder than he was on Facebook. (Photo courtesy</b>

Bryan Porter was glad to discover that there were people sadder than he was on Facebook. (Photo courtesy

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Bryan Porter

One of the aspects that attracted me to Facebook in the beginning was how easy it was to find people I'd lost contact with over the years.

But over the past few weeks I've once again realised why I lost track of those people in the first place. Put simply, some of them just weren't very nice people. A few of them treated me badly, some took advantage of me, while others got on my tits to the extent that I found myself looking forward to new beginnings in other cities.

Besides, how the hell do you answer a question like, "So Bryan, what have you been up to for the last 12 years?"

And now I'm stuck with them all. The only way to get rid of them is to ruthlessly delete them - an act I'm both a little embarrassed and a little scared to do. I've simply lost those luxuries of time and circumstance that so elegantly separated the wheat from the chaff.

"But," I hear you say, "if it bothers you that much, why not simply stop using Facebook?"

Even those words were hard to type.

There's a sharp scraping sound as the plastic chair is pushed back on the hall floor. He stands and looks into the dead eyes of the small crowd seated in a semi-circle around him: "My name is Bryan Porter, and I'm a Facebook-aholic."

The tell-tale signs

Lest you find yourself in a similar position, let me tell you the signs to look out for that indicate that you too are in danger of becoming a Facebook addict:

  • You manage all your social engagements exclusively through Facebook, to the extent that those friends who are not on Facebook (god forbid) don't get invited to your birthday party.

  • Email has become passé. You've added all your business contacts as Facebook friends and write on their walls if you want their attention.

  • You're currently playing Scrabulous Scrabble with about five people in at least two countries.

  • You have befriended Bubba Waring, the foetus who has three months left in its mother's womb before it sees its Facebook page.

  • You've also joined, the "Social utility tool that connects you with people you hate".

    Yup, that about covers it. But before I sign off, I've got one more scab to pick.

    Like crack cocaine

    I recently came across an article on IT Week, in which David Neal writes "Facebook is to office productivity what crack cocaine is to domestic harmony."

    That old onion: banning Facebook in the workplace. I for one, am all for it, and Moneyweb recently carried an article claiming the site will cost SA business more than R100m in the next half-year, which is reason enough. But before I make too many enemies, hear my proviso - intended for those carrying the mantle of management everywhere:

    Don't ban it outright, but rather give your employees specific time allocations to use it - as you would with personal telephone calls. It won't piss off your employees, it will make your office a nicer place to work in, and they won't hate you.

    Oh, and remember, you use Facebook too.

  • Bryan Porter is editor at He can multi-task. Promise.

    Send your comments to Bryan.

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