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THE BIG TWEET: Twitter, Facebook, Oprah, “Women, Food and God”
I’ve been reading Oprah Winfrey’s’ web interview with Geneen Roth, author of Women, Food and God ( featured in O Magazine). Geneen and Oprah (who finished the book in one gulp) believe that food addiction is an attempt to fill an emotional emptiness.
“Oprah: I think this book could have been called “Women, Shopping and God, or Women, Meth and God, or Women, Gambling and God,” since food is just one of the things we use to deny our own worthiness—for love, for godliness, for peace.”
Whoa! That’s a lot of addiction! From chocolate to Jimmy Choo shoes! From pizza to Prada – from Meth clinics to online gaming sites!
So I started to wonder – am I an addict?
I have all the symptoms – dark circles under my eyes, disconnect from reality, trembling hands, the obsessive hunt for a hit.
It’s true. I am addicted to… Facebook!
At first, I was in denial. I told myself I was a social user. But the truth hit me in at 2 am – the dark night of the soul.
There I was, clicking away in the wee small hours of a Manhattan morning, adding Facebook friends with all the frenzy of the cyber-friendless. Then I hit a snag. I spotted a tiny photo of a middle-aged (okay, my age) woman and clicked “Add as Friend.”
Soon after that, I read her response on my Facebook wall: “Do I know you?”
Now, I was not ready for this heavy-duty conversation. I mean, does anyone really know anyone?…not only in the philosophical sense, but more importantly, in the Facebook sense.
I don’t like to waste my Facebook time on unrequited friendship, but I thought I’d give her another shot.
Her Facebook page said she lived in Florida, so I shot back. “Maybe you know my sister. She lives in Florida.”
I thought that was fair and specific. I mean, Florida is just a state and has what – a measly 18 million people? Facebook has 350 million registered users! That’s a country! A big one! With a stable government! I mean, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is president for life – and look at the trouble Obama is having!
But that Florida woman would have none of it. Politely, but persistently, she kept trying to find out if we knew each other. I wanted to say, “Know each other? In the Biblical sense?” But this was Facebook, where (like the Holy Book) every remark is recorded for eternity. So I bit my tongue (or rather, clenched my typing fingers) and politely suggested that she might feel more comfortable being friends with people she knows. “Knows” means she has actually met them.
Not that I cared about actually meeting anyone. By now I was deep in addiction.
And Facebook was only the gateway drug. After a brief spell of weak-willed resistance, I joined Twitter.
Soon I was tweeting away – and thrilled to discover I could accumulate followers! Followers? On Facebook all I got was friends. On Twitter I had followers! Like I was some kind of guru! Like Gandhi! But, of course, better dressed – and fed. I mean, later for the loincloth and protest fasts! As Oprah and Geneen remind me, it’s “Women, Food (or Shopping) and God” – not Women, Self-Denial, and God.
Oprah says that what women are really hungry for is not food – but “love, godliness, and peace, divine connection.”
Now I totally get this. Why else would 350 million plus people be up at all hours of the night – clicking and tweeting away unless they were hungry for unconditional love and peace – the kind you can only get with cyber-friends – who don’t know you, don’t want to – and don’t make demands?
What about the hunger for godliness?
Twitter allows only 140 characters. That’s less than a blog, less than what’s on most Facebook walls – and way less than the average sermon. No wonder more people visit Twitter than attend church!
Twitter asks only one question – “What are you doing?” Now that’s marketing genius! Unlike “Do I know you?” everybody can answer that question, because, well, you’re always doing something!
Plus, Twitter inclines toward a refreshing frankness and lack of pretense. Ashton Kutcher, Top Tweeter on Twitter (5000 followers) – says in his bio, “Actually I make up stuff, stories mostly, collaborations of thoughts, dreams, and actions. That’s me.”
In today’s techno world, we want our gurus to make stuff up, get to the point, and be doing something.
And gurus are certainly godly – at least to their followers.
People are hungry to twitter – to be each other’s gurus.
If you tell me what people hunger for, I’ll tell you what they worship .
Right now it looks like what people worship is — the BIG TWEET!
Can we find godliness, a.k.a. compassion, connection and inspiration in each other?
That’s what this blog is all about – helping each other learn how to be happy – based on our own real experiences.
But enough of these 2am thoughts.
A few hours later, I gulped coffee and headed for my English class. I have admit that while I was teaching my students English grammar and poetic techniques, I was mentally obsessing about my Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
As I made my students turn off their cell phones, I was counting the seconds till I get back to social networking.
I felt guilty but what could I do? My addiction was out of hand. What was worse, I was coming down with a cold from lack of sleep.
So now I’m in rehab.
I make myself turn off my computer an hour before I go to sleep. I’m exercising my body – not just my typing fingers. And I’m reminding myself that a real friend offers face time not just cyber-space time.
How can this help us be happy?
- Face your addictions – that’s any habit that 1. you can’t control 2. interferes with your ability to lead a healthy, productive, enjoyable life
- Find positive alternatives to addiction – like exercise, friends, and family.
- If you get caught up in fantasy connections – to gorgeous celebrities, to cyberfriends, followers, and romances – take it for what it is – an exciting illusion. Your feelings may be intense – but they may not have much to do with what the other person is really like.
- Enjoy your life – in and out of cyberspace!
“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”
copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)