My name is David Schneider and I’m addicted to social networking sites.

The problem is right now I’ve got a massive work-on. Huge deadlines. I’ve tried just cutting down, checking Twitter and Facebook maybe just a couple of times a day. But I’m a 20-a-day man at least – I just can’t do it. If only they made patches or something – a little bit of news on how @StephenFry’s doing or the odd update telling me Which Brutal 20th Century War a couple of my friends are on Facebook that you could just pop on your arm to keep you going. That would help. But they don’t exist. I have had to go Kill or Cure. The only way for me to hit my deadline is to come off Twitter, Facebook and this site completely. Not to look at them, log into them. Nothing. It’s the equivalent of making sure that no journey I make on foot takes me past an Off-Licence. An Off-Licence that contains 140 bottles or less.

Ah. That number. 140 or less (I know: it should be “or fewer” but it doesn’t sound so good). How obsessed I am by that Twitter character limit. Yesterday I had to fill in an Interflora message and they allowed me 200 characters. 200! I spent the last 60 crying because I didn’t know what to do with them.

Still, I’m doing quite well. I’ve been cold turkey for about 20 hours now. I have written “twitter.co…” into my browser a couple of times. But thanks to my addiction buddy I was talked down from typing that final “m”- though it was after about 2 hours on Facebook Chat so not sure we can quite describe that as an out-and-out victory.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the 12 steps to combat computer addiction are and I feel myself tempted to write some suggestions out here but I won’t. I mustn’t. As I once tweeted, the problem with work is it gets in the way of social networking (I see fellow addict @themanwhofell echoed this thought just yesterday). But I better go do some now.

The question is: if I promise, promise not to look at anyone’s updates or comments or @replies can I please please paste a link to this on Twitters/Facers? (See: I even have pet names for them. Like they’re my best friends I play Rugby with at public school – Twitters and Facers. Agh!)

In the meantime, normal tweeting will be resumed as soon as possible.

PS They are my best friends.

PPS thanks, as ever, to @stanandollie for doing the test card picture

  1. Fi says:

    It’s not possible but nonetheless good luck to you fine sir. Of course u wont see this msg…

  2. Sarah says:

    here is support for total abstinence (er does writing this count as enabling?) and if you are reading this you are on twippery gwound. Gamers anonymous already exists and and I am sure SMA must exist by now. you can do it

  3. Vuvvuv says:


    I fear the only cure is a job that
    demands your attention 24/7.

  4. Frederieke says:

    I sooooo know how that feels! For my thesis, I have to write at least 15 pages before Tuesday, but I’ll probably end up writing most of it through Sunday night. Before then, I can be found on Twitter, Youtube, Blinkx, and will suddenly develop a fascination for Iceland, or for some endangered species from the jungles of Borneo that simply cannot wait until after Monday. Good luck teetotalling.

  5. Joraamn says:

    When I absolutely have to get some work done, I use a program called ‘Self-Control’ that blocks sites that I get distracted with. It has a timer, and is really good at keeping me on track. It’s a Mac program, but if you’re on Windows, there’s probably something similar.
    Good luck, David, I hope you get your projects done. I’ll take comfort that I’m sure to enjoy whatever you are working on as much as I do your tweets.

  6. Orly says:

    Have you considered Rehab?

  7. Bob Fryer says:

    Just relax, chill out, just do it now and again. It can, as we know be harmful and be the cause of such terrible RSI. The same goes for Twitters/Facers. As you have promised not to read rubbish such as this, I will end here and pop back to Twitterdom. Keep making us larf.

  8. Adam Neils says:

    You’ll never do it!

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