Sunday Mail Column: Suicide Mission to Become Real Again

The promises are tantalizing.  Meet your neighbours. Get your life back.  Stop self-procrastination.  Improve your relationships.

One little thing can deliver all that? You betcha. Best of all there’s no cheesy bikini clad after shot.  No chemist in a white lab coat talking about meal replacement shakes. No life coach with super white teeth trying to convince you to part with $2000 so he can tell you how to be a winner.

Nope. This thing is free. It delivers on its promises of an improved life. And many are predicting it’ll be the biggest trend of 2010.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. This little baby promises to log you off. Or as they put it, kill off your social networking alter egos.

Go to and in the push of a button you’re removed from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and from all those online friendships you’ve been trying to maintain with people you hardly know while you ignore your family. (Remember those people? The real live people you bump into in the kitchen while texting from your iPhone?)

Imagine being released from the shackles of all those time-sucking, mind-numbing, life-wrecking social networking sites that oh, about nine million Australians (me included) are using. One click and you get your real life back.

I think social networking addictions are like any other addiction in life. Some use alcohol, others food or eBay or sex (hello Tiger Woods) or illegal drugs or Facebook or Red Rock Deli Lime and Black Pepper Potato Chips (that’d be me).  We’re filling some kind of hole in our souls but using Facebook to heal a wound in your spirit is like trying to fix a leaky roof with fairy floss. Never gonna work.

One guyI know became so addicted to Facebook his relationship imploded.  Hispartner felt he was spending all his time on there and sharing way too much information.  And hands up who’s creeped out hearing that people are announcing deaths, accidents and births on Twitter?

Even the Queen of social networking, singer Lily Allen, recently turned her back on it all. In an interview with Grazia magazine, she said, “I just had this revelation that Facebook, blogging, all those things were becoming a total addiction. I’d be with my boyfriend or my mum and they’d have just got half of me … We’ve ended up in this world of unreal communications and I don’t want that. I want real life back.”

Smart girl.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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