DEAR ABBY: Help! Facebook is killing my social life. I am wondering if anyone else is having this experience.
I am a woman whose job requires me to be on the computer eight hours a day. The last thing I want after work is to go online. Before Facebook took over my social circle, this wasn't a problem. But now all my friends and family are on the site and pressuring me to do likewise.
Gradually, Facebook contact seems to be replacing real, physical get-togethers. Things that used to be done in person or over the phone are now all done on Facebook, and we rarely get together anymore. If I don't check Facebook, I am out of the loop.
If I suggest getting together, everyone is "busy" -- busy on Facebook, I guess. They aren't mad at me or avoiding me, they just want contact on their terms. Am I the only one having this problem? -- OLD-SCHOOL IN CHAMPAIGN, ILL.
DEAR OLD-SCHOOL: I'm sure you're not the only one. The Internet is supposed to be a tool to facilitate communication, not a substitute for real, flesh-and-blood relationships. If you can't work out a compromise with your friends and family -- say, one in-person visit a month -- you may have to cultivate some new relationships with other "old-school" people who also prefer face-to-face contact.