Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Facebook Rehab

Facebook Rehab Center in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

“My name is Jennifer, and I’m a Facebookaholic.”

It started out innocently enough.  My husband said, “We’re just going on a nice little surfing trip to Tamarindo.”

With great excitement I had packed up shorts, bathing suits, sunscreen, my surfboard and of course, the most important things of all; my iPhone and iPad.

“Will they have WiFi?” I asked.

He laughed.  “Of course they will.  What do you think Costa Rica is?  A third world country?”

Just think of all the status updates I can make when we get there.  I’ll be checking in at fine restaurants, taking photos of dazzling sunsets, tagging myself in photos with the hot surfer dudes who teach the tourists how to surf.  How envious all my friends at home will be.

But none of that was to be.  When we arrived at the tiny airport in Tamarindo, the twelve-seat airplane coming to a shuddering stop on the cracked asphalt runway, I was surprised to see two burly Costa Rican men in white coats waiting for me.

“It’s for the best,” said my husband as he tried to staunch the flow of tears while the two men hustled me away to the Facebook Rehab Center.

As I mentioned, my name is Jennifer and I’m a Facebookaholic.  I love it all.  Waking up in the morning (sometimes even in the middle of the night) to check my newsfeed, posting status updates about every little emotion I’m having (Jennifer Evans is feeling grateful!), finding friends that I knew back in kindergarten...heck, who am I kidding?  I’m way past the point of even checking to see if I know the person before accepting a friend request.  When I have new friend requests, I always feel a little frisson of adrenaline surge through my bloodstream.

Oh, I’ve tried other things but nothing quite satisfies the way Facebook does.  Twitter (too cryptic)  Instagram (too many photos of babies) Pinterest (way too many crafts) Tumblr (still not sure what that is).

But Facebook!  Ah, just the word makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  The friends, the photos, the instant feedback, the glorious hours and hours of scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

“Darling, we’re going to have to take all your devices," said the stern Nurse-Ratched look-alike with the dark hair slicked back in a severe bun.

I clutched my bag tight to my body until the two Costa Rican heavies pried it loose.  I was crying, screaming, begging.  “Please!  Not my iPad.  I’m writing a story about Steve Jobs,” I wailed.

And so it began.  While my husband was surfing glassy waves, probably drinking fine red Argentinian wine with dinner while posting a status update about the “Rad waves I got at Witches Rock today!”, I was stuck in that god-forsaken place with Carmen (Android user), Miguel and a few other losers.

Our days consisted of group therapy, vitamin shots, single beds at night with crisp white sheets and in the afternoon, they made us sit on the beach with nothing but a beach towel and a paperback copy of War and Peace.  They had even confiscated my Kindle.

Jesus, Mary and Mark Zuckerburg, how to bust out of that charming facility?

I had noticed the young men who were hovering around the rock wall which surrounded the Facebook Rehab Center.  I watched while they smoked cigarettes, checked their iPhones (my kingdom for a status update) and when one of them motioned me over, I tentatively approached.

“Buenos dias señorita,” said one of them while eyeing me intently.  I didn’t think he was that interested in my body as I was wearing the prison-issue shapeless cotton shift, open in the back.

“Me and my friend, we help you.  You have money?”

I told him I did, while reflexively reaching for my iPhone to log into my Bank of America account to show him just how much I had.  Drats!  He was going to have to take my word for it.  We spoke for a few minutes, me in broken Spanish,  and I promised him that it would be well worth his while.  I can only assume that he didn’t have much to lose.  Plans were made to meet by the rock wall at midnight.

Hasta luego,” he said with a smile which showed one gold cap.

When I woke up at eleven-thirty that evening and begged the orderly to let me use the bathroom, well, it was just a matter of distracting him as we walked down the gleaming white hallway.

“Check out that YouTube video!” I said as we passed a computer monitor.  “They’re playing Gangnam Style!”

That was all it took and he was a blathering idiot drooling in front of the computer.  I only needed a few seconds to stealthily remove his keys from his belt loop and I was off and running.

These days, I keep my Location Services feature disabled.  Do you really think I want to go back to the Facebook Rehab?  Not on your life, babe.  So what if I’ve lost my husband, pets, children, job and home?  I’ve got google images and a great imagination.  Am I happy?  You’ll have to check my status update to find out.


  1. I really enjoyed this story! I love your writing ;)

  2. Agreed, as if finding your wonderful words about Dominique didn't make my spirit soar, I dig a little deeper and find that the first post I read is engaging, informative, humorous and well-written. This may be the 1st message you read from me because the other blog seems to be inactive,, I hope we can get in touch soon. I want to do anything I can for you and yours to "pay it forward" as you mentioned on the other site. I'm still living in San Clemente. I don't edit labels for Metagenics anymore, I have a private practice now. I'm also a Managing Editor at and their resident Journalism expert...I hardly consider it work, it's fun, I'm grateful, life is great...but also frequently lonely and often...a bummer, I don't need to say why cuz you know why...just add in that my best guy-friend, associate and trusted confidante had a brain aneurysm in Nov. 2011, the 1-2 punch did in fact trigger a full-blown nervous breakdown. I have only recently healed enough to even discuss that time please forgive me if my contact seems awfully delayed or strangely sudden. As mentioned on the other site. I have a blog that is growing steadily and have already informed my readers to visit your memorial blog via the link I posted which will bump that URL's google score greatly. My readers are mostly well-educated, open-minded and now span the globe. They made an app already that will send a push-notification to their iPhones whenever I update ... if I fail to post for a few days I get emails, calls, and in person complaints. So I post a lot of stream of consciousness head-noise when there is nothing relevant to write about...most is humour and BS, but when a post is serious or important they take note as well as action. I also recently found the original memorial I made for Dominique in 2012, so I pinned that to the front of my site. I think I found your memorial blog and my memorial vid at the same time for a reason...there are so many things I want to say to you...mainly, thank you for returning the love she had for you and thank you for all your kindness and support in 2011..up to Jan. 2012. Thank you for all the wonderful posts I have read from you recently and...just...thank you. As long as I'm rolling all previous statements into one, Dominique wrote and I edited a great body of work over 2 years; notes, tapes, outlines, design docs and other collateral for 3 screenplays she wrote and I fear losing those notes as I promised to complete them no matter what. Her unpublished work is by far her best, if I succeed in the completion and marketing of her stories, every penny will go into a trust account for her children. I want the world to receive the gifts of her brilliant storytelling. Perhaps you would consider helping to locate our notes I'm praying they were not discarded accidentally. Regardless, I would be honored to cover dinner/drinks/whatever for you and your husband anytime ...perhaps Las Brisas over near Cliff drive and PCH by her old apartment? The bar she and I used to go to right there is gone, but despite all the loss in Laguna, Bounce is still can't go drink at Bounce, sing karaoke and not leave happy. (or even better I could take you guys somewhere YOU like to go) I just can't thank you enough. your words brought so much joy into my heart that anything I can do to bring some joy to you and yours, it would be an honor. Have I said "Thank you" yet? Warm regards and utmost respect, -chris

  3. Hey Chris, I apologize for the delay in getting back to you and hopefully you get this. Why don’t you contact me via email? Here’s my email address:

  4. The apology isn't necessary. That you replied is more than sufficient. when I'm done with the waterworks coming up right now...maybe tonite or tomorrow when I'm in thinking mode not emotional-rxn mode. I'll email from my secure server. ignore the Google blogs I have, they are very much OBS and do not reflect the work i've spent developing my new site. You wrote back. I'm ... *sigh* no words other than gratitude and humility. -c will email soon.