Monday, January 21, 2013

conclusions on a weekend without facebook

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i agreed with bill on friday that we would both stay off facebook for the entire weekend. i did still let my instagram posts go there and i did upload a few photos via iPhoto (out of habit), but i did not, not even once and not even when i saw that i had 60+ notifications on sunday morning, open facebook itself - not on my phone nor on my computer. i'd like to say that i felt set free. and i'd like to say that i never thought about it. but that wouldn't be true.

i should have tried to count the times when some (pithy, of course) status update crossed my mind. it was a lot. and i had to consciously suppress my desire to reach for my phone and share it. every stupid stray thought. facebook has conditioned me to share those. and it's really rather scary.

the cat woke me up around 3:30 this morning and my mind started racing with monday's to-do list. since i couldn't sleep anyway, i got up and opened the computer (i'm still here, typing this, an hour later) and i thought, "yes! i can check facebook now." and weirdly, my "home" feed was only my own posts, everyone else had disappeared, leaving me to think (realize?) that we really are talking to ourselves in there. and i wonder if it's good for us.

so the things i didn't get to share were my immediate thoughts on the lance armstrong-oprah interview, which i watched on saturday afternoon. they were the things i was cooking (vegetarian lasagne on friday night that turned out brilliantly and a slow-cooked pork roast on saturday). they were the excitement of how the hol(e)y stones were turning out. they were my usual friday evening james bond (we've reached golden eye) report. and my sorrow at coming to the end of my buffy the vampire slayer marathon and feeling a little lost without her.

facebook lets us preserve the immediacy of our thoughts. i'm not sure now what i initially thought about lance and oprah, because i've mulled it over too much now. but that's probably ok. it struck me that if his back wasn't against the wall, he'd never have admitted it, even tho' the whole world knew it - it's the nature of the sport of cycling that they're all doped to the gills and you definitely don't win 7 tour de france without it. tho' he's definitely been kicked off his pedestal, there was an underlying defiance and arrogance that was quite off-putting. and i did wonder what was up with his marriage? didn't he leave his wife and get engaged to sheryl crow for some years? it sounded like he was back with his original wife and had had a couple more kids. i wonder why she would take the arrogant bastard back? i guess you can never know how people's lives really are. and perhaps all of that is what i thought initially.

but what is this compulsion to share our every thought as we have it, without mulling it over? i blame CNN - they're the ones who started us on this path with their coverage of news events as they happen, rather than waiting for them to happen and then formulating an informed reaction. poor CNN has been a bit left in the dust these days and now we have a choice of 7 or 8 24-hour news channels (that's just here in denmark, you probably have even more) and a plethora of other outlets. like facebook. 

it won't be the last facebook break i take. ultimately, it seems like it was good for me. i stitched for hours. i cooked for hours. i spent time outdoors. i played a board game with my family. and i read a good book (or two). i took back my time and i used it mostly wisely.


will said...

Good for you. I started using FB because I thought it would be useful as a way to spread info about the local issue of developers wanting to build a big sports complex in a quiet residential zone. FB has been of no value for that.

Since that hasn't panned out I decided to just write goofy remarks. Otherwise, FB is just something to do as a break from doing art, activist stuff and house chores.

Molly said...

Not really in defence of facebook, we all know what a silly little thing it is, but when I tried to find an image for a blog post which I knew I'd posted there last year I was impressed at how easily I traced it through my timeline.
Good for some things it seems.

Sammi said...

I try to read more on facebook than I post. My main use for it is to keep in contact with friends overseas, it has more or less replaced e-mailing, which is a shame. I am finding it useful for that really. Unfortunately there appears to be a lot of facebook etiquette including not deleting people you don't actually like. Sad times.

Glo said...

Facebook is useful in that I do get to hear things that otherwise I never would, because it is unlikely someone would write an email or call to share. Recent examples: my cousin's baby walked her first steps, my sister-in-law is building a pool in the backyard, my dad linked a story about a miniature airport in Germany, and he reminisced about a model train set he received as a young boy for Xmas (first time I ever heard that story).