Goodbye Facebook, it’s been real (?)

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Now for the other life. The one without mistakes.

–Lou Lipsitz

 

A year ago I found myself not looking at Facebook while I was on holiday. It did me the power of good. I went for walks, talked and ate with my family, all the normal things, but without the background knowledge that as soon I had finished interacting with them I could treat myself to ‘just ten minutes’ (i.e. an hour) of endless scrolling to see who had walked their dog and made some jam.

On arriving home I announced I would not be using it any more.

Like a lot of promises, this held good for a while until one afternoon I felt compelled to ‘just take a look’. I honestly can’t remember what I saw, or why I went on. From that moment on I suppose I took a look about once a week, ‘just to see’, rising to a peak around the election, when, idiot that I am, I broke my vow fully and chose to vent a little.

Since then it has been pretty much radio silence, with the odd relapse thrown in.

Then, at the start of September, I decided to stop using Twitter (i.e. I admitted I had an addiction problem). And that really has changed everything. I remembered that via the miracle of technology these blog posts still reached both platforms. I could be ‘there’, but could remove my accompanying obsession over who said what about them. It was incredibly freeing.

Like Ted Hughes’s roosting hawk, I have decided to keep things like this. Posts will appear, but I will be somewhere else, preferably talking to people in real time, or noting things down, for myself, not public consumption, free from the worry of how to squish it into 140 characters.

This is not about you, remember, it’s about me. And my poor, fried head trying to claw back some space for what is important. If I don’t reply to your message/ friend request/event, or like or comment on your news, please don’t take it personally. (You may have to use other means.) I just need to go. Now. As they say, it’s been real. I think.

20 comments

  1. Sarah Salway

    I love this – ‘…noting things down, for myself, not public consumption, free from the worry of how to squish it into 140 characters.’ We’ve become so used to having an immediate audience, which is gratifying for a moment or so, but mulling things over seems to have got lost. And what a beautiful word, mull, is. Am off to mull over your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. john foggin

    I’m fascinated by this, Anthony. Like a First Stepper. “We admitted that we were powerless over Social Media, and that our lives had become unmanageable”. And also, like a Captain Oates de nos jours, after days of starvation, of whiteout, saying “I may be gone for some time”. Go well. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. socialbridge

    Anthony, I’d never have thought of you as a candidate for addiction to FB and Twitter. I wonder what that says about you, me and virtuality?
    I often ponder on the extent to which blogs are part of the addictive mire of SM.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MintAndCopper

    Even though I don’t know you personally, I very much “support” your decision – I recently read a very interesting neuro-biological article about how the use of Facebook changes not just the way we perceive ourselves and our acquaintances, but generally even the way we plan our days, holidays, our general time commitment due to the knowledge that we might be published with a photo somewhere. That’s why I decided to take away all personal content from my FB and only use it for private messaging and sharing articles/photos (not private photos but the same I would exhibit). And that’s really been.
    I wish you all the best of success with your very own little social media revolution!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fiona lesley bennett

    judging by the number of comments you’ve struck a chord. I battle with boundaries around fb and twitter BUT the huge value i do get from them is finding out about things that I wouldn’t stumble upon any other way, that is the receiving aspect rather than the posting aspect – so as a receiver of thought, wisdom, news, reflections, stimulus, inspirational sources, other projects – do you have someone else trawling the tweets for you and forwarding it to you? or do you just trust in the old ways, libraries, live encounters and conversations with friends in real time and space? really interested in your view on the useful aspects of gathering knowledge/sources on sm and how much you do or don’t miss them as your radio silence continues…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane

    Dear Anthony,
    I gave up facebook a few years ago and truly, I do not miss it one bit. My friends thought that I was crazy, but I still interact with them, go to events, and my life is no worse without it. I probably am a dinosaur, but those far away actually write real letters, and love it. On a practical side this supports our pen shop, card/stationary shops and allows a more intimate conversation that maybe you just did not want all in sundry to read. A dear friend with cancer loved getting special things in the post throughout her darkest days. She loves her computer, but so looked forward to that plop of correspondence coming through the letter box. Anyone can dash off an email, but pen, ink, stamps, and something fun, can only be done by hand.
    Long live the fountain pen !!! Diane.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pinkai Alfonso

    We’re on the same boat…I feel that my life revolves around charging my phone all the time so I can be on line 24/7.
    Last vacation I went to my Parents place which is a deadspot, nada, no wifi, cellphone networks, not even television. I just have with me my journal notebook for my poems and musings, my camera, five newly bought books and the country life I’ve grown up with. What peace, serenity, solitude. I realized I love that life. As you say post will appear but we will be in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

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