Exterior spaces reflect interior states, this isn’t news to me. The more I clean up the space outside me, the more I want to make space available inside me. To that end I have gotten off Facebook. I noticed that 2 out of 3 times I am on Facebook, I am either 1) disappointed that there isn’t an interesting post to look at or 2) someone has posted something that gnaws at me for hours. Of course there are positive interactions, the truly hilarious comment lines, the great links, the pictures I love, etc. but I have started feeling like the cost has become too high.
The day of the Newtown school shooting I was shocked to see that people felt that this day, the day 20 first-graders and six teachers were shot to death, this day was an okay day to defend their gun ownership. To me it seemed the only appropriate thing to do was to express grief, outrage, support for the families and the desire to address the problem, but not to crow about your gun. That’s my opinion. There were a lot of people who felt otherwise. They were people that in real life I have had nothing but positive interactions with. Because of Facebook and the way people (and I am guilty of this) posted hastily and with little filter, I suddenly felt conflicted about them. I am sure that if we had been in the same room, looking into each other’s eyes, listening to their words, sympathizing with their reasons, it would have not felt so crass and harsh. Such are the pitfalls of
Later on I had a small group of people over for dinner. It was a perfect evening and I noticed how many times I had to squash the urge to take a picture or post a status update about how much fun we were having and how awesome dinner was. For one, that is only the most boring kind of post ever. Pictures of food? Snore. Then I thought about the friends who weren’t there. Would they be hurt because they weren’t invited? Would someone make more of it than it was? Should I be careful about who I tag or who I allow to see the post?
What a fucking brain-drain and it’s all caused by social media being too closely entwined with how we interact with the real world. But I chose it. I chose to be on Facebook. I chose to post pictures of my life and make status updates even when I feared it would cause problems. I can post a status update expressing outrage about Facebook owning my pictures and words but I put it out there. I clicked “I accept the terms”. So I’m unclicking.
Of all the people I know who have gotten off of Facebook, not one has regretted it. So I’m trying it. I’m clearing out the clutter in my house and now I’m working on the clutter in my head.
I couldn’t figure out how to count this stuff but I think 50 is a fair number. It sure isn’t less than that.