Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Book with Many Faces

Aaagh Facebook. Of course, every blogger has to ponder their "relationship with social media" so indulge me for a minute.

I generally like FB. I like keeping up with long last family/friends, and getting "likes" on cute/funny kid pictures. I like being on top of local happenings. I love Love LOVE the BuyNothing Project, which is run as a FB group.

I've also been involved in some huge time-suck FB groups that don't bring anything valuable to my life other than distraction. I've had to unfriend/unfollow annoying random people. There is a friend of my mom's who comments on EVERY SINGLE POST I ever put up, even though I only met her once. And I've found myself at times in the quandary of wanting to share but feeling uncomfortable because of the whole friends of friends seeing my post situation, because I don't friend people I currently work with but am friends with some previous colleagues who are also friends with everyone I work with (get it?).

Around the middle of last week, I found FB to be a lifeline. I commiserated with like-minded friends about the election results, and we had some really interesting and nuanced discussions. I was grateful to see people post about concrete actions we could all take, opportunities to do some good in the world.

But by the end of the week, my lifeline began to feel more like an anchor weighing me down, when I was actually ready to resurface. I realized what an echo-chamber of outrage it had become. So much re-hashing of the same thing. So many empty pledges. Nothing that was increasing my understanding, or even strengthening my friendships (maybe the opposite?). Nothing that was bringing any value to my life at all (other than Joe Biden memes, which STILL crack me up and probably will forever).

I opted out for the weekend, and honestly, it was good for me. I'm back on this week, and definitely, I feel more drawn back in to drama.Most people get off FB for OPPOSING political views, but I'm being driven away by those with identical views...because echo chambers get really loud, and I think better in quiet.

I decided this morning to quit for the month. It'll actually be good to not have to deal with the holiday FOMO I always get when we spend a quiet holiday alone at home, which we are planning for Thanksgiving. I'll broadcast my thoughts only in long form, to selectively bore my loyal blog readers.


  1. Well I, for one, am really excited for you! I think this will be really good and in the end you will be happier for it.

    Honestly, avoiding FOMO really does do wonders for your general contentment. I was always on FB seeing someone'a amazing vacation photos and lamenting the fact that we never go in vacations ourselves. Our lack of vacations was becoming a major reason I was unhappy with my life! Now I never think about vacations, or the fact that we don't go on them. It has absolutely made me happier with my own life. No joke. The change is real. And positive. Honestly, at this point, I don't think I'll ever go back. I really don't.

    I hope the break from FB is as positive for you as it was for me!

  2. I feel you. I have been scaling back on Facebook and Twitter over the course of this week and gravitating toward blog posts and books. Bring it on.

  3. I had a similar experience this past week. I also have been considering the problem with fake news and considering whether I want facebook to be the primary way in which I learn about what's happening in the world. Maybe I should pick up the economist again.