Last February, I took the entire month off from Facebook. Looking at it as a sort of “reset”, it did me some good. I’m thinking that it’s time again for that reset, to catch up on my reading and maybe dig a bit more into that Great American Novel I’m working on.
Facebook truly is what you make of it. I’ve got a few hundred “friends” on there and the updates I see when I login run from the very self-involved “look-at-me-and-how-awesome-I-am” to the pics of my friends’ families and witty humorisms from folks who share my sense of humor. You have to take the good (reconnecting with old friends and laughing at humorous posts) with the bad (“I ate Cheerios this morning, here’s a picture of little wheat circles floating in milk!” and “Yeah, that’s right, I AM pretty awesome.”).
I read an article a week or two ago discussing Facebook updates and the author’s gripe that if the update offers nothing to the reader, then of what use is it? I’d have to agree with that, especially when I open Facebook to see people tooting their own horns, some of them passive-aggressively, and some blatantly extolling their own virtues. The real kicker is that Facebook is BUILT TO MAKE YOU TOOT YOUR OWN HORN, unless you specifically buck the system and use it differently. It’s easy to put your thoughts out there and inform everyone what YOU’RE doing but if everyone is talking, then who exactly is listening? I have several friends who understand this, and the updates they post on Facebook were not the result of a quick brain dump, but rather some time and energy and thought into what could make others laugh. A post that encourages more interaction and discussion and less stroking the ego. Those are my favorite posts, honestly. With all the political ranting back and forth (we’re ALL wrong, by the way) and the amazing levels of nastiness that people stoop to when they’re hiding behind a keyboard, it seems funny that people take Facebook so darn serious.
What on earth will I do for four weeks of no Facebook, you ask? Weeelll…
-I’m actually taking another course on Coursera that started this week as well that I’m pretty stoked about. “Constitutional Law” from Yale at NO COST. All that time I’ve been surfing through LOLcat pictures on Facebook and I could actually be learning about the United States Constitution?
-I wrote a romance short story several months back that I couldn’t wrap up to my liking and my brother-in-law is the only person who’s read it so far; he’s curious how it ends and so am I.
-In addition to that short romance story, I’ve got to get some more work done on “The Rider”, and definitely need to get something more down on my planned novel-length story, “The Invasion”.
-And reading? Oooooooh, boy am I behind. After blazing through a couple of books at the beginning of this month, my reading has come to a screeching halt and I am only getting about 10 pages read every couple of days on my current list. I have two Jim Harrison novels to read, the 2nd volume of Edmund Morris’s Theodore Roosevelt biography series, and A Patriot’s History of the United States, which is a whopper of a book too.
So, all that rambling (and what has actually felt a bit like extolling my own virtues [see above]) has brought us back to a Facebook-free 28 days in February. Four weeks of one less timesuck. Will I miss all of those updates? Most likely no, but there are a few close friends whose updates make me chuckle and I’ll miss those.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m taking my feet of the treadmill for a bit. I think it’s time for less self-involvement and more self-awareness. I will respond to Facebook Messenger messages (seeing as there’s a separate app for that that doesn’t require the timesuck of a news feed). See you either in the real world or in March!