Guess who's back! It's time to reignite this thing, even if I have no readers left.
"Why?" you may ask yourselves. "Why, after ignoring us for four years, is CP returning?" Although I understand the question is merely rhetorical, since no one is actually reading this, I will answer. I decided to leave Facebook for a while - twelve days, to be precise.
I started having the idea to take a break after Poor George and I arranged to take a short trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary on the 25th of this month. I thought "wouldn't it be fun to pretend it's 2006 and everyone didn't walk around with their faces buried in a smartphone the whole time? Wouldn't it be interesting to remember what it's like to take a trip and just be there, on the trip, with your companion, instead of communicating non-stop with an audience of (insert however many Facebook friends you have)?" So, without having informed PG of this, I decided I wouldn't Facebook during our trip.
Which led me to think about the amount of Facebooking I do in general. Especially recently, with the onslaught of dramatic social phenomena such as Kneel-Gate and "Me, Too." And the associated dramas happening in the various online circles in which I've ensconced myself. The incessant, mindless scrolling on my iPhone. It was starting to feel compulsive, and compulsive behavior is something I like to avoid full-stop.
I already knew, from previous attempts, that I would likely not succeed in regulating my own Facebook usage to a limited amount of time each day. I briefly considered a parental-style app where I would be able to stop myself after thirty minutes of mindless scrolling, e.g. But I decided going full-on cold turkey would be more efficient, as well as an interesting experiment. So I engaged the services of PG to change my Facebook password, vowing to remember what it was so that he could return my access to me on Halloween.
A frequent victim of "phubbing" by me, PG was only too glad to comply. And voila: as of about 11 pm PDT last night, I have no access to Facebook.
And now I'm here to journal the experience of my non-Facebook life.
This morning was jarring. I have a specific morning routine which goes something like this:
- ALARM goes off
- I hit Snooze and grab my iPhone
- I open email and briefly scroll through 50 or so commercial spam messages, occasionally opening one if it looks interesting - but otherwise just looking for anything important I might need to read. (I'd say about 3x a week I find a message I need.)
- Then I open Facebook - and it's anyone's guess how long I'll hang out there. I usually scroll a few screens just to see if there's anything really interesting happening. Then I check my Notifications to see activity on my own posts or follow-up comments/likes on others' posts where I have left comments. And then one of my favorite parts - looking at my post memories from years past. Then, after all this, I start the mindless scrolling which often goes on for much longer than it needs to.
It's anyone's guess how long the mindless scrolling lasts. It depends on the day and on whether there's anything dramatic going on in any of the online circles I run in. If there is a big drama involving a lot of people I "know," it might go on for an hour or more and I don't actually bolt out of bed until it's an emergency and I'm about to be late for something.
It was jarring not having all that occur this morning.
Today I just read a few more commercial spam emails than I normally would, and then I got up and got in the shower. Got dressed, gathered my things, and got to the 5:55 am train to LA with plenty of time to spare.
It's unsettling - but I think good things may happen as a result. I want to do more writing, and I want to do it without the need of the rush of immediate feedback. I'm going to resist sending links to my posts to potential readers for that reason.
Stay tuned for more updates on this experience.