Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Facebook Withdrawl

I didn't have a problem. I just wanted a break. So I suspended my Facebook account. NOW I have a problem. I realize now I must have checked it 12 times a day. And my cell phone was always chiming out PMs from people I didn't necessarily want to chat with, sometimes at 3 in the fucking morning.

It's been less than 24 hours and I don't know what to do with myself. I actually had to log on briefly to retrieve my back up copy of my FB files, but then I suspended the account again. I suspended Twitter, too. Didn't want to swap one drain for another. Google+? Naw. Not even tempted to check that.

I don't know if I would have been able to last even this long if I hadn't finally buckled down and taught myself how to put together an RSS feed last week (I've been using the Digg Reader). The reader feeds me stories I'm interested in, but here's the thing: I really want the conversation to be two-way. What is the point of *knowing* what is going on if I am not going to then turn around and *share* what I have learned? Sure for plenty of people, knowing is enough, keeping news to themselves is preferred as knowledge is power, so if you share your knowledge you share your power, right?

But I like to share. I picked a mate in life who likes to share. Facebook lets me share.

So I shared and I shared and I shared... but I don't get nearly as much in return as I give.

First of all, very few people I know in real life even CARE TO KNOW the things I share, and of course my list of "friends" started out as a list of friends, people I've known for many years. Then I would see someone comment whose name I'd heard in conversation or at a party and whose input I appreciated, so I would add them, and my list grew.

Of those people, few want to re-share my news, and fewer still want to DO anything about the bad news I repeat.  I've been called a downer, a socialist, a commie, been accused of being deluded, of being a psychic drain, and a cancer. I also get positive feed back, but not NEARLY as much. Let's face it: Most people won't speak up about how much they LIKE you, but they will speak up about how much you ANNOY them.

And I decided years back in my Facebook life to just accept this fact of human nature and ignore it. And this was a good thing. You can't let criticism stop you from being who you are. That's slow suicide.

But when I think about it, I had, other than my husband, VERY FEW (you could count them on one hand) people I knew in real life that had gotten involved with any kind of activism, other than the corporate same-old same-old, Avon Walk, Jimmy Fund, Support the Troops kind of crap that props up and supports the current broken and corrupted system. At least two were involved in "Buy Nothing Day", which I became very excited to hear, but when I reached out to one of them with information about the sanctions (at the time) in Iraq, depleted uranium deformities, etc, she asked that I stop. Such tragic stories that she felt powerless to change made her very depressed, and my circle of pals is not known for their emotional resiliency.

(OMFG, if the CAT would just stop MEOWING! I'm sorry there is snow everywhere cat. THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT!)

This interaction occurred *before* Facebook, before YouTube, even, in 2002 before we invaded Iraq. (Let that sink in: We trashed Iraq back before YOUTUBE was launched. That's, that's ancient HISTORY!) With no Facebook and no YouTube, people counted on long email lists for info and interaction. But everyday as the "news" complained to people about "spam" more and more filters went up, more and more people asked to be dropped off lists. So when I could join Facebook at last, I was thrilled: Only people who wanted to have things shared would sign up for this; they would be HAPPY to be informed, right? I under estimated how many people wanted to get on only to play Farmville and share cat pictures. Not that there is anything *wrong* with doing these things, but boy they did NOT want to be reminded that the world outside their door was a nasty place, nor that they had the power to do something to make life better for other people.

So off my list many real life friends dropped. "You post too much politics!" some of them would say, if we had been close. Those who I was merely acquainted with dropped off without a word. So I went LOOKING for people who liked knowing things. I hung out on political pages or pages of politically active people and reached out to people who had things to say that I liked, and some folks whose things I didn't like so much, but I sensed they were open to new ideas, and of course, I wanted to remain open to new ideas. I still want to.

*tires of writing* (Arm injury from last week is not happy about all the typing.)

Something I like about blogging: You don't have to be done with your thought before you publish. I am going to take a break from this, but I have more to say on the matter. And if I keep Facebook suspended I am very likely to write even more.

But before I sign off for now... fuck it. I have to reinstate my Twitter. If you leave it suspended for more than 30 days they delete it all, which makes sense, since the whole thing about Twitter is to be current. 24 hours ago on Twitter is old news. And I am not addicted to Twitter at this point. Not yet.

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