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Action Bob Markle

Music, theater, and my personal life, not always in that order. I try to keep it interesting, I rarely hold back, because one thing I truly believe in is the shared experience of this reality we call life. We're all in this together, people. More than we even know.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Say┼Źnara Facebook: How Do I Get Off Facebook?


It's been two full months since I blogged. Yeah, been busy. Not that I'm not busy now, but the main reason I'm back in this space is I quit Facebook, ostensibly for just awhile, taking a breather, but it's been two days and I'm liking it. I'm not sure what it is, what's the big deal about leaving Facebook (what leaving?--it's a Web site, you just don't log on.) It's the decision to turn your back on a digital society and it seemed momentous at the time. It's severing a connection and I'm not sure if it's the severing or the the perceived loneliness that is most scary.

But for me, it's a relief.

I didn't realize how much time I was wasting just surfing the site, lurking in other people's lives. (Wait, I was well-aware how much time I was wasting. I just didn't have exact figures. Exact figures probably would have disgusted and embarrassed me.)

I didn't realize the amount of energy it takes, the amount of emotion that I was feeling. It reminded me of high school, where you'd stand aside and watch all the cools kids doing cool things, and feeling bad because you weren't doing cool things, too. (Well, that's what I did in high school anyway.) So much of the status lines weren't directed at me; most of my 400+ "friends" were people who I was marginally acquainted with, many from the past with whom I've lost touch, and many of them for good reason. Facebook is so good at keeping that top layer of friendship alive, but nothing deeper. I once called it, life-support for friendships in that it keeps friendships alive--barely. It allows for just enough contact to keep a friendship or acquaintance alive, and nothing more.

And I was so tired of scrolling down and seeing posts for things that I simply couldn't have cared less about: Go Pats, Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins. References to Glee, Mad Men, DWTS, Project Runway or hell, any stupid TV show.

I stayed with it for so long mostly because there were a handful of people who actually posted things that elicit thought or debate. Taught me something. And I especially liked actually "meeting" people who I had a lot in common but never met, although I actually one night in Cambridge did meet two Facebook friends for the first time face to face, and it was a enjoyable and very cool experience.

And I'm going to have to work harder at keeping up with the local theater. It was where all the fringe theaters posted their shows and special deals, and I'm going to have to work to keep up on that. But hey, with the Internet, you can run, but you can't hide.

I think the clincher came though recently when I heard a Very Big Deal go on and on about Facebook, how he just joined because someone signed him up, he didn't understand it, he joked about the idea of friends, but all in all the whole performance was for his benefit, and I thought to myself, yeah, if you're on Facebook, it's passe. Time to move on.

It was fun, and I may log on sometime just out of curiosity. But I've had a two very productive days, and I'm not so sure I want to give them up. Funny, there's a link on my toolbar, and all I have to do is click on it and log back on, but I'm not even tempted. The hard part was making the break. Once you do that, it's easy to stay away.

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3 Comments:

Blogger The Witty Fool said...

I was wondering where you went... and then I thought, hey, he's talked about this before and... good for you. Facebook is a time suck and one to which I find myself helplessly addicted. I live at the computer most of my workday... and then when I go home and write I still find myself going on to skulk when I can't devote myself to a scene.

But there are days when I just have better things to do and I go on at the end of the day and I realized... I didn't miss it and don't really need to catch up. There was a time when I always had better things to do... so by that logic, well, I could easily figure out how to live without it.

I hope you can come to dinner at some point and bring this up. I think that would be a meaty conversation.

Meanwhile, enjoy the freedom. :)

December 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger The Witty Fool said...

I was wondering where you went... and then I thought, hey, he's talked about this before and... good for you. Facebook is a time suck and one to which I find myself helplessly addicted. I live at the computer most of my workday... and then when I go home and write I still find myself going on to skulk when I can't devote myself to a scene.

But there are days when I just have better things to do and I go on at the end of the day and I realized... I didn't miss it and don't really need to catch up. There was a time when I always had better things to do... so by that logic, well, I could easily figure out how to live without it.

I hope you can come to dinner at some point and bring this up. I think that would be a meaty conversation.

Meanwhile, enjoy the freedom. :)

December 2, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Action Bob said...

dear oh witty one...it's the dinner invites and openings with which i have to figure out how to keep up...i am finding that i am so much more productive, and because of school that is a necessity...you though, are one i wanted to keep up with, and i knew we'd find a way to do it without facebook...

December 2, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

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