Thursday, January 31, 2013

faux fast



I’m fasting from Facebook for February.

I could have given it up for the entirety of Lent, but my inner judge deems virtual social networking websites an insufficient fast for such a sacred religious season. My inner judge, by the way, is something of an elitist jerkface. I try to take what she says with a grain or twelve of salt.

It does seem a little dumb to be so infatuated with a virtual interface, a webpage built from 1s and 0s, that I could need a detox from it. And yet, here I am, admitting it, implementing it, blogging about it (the last of which may mean that the real fast might be from narcissism and not the social media encouraging it…).

Facebook is my go-to mindless void-creator. It captures my attention, holds it hostage. I click over for a quick glance at who has posted what and find myself, an hour later, spit back out unceremoniously into the shores of physical, analog reality. Facebook is like a vat of undemanding fluff that I can sink my tired brain into at the end of a day. For a confirmed introvert like me, it offers interaction without expectation. I can be surrounded without having to participate. I can let my attention off leash to wander at will, collecting the strange riffraff of other people’s lives and storing it in droves. Sometimes that riffraff is great: insightful articles, hilarious wit, important life announcements. More often, it’s less-than-great: pictures of cats, misspelled memes, political tirades, a plea for attention. Kind of like life.

More than once, I have thought: “Crap. Facebook is actually making me dumber.” You might imagine what my inner elitist jerkface judge thinks about that.

There are books to be read, words to be written, places to go, mountains to climb, people to meet and meals to cook. My attention needs some attention. I need to, you know, see what condition my condition is in.





So, Facebook, I’m (kinda) (sorta) quitting you (for a while). We’ll see how this goes.

Yeah, yeah, oh yeah.

(Also, related and interestingly, there is this.)

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