Day 934: Exercisin’! Insomnia!

A good run this morning; not super long, but vigorous. Juust enough time for a bit more sleep before work; my groovy insomnia is back, not for any particularly bad reasons, just lots o’ thinking going on.

In the interest of writing something, the social media diet is now… I don’t know, over six months at least. It’s great! My relative level of jealousy and irritation with the world has diminished radically now that I’m not personally on Facebook, and I wasn’t much of an Insta person in the first place, or tweeter.

So that’s a thing. No Facebook! Feels good.

Day 757: Social Media Diet Update

Back on Day 678 I mentioned that I’d dropped Facebook except for work-related necessities. It’s, er, still true! I didn’t know it was exactly 75 days when I thought I’d follow up on this, but I guess it has been.

It doesn’t feel like that long ago, but it’s been… good. I’ve been less stressed, spending more time on either things that matter or things I legitimately enjoy, and less time just kind of looking at stuff. And being mad about politics, which is super unproductive.

I seem to run at two speeds: “be informed and get overemotional and overinvolved,” or “cocoon.” I run at the latter a lot, and have for a little while now (well, until 75 days ago); after re-browsing The Tao of Pooh, which my wife has just read for the first time, she has gently pointed out that I am a Bisy Backson and this is true, but I think the social media diet at least helps me get back on track.

In short: it’s been good. Am I a little less informed about stuff? Sure. But am I informed enough? I think so.

Day 693: Still UnFacebooked

Checking in on this a while later — it’s been kinda nice, being off Facebook. Less constant stimuli, less of a frenzy to “keep up.” Less, to be honest about my flaws, jealousy of people that seem to be thriving more than I am. And I’m doing pretty great!

This is more of an essay-length thing than a short update, but I’m genuinely distressed by how much of our lives have been outsourced to a third-party, privately owned entity. Facebook has pretty much become a “sub-Internet” designed to keep people on Facebook all the time, and it’s distressing how many people have gotten pulled into it. Businesses don’t have websites, just Facebook pages. People only put events and group information on Facebook. Organizations only exist there.

What happens when Facebook goes? Because it’s inevitable. At least, I think (hope) that it’s inevitable.

I don’t feel like I’m missing much. My wife and I are pretty self-sustaining, and while it’s nice to know what friends near and far are up to, it’s not necessary. In some ways, it triages things well: if people care enough to tell me something, they’ll get in touch, rather than just kind of blatting it out on social media and expecting me to see it. If they don’t let me know directly, it probably wasn’t that important in the first place.

Still needed for work — again, a permanent state of light hypocrisy where I’m really using Facebook because most people are using it, but hoping they’ll stop. I can’t decide where this falls, ethically. I don’t think I’m an environmentalist who owns an oil company, but I’m on that spectrum.

 

Day 678: Leaving Facebook

The only thing more annoying than talking to people on Facebook is talking to people who aren’t on Facebook. To riff on an old joke about vegans and/or Crossfit:

How do you know if somebody isn’t on social media?

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

This is distinctive enough that it’s probably worth unpacking a bit, though — I can’t leave Facebook. I need it for work. And since their business model only works by using personal names and personal information for access, I’ve had to manually delete every friend, page, etc. that I’ve added or liked, change my profile photo and job to say “this is not a personal account”, and hack it back to a shell of a profile of me — bare minimum — which will still allow me admin access to run the things I need to run.

I’m’a not deleting all my old photos, etc., because that’s a crazy amount of work. This isn’t tinfoil hattery levels of paranoia.

I have, though, come to the personal conclusion that Facebook does not make my life better. It makes my life worse. Ironically, since it’s the social platform that most people are on, I still need to be on it and use it heavily for my job. It actually makes my job easier and simpler when there’s a place most people are that I can just put some money into and reach ’em.

It’s not a good place, though.

So I’m taking a… semi-cowardly stance, I guess? I’m not opposing Facebook by trying to take my business away from Facebook. I’m not taking any public action. I’m not doing anything to hurt Facebook, I’m just trying to extricate myself from a bot-driven noise machine that hurts my brain.