Hello | Goodbye | Hello

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FREEDOM IS BLINDING

Psssst. Hey. Hi. Hello.

Been trying to figure out how to present this with as little fanfare as possible, so here goes: This is an update, a confession, two amicable break-ups, and of course a live birth.

So we went on vacation, pictured above, and I promptly had a social media midlife crisis.

What does it all mean? What does anything mean? Why am I doing this, why does anyone do this? Can I ask Facebook for a break, is that even allowed? Can we just get a quiet divorce without anyone in the family finding out? I can’t live like this anymore, something BIG has to change. It’s time to call this what it is: an ill-fated mountain fling that’s doomed to end with “I wish I could quit you,” angry fishing, two failed marriages, and death.

After much soul searching and a shitload of chowder (I LOVE YOU, OREGON COAST), the answer was crystal clear: SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD FOR ME.

Fine, this is not the newest of news.

A long time ago, two friends of mine broke up. I thought it was the new boyfriend, or they had some dramatic public incident that was hopefully posted on YouTube, but no. “I just realized she made me feel like shit all the time.” This is how I feel about Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s not mince words: I hate those Facebook posts about why people are leaving Facebook. Usually as long as a novel and as interesting as spam, these posts take on one of three tones:

The Preacher

I have finally had it with the biased, over-the-top negativity being preached by all sides, yes ALL SIDES. I don’t know how anyone can be on this awful site, I really don’t. It doesn’t promote positivity or bring me any joy. Look deep in your heart and ask yourself, does it bring YOU joy? I just realized that in order to save myself and my sanity and the future of children everywhere and all the cats, I have to take a break from this toxic culture that we all participate in.

The Privileged

So much racial stuff and negativity on Facebook lately when we could all just love one another! I choose to live a happy life, I don’t see color, and I think everyone matters! Can’t we just watch football without having to think, like Americans used to do in the old days? I need a break from the bad things that happen in our world. Don’t worry, you can still find me on Instagram, posting selfies from our family vacation.

The Preacher Who Came Back To Facebook But Is Definitely Leaving For Good This Time Unless He Forms A New Band or Starts Working For A Multi-Level Marketing Scam

I know I’ve said this before and you’ve heard it before, but this time…

 

I prefer social media ghosting, where all of a sudden I wonder: Where did Susan go?

I’m not quitting anything, really; Facebook, Twitter, and I are just having an amicable break-up. Accounts will still be monitored, just used in a different way. We’re still going to be friends, but our relationship is being restructured for maximum productivity on my end and also, yes, sanity. I can’t believe I’m 41 years old and it just occurred to me that “likes” aren’t actually likes.

The point of my life can’t be to know everyone in the world and what they’re having for breakfast. I can’t connect with everyone and stay friends with everyone and keep up with everyone and like everyone. I barely like myself and the five people I usually hang out with.

I’ve been consumed by this question for the past few weeks: What would I do if Facebook shut down without warning tomorrow?

The conclusion I came to was pretty simple: Reach out to those most important to me, and then go have a life. This led me to the next question: What would my life look like without constant social media? I’d run into less walls and people on the street, to start. I’d have more time to eat life sandwiches.

I’ve been feeling kind of thumbs-down emoji about using Facebook, knowing how they were used in the election, and how it’s the perfect breeding ground for divisiveness. Why do I invite that into my life every minute of the day? What am I getting out of it besides the superficial feeling that people sometimes like me, and by the way, the world is going to shit? Facebook and its pitfalls have been so normalized in my life, the negatives outweigh the positives, and yet still I think, “But this is the only way.” Is it?

I’ve been feeling equally gross about Twitter. It just feels like an unapologetic platform for white supremacy and online bullying, and the fact that it’s The Orange Lunatic’s favorite toy doesn’t fill me with absolute joy. I don’t want anything to do with that lying asshole, much less meet at the same online coffee shop everyday to go over the news and scream FAKE at each other. To participate in a platform that gives 45 a bully pass and a giant megaphone feels wrong, no matter how much it’s brought to me personally.

Looks like I’m The Preacher and The Privileged.

100% okay with that, and not knowing what the hell I’m doing, and not knowing what the future holds. Taking Facebook and Twitter off my phone has been instrumental for my mental health. I’ve been reading more, writing more, and getting stuff done. I can’t let my forties go by while I stare at screens of varying sizes. She said while staring at a PC screen, holding onto a tablet and her phone.

Baby steps.

I’ve been out in the world lately, “living life to the fullest” or whatever. Yes, I know that makes me sound like a cheesy divorcee who got a new lease on life at 60, but it’s true. For so long, I’ve been performing at life online — I see my friends performing life on their various channels, too. It starts to feel normal, this way of being seen. You’re a brand, an influencer, an ambassador, a self-marketing train that’s left the station. I’ve been there, and it can be fun. I think, with practice, one can do both – perform and live a little – but I substituted one for the other. It’s time for me to put some love and elbow grease into the life that’s right in front of me.

I’m not signing off forever — that would be like cutting off the good half of my face. I’ll be leaning on Instagram (I MUST PERFORM A LITTLE) and blogging more to keep people updated and connected. I’ll still vomit bon mots every now and then online; I will still be available. I’m just refocusing my priorities until a new social media platform comes along and I pledge my entire life to that. Let’s hope it’s a few years away.

I need a new adventure that doesn’t reward outrage and sound bites. I have a small inkling of what that adventure might look like, but I’m letting things unfold and trusting my gut(s).

Not sure how to end a blog post I didn’t want to write in the first place, so it’s just going to end with a Gina Linetti quote: “I hope to God I’m not humbled by this.”

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12 thoughts on “Hello | Goodbye | Hello

  1. 😂 Love this! Brilliant – ‘Orange lunatic’s favourite toy…’ Lol!!!!! Love it!

    Like

  2. Don Goldberg says:

    This is not a like. It’s of love. You’re with, insights, and way with words and the world fill me with awe. Big fan.

    Like

  3. calijones says:

    I went off all social media (except wordpress) for two years and it was great. It took a month or so for the urge to reach for the Facebook icon went away, and then I didn’t miss it a single bit! I hope you enjoy and find a nice breath of fresh air. :)

    Like

    • thehamazon says:

      I’ve already had a few weeks of tempered use and it’s GLORIOUS. I haven’t deactivated anything, just using it differently (and less). Free time means something else now :)

      Like

  4. Marie says:

    Thank you for expressing how I’ve been feeling towards the social media dumpster fire so eloquently. I’ve already bailed on the hatescape of Twitter. Too bad, because that platform used to be hella fun. My soul can’t take anymore. Instagram is my online haven.

    Anywho, YES! More blog posts, please! I’ve missed your long-form witticisms. Write on, Sista! See you in Greece, aka IG. :)

    Like

  5. Kira says:

    Lol, the only thing worse than those dramatic “I’m leaving Facebook” posts are the “I’m cleaning out my friends list, deleting the people who don’t kiss my ass enough, kiss my ass in this status if you want to stay!” posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ellie Mmm says:

    I hope less Crack book means more blog posts? I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks for the push about this, I’ve been feeling like I want to be more present in my own life too.

    Like

  7. lesacooks says:

    WERD. Can we have a Facebook midlife crisis, Shirley Valentine style? And maybe just stay in Greece.

    Like

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