Here goes, finally making another agreement with myself, this one has been tough. I am saying NO! to facebook. Today is actually [day 9] (IF, one were counting) of my not logging onto facebook. What a coup d‘état , seriously. I am taking control of my life.
Saying NO to the master…..
Certainly there are numerous advantages to serving Facebook as my master. I get to go there everyday, and many, many times though out the day, spend hours perusing my friend list and many other “liked” pages to see how things are going in that world. Sometimes I learn valuable points of interest, like; when Monsanto is trying to pull a fast one, or maybe, when another friend in Texarkana got a load of bamboo, or maybe if another friend killed a snake, (that is a popular one too) ‘but. overall, the gain of this knowledge is not worth the incredible time drain that I have been suffering. I only have a little under 200 friends, and hardly ever do I actually communicate with the ones I actually know, (as in the real world of skin and bone). No, most of the people that I know on facebook in a “communication” way, I have never met, or only once or twice? We have common interest in things that matter to us, so we gather information, we swap “likes “on our post, we comment back and forth regarding the sad events of the day; japan, gulf water, monsanto, air pollution, water pollution, chemtrails, uh, I think you get my drift. Most of the stuff I “like” is actually stuff I do “not like”. But, to support the poster, you click their “like” so it can be acknowledged you read their post.
Last Monday, April 11th, if one were counting, I logged on to facebook, never knowing it would be my last time to do so. I posted a happy moment in my life, one of great honor. I am blessed with the knowledge that within looking distance of my window a nest of baby hawks and their mother has been constructed. I even have photos of such event.
(Her little head is all you can see, but she is in there with them)
(you have to look hard, but she is hiding back in between the limbs and leaves)
I have not returned to capture her on camera, I respect her too much. She is busy doing what she does, guarding and protecting her nest, and the saying “watch me like a hawk” is not unearned. They are masters of observation and I don’t want her feeling threatened by any human need to fulfill their selfish need of pointing cameras at her during this vulnerable time.
I saw him first, he was hunting food, and when he flew back to greet her and bring her food, I saw them together, that told me there was a nest nearby. I am so humbled. And that is what caused me to leave facebook. For when I posted and shared MY moment of glory, someone started a “morning rant” using words I had used, to piggyback off of, to make some petty point regarding the “caretaking of the earth”. Which, in another venue, would be fine, but not on my clock. I was feeling so good, and that was the response of a “so called facebook friend” ? I know, pretty lame in the big picture, I agree, however, I was getting disenchanted with my timedrain there anyway, this was just the impetus I needed to go. And go I have.
So, how has it been getting off Facebook?
Horrible, the first few days, it was like breaking up with a bf, I had feelings of remorse, I questioned my motives, I spend hours upstairs in my head, with that horrible hamster cage spinning round and round. It never seemed to cease, and through out the last 9 days, I have been tempted many times to just “check-in” a few minutes, “no one would know” right? What would a few minutes matter, right? All the usual convincing comments came to me, and instead of acting upon them, I fought it, but the discomfort still remains, and that is why I decided to write about this. I need to vent. Maybe someone else needs to read this, it will help them or even keep others from falling prey to the trap of facebook.
I began my facebook journey in 2006, when I signed on, I had no clue what it was. I had run across it by accident, actually a Bob Dylan sign/video thing, one that intrigued me so much, that I joined facebook in order to give it a try……
If you put the above video on facebook, you could change the words to something you wanted to say. I did all that, and it was posted on facebook, and I am sure that was my first posting on facebook. I had no friends there, and actually nothing to draw me in, so, unless I wanted to watch my bob dylan customized video, nothing to do, so I forgot about facebook. Later I added a video about Cuban city farming which was one I really liked, but again, no friends to show it too, thus it sat. I even recall warning my nephew, who left myspace to rehome at facebook, to be very careful, as I had read horror stories about those who had made efforts to delete their facebook accounts, but discovered it very hard to remove ones data. Once they have you, they have you for life, I cautioned him. But, of course, to no avail. I would have been the same, and actually was….I ended up NOT even following my own warning. I recall back in 2009 a friend from Arkansas, one who actually IS a good friend of mine invited me to be her friend on facebook. I was already there in terms of account stuff, but not in the sense of a place to hang with friends. I accepted her invite, and early on, it was a simpletons paradise, we exchanged some meaningless flowers, gifts, and tried to green the earth using little apps, mundane time erasers such as that. But, alas! I had bigger fish to fry, I eventually was turned on to the world of farming on facebook. Now there was some good stuff to use up time, here I was involved in building a perfect farm. I had friends who shared gifts, we gave each other cows, plants, goats, trees, nifty little virtual objects that would enhance your nifty little farm. First it was MyFarm, then folks invited me to Farmtown, the apps says “In this site you will find farmers from all over the world meet, exchange tips and help each other” Oh yes! that is so inviting, must go there and hang with the farmers from all over the world. I was now involved in two “special” farm apps. But it did not end there, eventually I signed up several others in order that I could send myself various gifts, this would speed up my farm expansion, increase my levels and just make my life so wonderful, OH, and drain more time too. Can’t imagine the hours of my life that I devoted to the virtual farm world, but suffice to say, War and Peace was probably written in less time. Moreover, I am sure I could have learned the basics of operating my new dsl camera, tia chi, or something actually worthwhile, instead of developing a make believe compound of a virtual farms. However, as things go for me, I eventually lost interest in virtual farming, but it wasn’t overnight, and giving up my farms was not THAT easy, I felt that old pain of attachment, all that time invested and nothing to show for it, except make believe farms that could be erased in an instant. Was I learning to use the eastern technique called detachment? Ohhhh, I see, okay….that helps! (I think)
During 2011, without the farm community to keep me floundering in a sea of nothing, I dug deeper into more perusing of folks comments, some days it seemed all I did was check my facebook page to see if anyone had a new comment. One that I could comment on and “like”. The biggies; Millions Against Monsanto, Just say NO to GMO, GMO Journal, Month Without Monsanto, a few cleaver friends who added important news updates, all of that became my world. I thrived upon their latest reports, I searched endlessly to see what was going on the world, then Japan had the earthquake, tsunami, and eventual nuclear meltdowns, I was off and running, fearlessly reporting the news, pages upon pages of comments and just running with it, but guess what? None of my old friends from Arkansas, Texas, Virginia, California, Florida, Wisconsin, etc… even cared…..no one commented, “liked” or supplied new data. I felt invisible, so, I looked for a more meaningful exchange, one that would connect me to groups of “likeminded” facebookers, who all agreed upon the need to inform others of the perils of living on planet earth. I found a quaint group of women, about my age, they seemed to want what I wanted, so I joined up, and began to make positive comments about things; I looked for and found, inspirational leaders across the planet (past and present) who have fought the good fight. Still, not much action, not near as much as say; that snake the girl from Texas killed while wearing her bright pink robe and house slippers. Or the girl from Texas, (again) who found a snake on her front porch (I tell you snakes are big news on facebook). No, I was getting disillusioned, it was getting harder and harder to persuade myself that my time was being invested in anything worthwhile. Along with that was the realization that I was on the “hook”, it was dreadful, because it mattered not whether or not facebook had new details, it became a mindless habit, almost like drugs, where I went there even though I knew it was for naught. I just went there. I opened my browser, I clicked on facebook, and I scanned the pages, never finding anything new, no new comments, no new post, no new “nothing”, just me scanning. I would spend hours doing nothing and being there.
I am a photographer
I am not a writer, a poet, or a great thinker, I am not even a very good activist (unless you consider a couch potato surfer one) I am not a lot of things, but I am a good picture taker. I enjoy it, I have time for it, and I stick with it. That is what I love, and what I need to be spending my valued time on. Life is a gift, we are only here such a short time, we are given this time and none other, (that we know for sure of) and we have one moment to make it worthwhile. I intend upon keeping my thoughts focused upon that reality. I am sure I can contribute to life in the area of photographs, because at the end of the day, I can look back, see them and feel good.
Let me just say this, I will not delete my account, (not right now anyway) because if I go to Arkansas in June, I will use it to communicate with a few folks whom I want to visit in real life. Using facebook that way is going to be an asset, not a habit. Life will continue on facebook without me, but my life without facebook will just get better. I have already started learning a new photo editor called Fluidmask 3, it is hard to use, but only because I have to learn how, then it is super easy. I have another new editor called Piknic, I am having a blast with it too. I have also decided to check out Tia Chi, it is amazing.
Life is abundantly springing forward all the time, sitting and stuck online with an application developed by a teenage techie is not what I had imagined for myself at sixty. I don’t know what I imagined, even though I still have great dreams of that home on top of the mountains, but that is another blog. I smile and laugh today, facebook is no longer holding me hostage, for I have taken back my precious moment. Love and Light….Namaste
I still comment on Current.com and spend time on the sharpeiforums.com, I still follow Monsanto’s dirty deeds and find time to dislike societies failure in caring for the planet. However, none of that is taking away my life, it fits into it and I can function outside of the online community. I enjoy watching movies, reading books, walking my shar pei, Apple, traveling and interacting with real flesh and blood people. I am sure I am leaving out a few things, but life is not empty, and my glass is half full.