Six days into my Facebook cold-turkey.
The stress of leaving the 24-hour party that is, or was, my feed, induced a variety of symptoms. Medical symptoms. A perpetual throat-clearing tic got worse; panic and anxiety responses tamped down with meditation popped up again. Am I certain the fast caused these things? Not really, there’s no ‘control Jay’ who didn’t go off FB that I can compare my life to, but it seems to me that they’re related.
FB bolstered the illusion of my being a professional writer; created this constant background bubble of voices and support. I could write something, an essay, a political screed, a joke, and within minutes have dozens or hundreds of people participating in the conversation.
FB was part of my professional identity as a writer.
The problem is, FB isn’t writing.
And a profession is something you make a living at.
I wish I could say that I’ve written a ton of fiction in the last week, but instead I’ve done production work for design clients and gone to the doctors and done stupid things to sooth and relax myself in place of FB. I had a huge backlog of production and design work, neglected while writing, that was going to get me eventually. I’m in the thick of it.
I recently have tried to re-learn how to read a newspaper. For years now my news has beeen embedded in my feed, and stuff branching off that. Without my feed, I find myself scanning the front page of new sites, wondering what I want to read, what I really care about, as opposed to what FBs algo’s think I care about.
I am pulling away from politics. Pulling away from debate around contentious issues.
That feels…. good?
A friend once told me that the strength of an organism can be measured by the quantity and robustness of its parasites. is it possible that FB is a kind of symptom of a version of me that works better than I’m working now? Even though it is obviously a huge time suck?
Am I just pointlessly driving myself crazy?
I’ll keep you posted.