Life After Facebook: Quitting You is So Hard to Do

30 Oct

I quit Facebook at 11:12 PM yesterday. Rejoined at 6:46 PM today, quit 2 minutes later at 6:48 PM. Logged in again at 9:29 PM, deactivated at 9:33 PM.

The Internet without Facebook is a lot like a Las Vegas without casinos, i.e., a desert wasteland. Today, I’ve read New York Times articles on cancer cells, how to prepare braised short ribs, a woman’s touching post on how it felt to lose her father, among other pieces. I’ve also played three past “This American Life” podcasts today: #317 Unconditional Love, #389 Frenemies, #359 Life After Death.

I’d like to think that I’ve flexed my brain muscle more as a result, or at least that this was a better use of time than browsing Facebook, but the truth is I’m only scrambling for some divertissements. Something — anything! This is really as sad as it sounds. Recovering crack addicts probably feel similarly, as if they understand everything they’re engaging in as “not doing crack,” and thereby unconsciously still defining things in terms of what they don’t have.

Objectively speaking, this has been a more productive Saturday than previous ones, and right after I finish this post, I’m going to continue my offline reading and do my best to finish a translation. However, there is yet the persistent urge for me to broadcast the mundane little things:

  • Berkeley sound bite at Cheeseboard, 1:05 PM: “Sarah keeps complaining about her knee surgery. I tell her, ‘Go watch Grey’s Anatomy. Now those patients have real problems. There was someone with no arms last time.'”
  • If I were still on Facebook, I would have “liked” Karl Pilkington by now.
  • … there was something else, but I’ve forgotten.

Those seem to have lost some relevance once typed out in a medium that’s not a feed. Anyway, cheers to the coming Day 2.

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2 Responses to “Life After Facebook: Quitting You is So Hard to Do”

  1. Harmony November 14, 2010 at 8:22 PM #

    I commend you for quitting. Unfortunately, Facebook is used to disseminate some moderately useful information – along with all of the completely irrelevant banter. I think I will use this as my excuse to not go on a Facebook hiatus.
    But the real reason why I started to write this comment was more to express my excitement regarding listening to This American Life. I’m a little addicted to listening to it while I go running. Life after Death actually made me burst into tears while I was on a pretty populated jogging path. I am not sure what the other people there thought of me.

    • Paulina November 14, 2010 at 10:17 PM #

      TAL offers a great service.

      Do you listen to The Moth? The podcast features real, live stories told without notes. My favorites are “Out of Print” (Kevin Wilson, 11/2/2009) and “President Clinton and the Egg Timer” (Mark Katz, 11/8/2010).

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