No Facebook November

I have a problem with Facebook. Not a bone to pick, because Facebook itself is not to blame. It’s not Facebook’s fault that it’s a wonderful tool to keep in touch with acquaintances I would never call, text, or email otherwise. That it’s a tunnel into people’s minds and ideas, or lack thereof. That it’s a great way to share links and pictures and whatnot with mostly anyone you know, all in one site.

Thus it’s no mystery why I spend so much time on it. As mentioned in The Social Network (which you should totally go see btw, despite it being blatantly misogynistic and taking a lot of liberties with the true story) people spend more time on Facebook than any other site on the internet. I sort of regard people who don’t have a Facebook like you would someone who still doesn’t have a phone in their pocket.

For some people it’s just too much. They say they learn more about their friends than they ever wanted to know. They get sucked into other peoples’ lives and creep profiles all day, following their friends social lives like they would a reality TV show. It causes too much drama, either in real life or in their own heads.

But nah, not me. I’m a narcissist. I don’t really care what other people do with their lives or who they talk to. Not to sound like a douche, but I use Facebook for self expression, in every possible way. I post a lot of status updates, to the chagrin of many of my friends. I’m getting better at restraining myself, but every time I have a novel thought I’m tempted to share it, and I feed off the ‘likes’ and comments it gets in return. I try not to waste people’s time telling them what kind of sandwich I’m eating. I prefer to pose a question, propose an idea, or express my current emotional state in some kind of clever or funny way. I’m not always successful at that, but I do my best to write stuff worth reading. However I’m still aware that many people would prefer I shut the fuck up. I doubt those people are reading this.

Every few months I’ll write a thought-out note on some topic inhabiting my brain at the time. If this blog didn’t exist, that’s probably where these very thoughts would end up.

I also use the chat quite frequently. I mean, who really still uses AIM?

Not to mention all the links I post and share with individual friends that I think would appreciate them. After all, I spend a lot of time surfing the web, and it’s inevitable that I come up across some share-worthy stuff on a nearly daily basis.

For a photographer, or a college student in general, I post a surprisingly minimal amount of pictures. I don’t bring a camera everywhere I go. In fact, it’s unlikely I’ll bring one anywhere there isn’t a check waiting for me. I love photography but I am much more fond of enjoying moments as they happen. I find it a real bummer when people at concerts and other events spend more time taking pictures than they do enjoying themselves. So I don’t carry a camera.

Though yeah, I enjoy profile pics. Again, narcissist. And most I have to take myself because I’m rarely in a situation where someone else would want a picture of me.

I know. Try and hold back your tears.

But I think it’s time for a break. A whole month off actually, to allow sufficient time for withdrawal, recovery and readjustment. My only gripe with Facebook is the time it steals from me. Without it, I’m actually a very productive person. I quit playing video games. They don’t bring me the same joy they did years ago because I’m constantly haunted by the thought that there’s something else I should be doing instead. I refuse to watch any weekly episodic TV show because I will inevitably fall behind and never want to catch up (which recently happened with Mad Men, the only show I watched and I still couldn’t stay on top of it). I even often turn down opportunities to socialize because I’m busy working on something of my own. Like this blog, for instance. I like obsessing over my work because the work itself satisfies me in ways nothing else really can.

But still, I think I spend a lot of time just plain ol’ dicking around on Facebook, and I’m curious how I would live without it. It seems daunting to go on the internet and go…where? Facebook is always my first stop. I don’t have the patience for blogs. I get my news from the Daily Show like any other ignorant college kid. I love twitter but its condensed media format means you can’t really spend more than four minutes at a time on it before reading the stuff you already saw yesterday.

I used to watch a lot more movies. In fact, summer of last year I set a goal to watch 50 and fell just short at 49. But these days, I’ve had the same red Netflix envelope kicking around my room for probably over a month. When am I gonna watch the goddamn Station Agent? My Instant Queue has more movies than I’ll ever be able to watch, and my real-life queue is just a depressing thought. So maybe I’ll use some of that internet time on rekindling my love for Netflix. After all, I’m a film student and every movie I watch is valuable learning material for a writer/director.

I also have a feature screenplay that I got halfway through and never finished. Lately I’ve been glancing over it and getting the urge to dive back in.

There’s big plans for this blog too. I want to get friends to contribute, and I want to write more myself, and give people a reason to check it out once in a while. Even if I’m too self-centered to ever read theirs.

Not to mention my two documentaries, and the fact that I’ve had some sort of photography job every weekend for the last several weeks, and will continue to do so until Halloween. That shit piles up, and soon I’m swamped in thousands of photos to digitally develop. And that’s no hyperbole. Thousands, man. Thousands.

Maybe I’ll get out more, meet some new people. Finally get another serious girlfriend. Not likely though. What’s more likely is that I’ll find some new internet addiction to waste hours on. Hell, there’s always reddit.

Will I quite Facebook forever? I don’t see that happening, unless this month off exposes me to a brand new liberating attitude towards life and time management. No, the only reason I can do this at all is because I know I’ll be right back on the wagon on December 1st.