Cold Turkey

I’ve quit Facebook.  I’m not sure if it’s forever, but I’m done with it for now (barring posting notice when I write a new blog).  Why?  Because it stopped being fun.

I was a late-bloomer when it came to social media.  Reluctant to get sucked into the machine, I dragged my heels.  But so many people I know where involved (and having fun, or so they said) that I finally decided to give it a try.  And you know what?  I liked it, I really did.  Facebook gave me a chance to keep a thumb on the pulse of stuff going on with in the lives of my friends, as well as providing an opportunity to reconnect with people from my past.  And it was such fun!  Reading posts, sharing the day-to-day adventures of friends, seeing what sorts of movies and music they enjoyed, watching videos they posted (and posting a few of my own)…  There were times when, despite my internal promise to get on the site only once a day, I checked in a dozen times or more.  Some of that probably has to do with the actual physical distance between me and so many of my nearest and dearest.  Sometimes life can be a bit lonely.  Connecting on FB made me feel less isolated.

But somewhere along the way, things changed.  More political issues began to crop up, as well as a fair share of ‘hate mail’ decrying this group or that.  Some folks got downright nasty.  (One in particular — a gentleman I’d never met — so lambasted someone dear to me in public, and in such rude terms (and they’re supposed to be friends) that I ‘unfriended’ him immediately.  Messages also began to change.  Instead of noteworthy news, I began to receive a plethora of  ‘Washed the bathroom sink today’ mail.  You know what I mean — the minutiae of the day, the second-by-second clock tick.  “Drank a cup of coffee.”  “Mowed the lawn.”  Whatever.  I like my friends and I want to know what’s happening with them, but that’s a bit much.  Does anyone really care about that sort of stuff or does it hearken back to the loneliness thing?  Do we all, in some way, feel so isolated that we must post any sort of “news” in hopes of a response from someone?

It’s a rhetorical question.  People like what they like.  But for me,  the screen became increasingly stuffed with drivel I had to wade through in order to find something worthwhile to read  (and this despite having ‘culled’ my friends list in a variety of ways).  In the end, this activity that was supposed to be fun became stressful.  So I opted out.

Know what?  It’s nice.  And I don’t miss it at all.

This reminds me of when we gave up cable television.  Almost nineteen years ago hubby and I unhooked our set and said goodbye to networks.  Part of the reason behind that  choice was that I’d grown up in an era when television was free, and I was damned if I was going to pay increasingly higher rates for larger and larger amounts of shite.  So many channels, and yet on any given day the bulk of what you find are infomercials (“The World’s Best Pillow!), exercise programs (“Brazilian Butt”), and reruns of “The Brady Bunch” and “Bonanza.”  They’ve engineered it so you have to pay for crap in order to find something you love.  (For me that would be the History Channel, AMC, or BBC America.)  The day they let us pick and choose what we want to watch, and allow us to pay accordingly, I’ll come back.  Until then, I’m satisfied with borrowing movies from the library — for free.


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Essays, Facebook, Social Media, Television and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cold Turkey

  1. eileeneldred says:

    Ah, good for you! Yeah, “social networking” eats Time so quickly; I’m worse – I play those stupid Facebook games! (In my defense, they send me to a mindless, unthinking state that soothes whatever emotional upheaval I’m going through.).

  2. John says:

    I’ve greatly cutback on my FB time, but I’m not ready to cold turkey it.


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