Thursday, April 26, 2012

Return to Mishpocheh

From Saturday to this morning I spent 5 days without a FaceBook account. During that time the people asking me where my account was and why I had deleted it totalled, wait for it, zero. This tells me several things.

First, it tells me that most people are tired of the constant boring updates, the "friends" we really don't even know, the connections that go from boring to annoying when people occasionally let their real selves out. Second, it tells me that most of my 350 friends had unsubscribed from my updates just as I had done from theirs. Third, it tells me that most of the people I actually keep up with on FB are the same people I keep up with in other phases of life. You know, real human interaction like e-mail and text messages. And fourth, this means I'm not as awesome as my "It's not my fault I'm awesome" t-shirt made me believe.

My FB break started as a 24 hour experiment. I was tired of a news feed full of "like this page so my baby can win a gift certificate" and "come buy my shit" and "come see my improv group perform in an alley behind the old, greasy Jess'". The straw though was when I felt my wife was being assaulted with Internet Guilt Bits because we expressed a lack of excitement about the baby registry. Basically, I just needed a break from what had become white noise. The other impetus for all this, and equally important, is that I didn't want to take the time to delete friends (waffling the whole way) and clean up my timeline.

Once the 24 hours was up, I told Kacey that 48 hours might be even better. That's when she joined me. My break, with a 2 minute login to download my FB data, became about 110 hours, culminating in a new account and a fresh start. More importantly this new account has a different name, tougher privacy settings, and an in-your-face attitude that the internet may not be quite ready for.

That brings to another main issue. I'm a FB addict. There, I said it. I log in 5-6 times an hour, nearly every hour I'm awake. I don't play games and I go through phases where I comment on a lot of updates, and others where I only lurk. But for some reason I go to that stupid page over and over. So with this new account my goal is to login less, only add people I'm interested in reading about, and generally be a better captain of my digital life. I'm slowly going to add people back in, the whole time checking myself to make sure I don't fall into old habits. It will be a place for me and my mishpocheh to communicate. So if you read this, and you have decided to block me or unsubscribe from me, no hard feelings. Just let me know so I can delete you. There's no need to pretend further in an already warped, pretend online world.

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