I’ve deactivated my Facebook account.
In the midst of examining the craziness about Instagram’s revised Terms of Service, I’ve discovered that I have more of a problem with the idea that Instagram might be moving toward Facebook-style advertising; that makes me feel sick. I had a conversation with Jonathan today that encapsulated my trouble with this – he saw a super trashy post that (at first glance) looked like it had been made by a not-at-all trashy person we know. Turns out it was a sponsored post from a person our friend “Likes” on Facebook. This friend probably has no clue her picture is associated with the mess (I told Jonathan to tell her). I follow quite a few photographers and other artists on Facebook; I had just un-liked one because of a series of Way Out There posts he had been making. I don’t want to be associated with the conversation he’s trying to spark. It’s a legitimate conversation… I just don’t want any part of it. (There was nudity.) ANYWAY, this issue is precisely what I DON’T want to see with Instagram. I read with my own eyes a clause that opened the door for this kind of thing, and I didn’t like it.
I’ve also been digging deep to get past those initial reactions and excuses. I’ve noticed that my real problem with the whole thing is that I’ve lost control of my time and my energy and my home and my work… I can’t think of a single area of life that hasn’t fallen victim to “Ugh, I’ve gotta [do something] before I can [accomplish something] but I keep [just not doing what I need to...] and suddenly I’m on Facebook.” With Facebook I’m scrolling through post after post after post of so-and-so likes this crazy thing I don’t care about, and so-and-so shared this other thing I don’t care about, and somebody-else posted this third-party picture that’s funny, but I have no idea what’s going on with somebody-else… I’m spending absolutely over an hour a day (I don’t want to know how much time, don’t make me try to count it up) searching for a way to connect with people, and with very few exceptions, Facebook is not addressing that issue. So I feel disconnected, I feel unproductive, I feel like a crazy person, I can’t keep details about other people straight… and I spend more and more time on Facebook, trying to avoid those feelings. Vicious cycle, anyone? (I tried to type “viscous” … which… yeah… sort of. But… hmm.)
I really believe that the best thing for me to do right now is pull back – WAY BACK – and figure out what really matters. Have you heard the story about the professor with the jar and the pile of random stuff? I’m paraphrasing here, but he fills the jar with golf balls and asks if it’s full. SURE IT’S FULL – of golf balls. He dumps in some pebbles. Is it full now? You figure not. He adds sand. Is it full NOW? Nope. He can add water. The point the story makes (in case you haven’t already experienced a pang of guilt-laced revelation like I always do when I read it) is that sure there’s no time for stuff, when you start by filling your time with the tooky things. You’ve got to figure out your golf balls, then your pebbles, then your sand… THEN pour in the water.
I like Facebook (mostly sand or water). Except for when I don’t like it… but… whatever. I don’t want to lose contact with the friends and family who really interact with me on Facebook (golf ball!). I almost missed a very important life event for a dear friend (whew, Instagram to the rescue) by not being on Facebook. But… for the past couple of days, I’ve had HOURS at a time (when I’m awake, even) when I don’t know for sure where my phone is, and I DON’T CARE. I feel way more productive.
I’m rambling now. I felt like I needed to explain, though. I’m not sure anybody will SEE this, since I’m not linking to it on Facebook… but oh well.
*** I’ve created an account at postable.com to try to collect contact information from people. So far I’ve got 21 entries and 1 of those is my own contact info. If you haven’t already filled it out, it takes about a minute. When I posted the link on Facebook, I said everybody who fills it out will get a piece of FloydKid artwork… turns out the Floyd kids think that’s crazy talk, so it may take a while. I’m just sayin’.