Life without Facebook 3

September 6, 2019 at 6:43 pm (By Amba)

(The novelty hasn’t quite worn off yet. Besides, what better methadone for writing ON Facebook than writing ABOUT Facebook?)

From a comment on an earlier post:

BTW I looked at a few of the old posts here (circa 2010). I used to write a lot more coherently, and we’d have discussions in the comments like the ones we now have on Facebook, only more leisurely and substantive. Facebook has really done a chop job on our minds. It’s hard to say whether FB and Twitter have reflected the times, or shaped them.

I’m so fidgety, have such a hard time concentrating—saccades of the mind that were wired in by hopping back and forth to social media, keeping three conversations in the air, plates spinning … Now they are empty, or filled by reading the sparse responses to my blog posts. But the matrix is still there. How long will it take my mind to heal from this shattered concentration, for its moments to melt and fuse into larger units like drops of mercury?

Even so I feel much less mentally frenetic off social media, and time goes slower, so there’s more of it. I haven’t figured out how to structure and fill it yet; letting myself down into that space is like gingerly lowering oneself into a hot, or cold, bath. It’s a strong sensation, empty time. It exposes how afraid I am to do what I most want to do.

The frenetic feeling churned up by Facebook is kind of a false feeling of responsibility, like Chicken Little running around trying to hold up the sky. You feel like you’re part of, or participating in, something important, momentous, breathless. At the very least you’ve incurred an obligation to entertain your equally bored and twitchy friends.


  1. A said,

    As someone who is repulsed by almost every aspect of FB, including the very word, I’m so delighted you’ve turned toward blogging again!

  2. amba12 said,

    I know, there’s always been something fittingly horrible about the word. Facepalm, bald-faced, in your face, get outta my face, cheek . . .

  3. wjca said,

    One of the worst, to my mind, is the horribly artificial “face time.” It’s like spending time with someone else is an oddity that has to be explicitly scheduled or it won’t happen.

  4. amba12 said,

    There’s also something mask-y about it. Put a good face on it.

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