Well, I’m doin’ it. Finally. It’s been 1 week and almost 4 days since I logged onto Facebook. Like, I literally have not logged in. I decided that “deactivating” was not the route I wanted to take (in quotes because one, do you really disappear on the back end, and two, all you have to do to “reactivate” your account is log back in!).
And you know what? I feel good. Like, really good.
Yes, I feel out of it; and, I’m not sure I can maintain such a distance from my professional sphere for THAT long–personal and professional are intricately intertwined in journalism, and probably other metiers, too. I don’t mean or want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I don’t want to disappear–I still want a career, and to be present in said career. And to be present in the world of information is to have it, and to dish it out.
That all being acknowledged (obsessively, over and over), I’m learning to let all these fearful thoughts go because, well, I feel better.
I must admit, I feel that sort of righteous self-satisfaction that is similar to how you feel when you get sober. I also have this sense of a load having been taken off; I am no longer burdened with YOUR LIVES. Other people’s lives. So many other lives to ping me, enrage me, give me joy–I guess it was just too much, and I took it home with me. Now, I just have this sense of relief, this screaming cheer in my head that keeps saying, I don’t have to take my friends home with me! Haha. I get to focus on MY life. Sure, it’s boring as shit sometimes, but… it’s my life. Isn’t it worth as much appreciation–time and effort–as I’ve been putting into other people’s lives? (And, now I really do see how this is related to drinking to drown out: you tend to put yourself second, then you feel un- or under-appreciated; not to mention, you have ZERO actual connection, and reciprocity, in your relationships if they are primarily virtual ones…all stuff that drives us to drink to soothe, fix, drown out, douse, hide from! I say, No shit, sherlock, now, but back then, how everything was connected and impacted my drinking seemed so…inaccessible.)
I also think it’s given me the head space, literally, to start digging in on some personal writing projects. And that digging in entails a lot of things that you forget, as a writer, are necessities to the creative process–one being the time and well, empty-headedness to actually think. Or not think, as it were. To conjure memories. To dream up random plots, or have deeper thoughts that may have been buried, drowned out by all the incessant noise. The chitter-chatter is gone, and it’s a relief. The endless drone of increasingly source-less information (i.e., why the eff is THIS in my feed, and is it even real news?), over.
I decided NOT to deactivate because to me, that’s like giving the bird to your friends. I mean, it’s rude. It’s like, NO ONE keeps in touch via phone or email anymore, we all know this; so if you’re going to ghost but don’t mean to, at least have the courtesy to give people your “off Facebook” contact info. Otherwise, you’re just ghosting. That’s not what I want to gain from this–as it is, I feel guilty just “abandoning” some of my friends, i.e., not keeping up… I just can’t anymore, is all. And, it feels good, albeit a little scary, to let go.
I don’t know for how long this will be; maybe long enough to clear the cobwebs from my head, maybe longer. I’m just going to keep going, and see where it takes me. (Kind of like getting sober, no?)