So do I regret it?
Sometimes. I regret it in those moments when I'm feeling empty and I can't turn to it to avoid the feeling. I've also quit Twitter recently, so I can't turn there either. What am I doing? Where is this experiment going, exactly? I need to remind myself of why I'm doing this, to quell the rising panic tide that threatens to rear up when seven empty moments in a row happen and I Have To Just Sit There And Let Them Happen!
I have quit social media to give myself (a) more space in my head, and (b) to try to keep in better contact with people I know in real life. Although to be honest, it's not like I'm really going the whole hog with (a). For that, I would need to get rid of the internet entirely. And books. And the TV. See, those things in themselves have enough within them to fill up six lifetimes of headspace and emptiness avoidance.
When I consider this, and consider how I often feel a certain sort of emptiness that translates itself out into loneliness, I wonder why it is I am quitting social media, where Real Live People are, albeit pixellated. Shouldn't I quit books instead? Or the TV? But then the TV has pixellated people on it as well. And in my more cynical moments I think that that is all we become to each other on social media - like a TV that talks back. As if we are all just packaged-up shows, not real people. As if we are becoming our own reality TV. That even though we interact with each other in those spaces, they make us to each other a little less like Real Live Boys and Girls and a little more like one more interchangeable pixel.
The problem with (b) is that I have hardly seen anyone in real life in the last three weeks outside of my lovely partner, and the dentist, and the assessing doctor at Centrelink, and the people I am doing a course with a couple of times a week, because I haven't had any extra energy. So I haven't been able to put my non-Facebook-real-life into practice yet.
What complicates the whole situation is that when I am in periods of high anxiety, as I am now, my first instinct is to retreat from Real Live Boys and Girls in the flesh and go to something that feels safer in my anxiety for me to handle. Which happens to be ... interacting with those same people online! So you can see my dilemma, and why I'm feeling a little more lonely lately.
So do I regret quitting Facebook? I regret it when I realise how many people don't seem to want to correspond with me unless I'm right there on Facebook. I guess that's also the part that makes me glad to have left it.
So I'm feeling a little bit Abandoned and Rejected and Not Loved and Not Cared About at the moment. But perhaps my quitting FB made some other people feel Abandoned and Rejected and Not Loved and Not Cared About ... for seven seconds until they found another pixellated person to fill up the pixel-sized gap I may or may not have left. How would I know? I really don't know. Perhaps there are people in my extended social circle who wish to keep in contact with me and who feel like I don't want to, and meanwhile I feel like they don't want to, and I will never know.
For all the awesomeness of technology, sometimes it feels to me that online interaction has taken all of our real-life relationships with each other and Picassoed them into a new version of themselves, where things that were once familiar are now all over the place. Or perhaps it's just me. You never can quite tell. I mean, look at me - I'm complaining a little about feeling lonely and not cared about, yet I have a couple of people in my life who I call friends and who do do that. So I am lucky. But still this lonely feeling remains. And what am I doing about it? I am talking about it to the entire world. Isn't there a disconnect here? Feel rejected by people who in whatever fashion are within your social circle and you respond ... by talking about it online?
What a funny ole world, eh? :)
So, I am still to be able to see whether not being on social media changes my interactions with people offline. Of course, what does worry me is that I will lose out on a whole bunch of stuff. Stuff that people share online and then feel conversely like they have shared it with everyone and so then they won't share it with me when they see me. Which would feel a little bit like being at a raging party without a drink ... or being out in the garden while the party goes on inside. But still, I like it out here. There is more space, sitting next to this tree. And I hate parties anyway. And I am not the only one out here. Sometimes even those who are at the party come outside for the breather, after all :)
~ ~ ~
Edit: Oh, and this. This is why too. With the Brittany thrown in as well, thanks.
|A Wii Lad - one of JD Hancock's Little Dudes.|