June 3rd, 2015

books & pearls

Replacing a social network with a stack of books

It's been more than a week since I quit Facebook, and I'm starting to feel that going back to it, to the old levels of interaction, would be about as appealing as re-entering a dysfunctional relationship. So yes: I recommend quitting Facebook. I'd be deeply pleased if the next mass exodus online was from Facebook. As long as we don't replace it with something even more annoying.

Because, see, as I've said to some friends today, what’s unusual for me this time is that I’m not replacing FB with some other online network. From about age 21 to 27, I was deep into IRC. Then I segued into LJ. Then when LJ started to become a ghost town, I went with everyone to FB. But this time, after axing the majority of my FB connections, I’m not transferring my online interaction to any new site. If anything, I suppose I’m replacing it with books and real life, which is probably where my focus should have been all along. It does take some getting used to, though, since I’m turning 40 this year and that means I’ve spent almost half my life entangled in these sites, more deeply than was probably ever wise for my quiet-loving and sensitive personality.

And when I put it in those addiction-ish terms, I begin to think people aren’t so far off when they throw around words like “detox” and “withdrawal” for leaving a social network. OMG my problems are so nerdy. But the detox, I think, is working, and the withdrawal symptoms are clearing, so if I dare, real life is here, waiting for me to dive in. Or books, in the hours I can't take real life. Always fine to dive into books.