Finding Freedom sans Facebook

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I’m not gonna hop on the no-Facebook bandwagon. I mean, wasn’t it obvious from the very start that Facebook was trading our privacy for ad revenue?   We all hopped on board the Facebook bandwagon when we realized there’s no better way to keep tabs on Aunt Linda AND that friend from high school who own a ridiculous cat AND be notified that your favorite local band is playing a show next Tuesday at a dive bar downtown.

For all of its broken values and systems, Facebook does its thing better than anything else can: it connects us.

Problem is, I think a lot of us are realizing we might not want to be quite so connected. 😉

And yet…..

I think I’ve reached a favorable detente with Zuckerburg’s tool of social dysfunction. I check it about once a day, maybe twice. I flip through notifications, like or laugh or heart at a bunch of posts, catch all the dank memes, note the photos of babies and pets, and chuckle at jokes.  Often I’ll see an article that’s worth my time, but the latest shift in the algorithms probably means that won’t be as common anymore.

Besides that, I’m done.

And it feels so good.

2018 is my year to “Kondo everything” – I’m applying the minimalism filter to whole swaths of my house and life, paring down to what matters to me and selling/donating/giving away the rest.  I love it.  It’ll probably take me more than 2018 to get it all done, and that’s just fine. It too me 40+ years to accumulate all this stuff.

I’m like this simpler approach to life. There are days when I wonder whether my inner pack rat is going to recoil in horror when it can’t find some bauble in three months that might have been useful. *shrugs* Whatever.  I don’t care.  I wish I’d done this 10 years ago.

I thought I’d be sadder about spending less time on Facebook / Instagram / Snapchat (that big update a few months ago was total trash)…. but I’m not.  I still fall into Twitter about every other day, because the conversations I can snoop on there are moving at the speed of current events, and I tend to read about ideas there long before they hit the mainstream.  So I guess that’s a vice I can tolerate.

But the rest of “social media”?  Eh.  It’s hard for me to believe that anyone out there gives two shakes about what I think. That’s one reason I’ve had almost nothing to say here for the past two years. Who’s my audience? Does anybody even care? If a blogger writes a post and no one reads it, what’s it good for?

I don’t have any easy solutions for the world outside in 2018: the school shootings, the terrorist attacks, the impending wars, the shitshow of American politics.  But I don’t have to subject anyone else to my political opinions, and I kind of don’t really care what 99% of people have to say.  It’s not the course I would have set for myself 5 years ago, but it’s the one that keeps me sane in the Age of Trump.

Try it. You might find your own Freedom from Facebook sweet spot.  Besides, less time on FB means an extra hour to Kondo that shit in the hall closet. Win-win!

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