Last night I was thinking about my relationship with Facebook and I deactivated my account. I’d been thinking about doing that for some time, but I kept postponing it the same way I did back when I used to smoke and thought about quitting.
Lately I had been noticing that I’d be in a bad mood if something I posted didn’t quite get the reception I thought it deserved. But when it did, that didn’t put me in a good mood. I found myself posting stuff without any real reason other than being liked, I guess.
But the thing that did it was that I kept finding myself spending time with my son while constantly looking at my mobile. I felt awful about it and tried to keep it under control, but the habit would always find a way to creep back in.
So I had to do like I did with smoking: I completely and suddenly stopped. And the feeling that something is missing is incredible. This is a real addiction and I’m afraid I’m not even addicted to the degree that so many people are. Scary stuff.
I'm not on social media (unless forums count). That drunken picture you posted years ago? That job you so wanted, forget it as your would-be employer checks yoiur social media. One dodgy tweet can lead to your whole world falling apart. Or at least getting in a lot of trouble.
Especially if you run a twitter account for a long established fan site for a rock star and telling the wife of a member of said rock stars band to fuck off.
Thanks for posting. i basically spent my entire career doing something that paid well but I wasn’t passionate about. Good on you for pursuing your dream.
That's good TJ. Gets all the information in you need and is interesting. Don't regret mentioning it, you can be sure of an audience here for your writing.
Ok, it’s just this silly thing. I kind of regretting talking about it now because I will now be embarrassed to show it. But a deal‘s a deal. The task was to address a simple, uninteresting topic and create as compelling a text as possible in 400 words. We were tasked to talk about how we ended up in a MA in Journalism and we had to stick to the facts. Here it is:
It only took me twenty two years, one of them living in the Central American country of Belize, two attempts at an undegraduate degree (one successful), two attempts at a graduate degree (both unsuccessful) and some four years of therapy to consider doing the thing I really wanted to do when I was 16.
I come from a small, Portuguese industrial town called Marinha Grande. It’s known for two things: it’s glass making and being so communist that a socialist presidential candidate was once stoned there (something that would eventually and ironically win him the election). A newspaper was something ungodly, the product of some obscure elite’s plan to tell us all we were idiots. Unless, of course, it was a sports newspaper or the Communist Party’s one. There was a disdain for all things intellectual or arty and me, I really liked to write.
At first I would write as a way to make sense of the world around me, and that would help. Then I started developing an interest in the way I was writing and the very act became a vehicle I’d use to escape my working class reality. I’d go to the library and spend days reading books in semi-secret and, with Internet just taking its first steps, I was able to read newspapers, magazines and books from all over the world.
The pressure to become an accountant (four stitches to the knee for clumsily attempting a football tackle meant that was not future for me) mounted and I negotiated and rebelled my way into compromises. There was a journalism programme in a secondary school in Marinha Grande but it was the one farther from where I lived and my father wouldn’t go for it. I ended up finish my undergraduate degree in Sociology after a failed attempt at Political Science. I was dancing around what really interested me hoping I’d grow out of love with it. I was invited and indeed taught at universities in Portugal and Belize, tried unsuccessfully to do a Master’s and a PhD and ended up in Scotland working in call centres. That felt like rock bottom.
I took up therapy until I admitted to myself that what I really love to do is to make sense of the world around me through writing. And show it to people so they can discuss it and tell me why I’m right. Or wrong.
Didn’t know where to post this, but I didn’t want to start a new thread. Since I’ve closed my fb account, I’ve been focused solely on my Journalism degree (something I’ve wanted since I was 16). Classes started this week and I’ve already had to write a short piece for a class. The professor got back to me with huge praise, even insanely comparing my writing to that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Usually I’d be embarrassed to share this, but I guess therapy has been helping and I think this is the first time a complete stranger praises my writing.
I know his comment doesn’t make my writing any better, it is what it is. But it sure does feel good.
I went cold turkey on FB about 3 years ago. I liked certain aspects of it but I thought I was becoming too obsessed with it and also thought, no more.
I will probably do the same with IG at some point but I enjoy some accounts which give me a smile or a lift. Twitter... Well. Right now no matter who you follow it's jsut American politics.
An advantage of quitting FB was it happened at roughly the same time @Jerseyfornia published his first books. Both led to me rediscovering my love of reading books. turning paper pages and not always staring at a little screen, scrolling through digital pulp.
I've been on FB for about 6 years or so. I started putting up lots of old pics and enjoyed that. I'm a nostalgic kinda guy and enjoy old photos. I like the idea of people (family/friends and whatnot) seeing and enjoying pics that otherwise would be buried in a box somewhere. FB is a good place for that kinda thing. I also caught up with a bunch of old friends when I joined...also a good thing.
But it can be a rather annoying experience too. I take some FB breaks on occasion. But when the pandemic hit and I had time on my hands I was playing at being a half-assed FB DJ and was putting up music everyday....doing mostly for myself, but I did like getting the 'likes'...lol.
Of late I've been mostly putting pics up of my Granddaughter. If ya wanna get a lot of 'Likes', baby pics are the best.....😁
The dopamine hit by getting an upvote—never mind a bit of praise—is a very real thing.
I was on FB for a year, but it was only so I could follow my godson who was travelling around Asia. I don't think I ever posted anything.
Mr J did say he thought I was becoming addicted to GL when I first joined...I am sure I wasn't, but it did cause a bit of friction.
Well done on quitting TJ, I am sure you will succeed.
I am not on social media. I have anxiety about what friends and family think of me. The anxiety would go into warp drive is I had to think about disapproval from millions. Twitter is aptly nicknamed Twatter.
I've never used Facebook or any other social media, other than a few music forums.
I did however spend way too long on music file sharing sites years ago. I was frazzled spending so much time online when I should have been with family or even sleeping.
Eventually I gave it up completely but missed the buzz and chats for quite a long time. Stayed away though.
Upside, very large music collection.😉