A week without Facebook

Hello dear readers,

One evening I became very sad. I was at home with not much chance to get out so I turned to my usual distractions. Facebook did not manage to cheer me up or give me a sufficient dose of virtual human company so I got mad and decided it’s stupid to waist so much time on this thing. So, I decide to try a full week without even typing the page’s name.

I wrote everyday my impressions. Here they are:

First day without facebook-25th of November

 And already the world is collapsing. Mr X’s dog is sick and we are rushing to Brasov to see what we can do. Before I got the call , it was a busy day so no “bad habits” bothered me except the reflex of opening the facebook home page after I had checked my emails. It was like needing to raise my glasses on my nose from time to time. It took me years to stop touching my nose every 5 minutes to raise imaginary glasses (since I don’t wear glasses anymore).

Second day without facebook- 26th of November

 Saturday was all right. I was away and had no opportunity or reason. But I started to tell  friends that they should contact me through my mobile or “traditional” email, cause I have no access to facebook. They didn’t ask me why which is strange somehow. You should see me. I throw it in the middle of the conversation in a very casual manner “by the way, I don’t have access to facebook this week, so please contact me in a different way”. I am filled with joy cause they will ask me why and I would get the opportunity to be cool and against the trend bla bla. But no, they don’t ask.

The fact that our gmail and yahoo mail accounts are nowadays “traditional” first reached me through my blonde cousin, Mr. M, who asked me to write him an email and not a message on facebook. He said he is more traditional that way and old fashioned…he is now a developer for facebook.

Third day without facebook- 27th of November

 On Sunday I was also busy all day. But I was home and it is hard in the morning to shake the feeling of typing in the names of the social network sites. I kinda’ went big and didn’t use twitter either. I am not posting anything on any social network that I have been using or my blog. I occupied my Sunday evening with movies and photo editing. Sinking into my work : )) so as to not slip into the home page or read my messages…and I know I have some. While activating some setting on my blog it redirected me to the facebook wall. The thingies are red in the corner. I noticed notifications and messages. But I closed my eyes and went away from the temptation.

I sometimes feel a little sad cause I would love to post a song that I like a lot, so that maybe other people hear it, or post a funny photo, but I can’t. I am really not a fan of self discipline, but I took this commitment am I am going to see it through. My facebook account is a very honest one. I never post stuff that I don’t like or say empty words. I even tend to be over honest and regret posting some photos or thoughts that I would rather not share with 400 people. But songs and mobile uploads and cool things I find, that I post and I love doing it.

Fourth day without facebook- 28th of November

 Monday….oh the terrible Monday….which was actually the only day I finally got to sleep late and recover. Again a few empty hours to get ready and eat…this is usually the time I would sink into facebook (sinking is a good word, believe me). I occupy it with planning my day, which I also used to do before, but I had the page open on the desktop, because really! it wasn’t a page, it was a window and I felt connected to people who were connected to it. This coming from a person who has friends in real life…Maybe it’s not that I am connected to people I see often, actually I am sure it’s not that cause I have been seeing them and facebook barely came up (at all, if you except the “I am not using it so write me an email”). It’s that these devices/windows offer me the opportunity to be somewhat connected with people I would not really hang out with or I would not exchange song preferences, holiday photos and business highlights. It creates the illusion that your social group is larger and it’s a reality that this way you have access to some information that your normal close social group doesn’t fulfill. I think that for our parents there were more campus gatherings, student tea’s and things where a larger group gathered. The problem with parties now (for people in their 20’s) is that the direction of the party is to get drunk, flirt or group with the same people you hang out every other day so basically it’s not really a way in which you exchange any new information. You have an online platform for that.

Most of the time, I know what my friends post before they post (cause I know that they like that song, I already saw that photo etc.) so there is no need for me to see it on facebook. But I comment on facebook. I comment because I want to show everyone how good of a friend I am, how well I know that person, maybe just to have fun cause we can exchange witty jokes which we would probably not do in person. It’s more fun to have an audience and more can join. Not the least is also the fact that you comment and you appear on people’s walls, you remind them that you exist without having to talk to them. I have disabled that thing that shows me only the people that have interacted with me in the last x hours. I can see any post, even from the “friends” that I have not interacted with in a long time. I like finding new things or finding common areas with people. What they post are little things that sometimes give me joy, like finding a nice surprise in the kinder egg.

Still, I think I was a little addicted to keeping the facebook page opened. Addicted to the little joys of listening to what nice song someone posted or hoping someone would make a witty comment on one of my photos.

Oh and…yes, maybe one of the most important things about this facebook addiction that I sank into is that I am obsessed of how my wall looks. I really see it as a “business card” for friends. I have privacy settings so people who are not my friends on facebook did not see anything. Even amongst those people, I mainly set them for friends and acquaintances so some things are only for people I knew much better. I verified after every post how the page looked and I designed a small image for my facebook self and tried to keep it. How stupid is that? Maybe I am also a photographer and I want my page to look nice but…no, I really wanted to make it pretty for when people see it. It’s not only once that I have met people after seeing and watching them on facebook and to be honest, they are very different. Most of the time they seemed cooler on Facebook (not better, not smarter…just cooler, you know? Or slightly prettier than in real life :D)

Fifth day without facebook- 29th of November

 Tuesdayand sometimes you really need facebook. For example now I am going with a model to the studio and I am making my little scenario to choose some shots. I have her on fb and I would like to study her poses and natural faces to see, but now I have to do it from memory. Sure, it’s not vital information, but you store a lot of possible needed info on these sites. From photos to links, like today I remembered I didn’t read a friends blog because the link was in a message on facebook. But I am staying strong. Some friends are telling me to go on facebook cause many of them post there and use it as email and stuff. I refuse. Come on! You can call me! It’s actually getting annoying.

Haha I remembered some photos with her on an online magazine. I can go on that! Thank Gooooooood!

 Sixth day without fb?

 I lost count a little bit. Yesterday was saint Andrew and it was rather difficult because I would have gone on fb to wish all my friends many happy returns for the day, but I couldn’t and I kinda forgot to sms them so… shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitt! Yesterday was ok anyway cause I had a photoshoot and school and Mr. X spent the night so I was entertained with real life. Still there was a strange moment when Mr. X wanted to show me something on the net and it was on twitter. Because I didn’t want to trade an addiction for another, I decided not to go on the other social sites like twitter and google+ so he showed me the photo on the phone. I thought of that. For him the photo was on twitter and that was it. On the phone I could see it smaller though. Anyhow, now it is hard not to go on fb cause I am getting a little bored. I am at Mr. X’s. He has some programming to do and I am just sitting on the bed looking at the walls. My eyes and head hurt from being tired so I am not into reading or stuff. I got bored of angry birds and all I can do is write this and get fucking annoyed with this f*ing applications on his mother f*ing tablet that I am just going to press send and f* it.

 7th day without facebook- 2nd of December

I am very happy that people sms me now since they can’t reach me on facebook. 😀 See world? Don’t move all your eggs in the facebook basket.

I feel my mind is clearer.

Very important! The fact that you sit around your facebook page makes you sit at the computer longer than you have to. I have days when I can just zombie through a whole day (before I go to school) on facebook with a movie in the background cause I feel like I have company. I don’t know if this is true for you, but I go mad sitting alone in the house and not doing anything. As you might have noticed I was busy everyday I was without facebook. It made me get out of the house more. The need to be connected to the internet decreased immensely.

So, finally, now I got to sign in and see and evaluate the “damage”.

Results: 76 notifications, 2 messages, 1 friend request, 11 new notifications for my photography page.

The world didn’t collapse and my personal conclusions is that if I were online everyday, like I used to, I would have gotten the same amount of feedback.

To be honest, now I am really bored with facebook. Firstly, I am to lazy to post stuff and try to be interesting. Secondly, it’s like no one is really on it anymore.

I should not forget this…I feel the pressure to be interesting now. This was also happening in the beginning, when I first made the account. In time that feeling disappears  and you are very comfortable of being part of the huge number of little ants that post and “work” on facebook  and you feel integrated in the system. Right now my little wheel in the big machine is rusty cause it was not used for a while.

Have you noticed how many times I have used the word “busy” and used it as an excuse for not “needing” to go on facebook.SO if I was not busy what would have happened? Ah well, I would have gotten busy. And I think that I did…and that’s why I was busy. You get it?

I would love it if you would try my experience because this is how you really know what that thing really is to you. Now I know exactly what facebook is to me. It is every little thing that I noticed I missed. Not more. Not less.

This maybe funny , but I am extremely but extremely happy and relived that my thesaurus still highlights the word “facebook” as incorrect.

So please try my experiment and link me your blog, your note, your anything or just write me an email. I would appreciate it greatly.

  • Note about the first day

His wonderful dog is now alright, but he really gave us a scare.

  • Note about the sixth day

I got very bored so I read a whole book in 1 hour. Yes bragging, but it is true. And no, it was not 50 pages long. I dunno, it was a normal book. Like 150 or something.

8 Responses to “A week without Facebook”
  1. 1singur says:

    quitting fb for a week is like “quitting” smoking for a week. that’s not much of a test, right?
    stretch this to breaking point, and DARE to actually delete the account against all warnings and “needs”. and delete it good, beyond recovery (the possibility is quite hidden).
    as long as staying away is an option you’ll be so proud for “opting out”. but your account will be there and the best it can do in your absence is to wait indefinitely. so no matter how long you refused to get back in, once you do it it takes one week to get crazed by it, like before. but if you delete it you just know is not there, getting back to it is not an option now, might feel a bit of a stress at first, but you might be able to find alternate “classic” ways of reaching those people you work with. and the months will be passing, and you won’t care.

    • it’s not a test. it was a research.
      it was not about stretching to breaking point it was a dare and it’s not about cutting out social networks because they are already a part of our lives . it’s about no letting them be our lives.

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  3. Mary says:

    foarte tare! trebuie sa fac si eu asta. i think i’m way more addicted than you. meaning i zombie through the internet everyday. and definitely not just facebook. actually, i don’t find it or youtube that fulfilling anymore. i hang out on vplay and watch tv shows all the time…

  4. Mary says:

    which would explain why you don’t get to see my in RL as much. 😦 it’s also the deadlines… of.

  5. Mary says:

    oh yeah and i forgot to mention – your ability to discipline yourself is so darned strong! i rarely am able to make myself less of an addict.

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