Saturday, November 19, 2016
Okay, So I'm Back on Facebook ...
I'm a really strong person, you know? Last week, I vowed I would leave Facebook forever. And I stuck to it ... for four whole days! What character I have! What resolve!
Anyway, I left it for the same reason (apparently) that many others did in recent days: the rancor over the election that had long-time friends (FB-types and otherwise) lunging at one another like roosters about to get it on in a pit.
I hated it. I hated what I was reading--and, even worse, what I was feeling. In recent years, as I've been (slowly, I hope) descending into the Valley of You-Know-What, I've clung to Facebook as if it were a handrail on a particularly steep staircase that, impossibly, managed to go only down. I loved re-connecting with former students, former classmates, old friends; I loved sharing things I'd learned or read or was thinking about. (And--I'll confess--I enjoyed being, again, something resembling a teacher. After all, I spent about forty-five years of my life in the classroom. In ways, I can never leave that profession--or abandon its routines.)
There were always things on Facebook that I didn't like to see or read. Scrolling by without much of a pause is a help. But not a cure. Some of those things would gnaw at me for a long time. (We've all had this experience, right--the how-could-that-person-think-that? experience?)
But for the most part ... I coped. (I'm mature! An adult!) Several times, in a self-righteous huff, I've shut down my Facebook account, but for never more than a day or two.
This time, though, it was different. This time, it was going to be forever.
(You see the for in forever? Well, it's a homophone with four, which is how many days I was most recently estranged from Facebook!)
For a few days it was easy. I felt virtuous. Focused on things that matter. Discovered I suddenly had a bit more time in the day to do things that were useful.
Then, late yesterday ... this morning ... I began to realize (to my chagrin) that ... I ... was ... missing ... Facebook.
I'd actually started a new blog when I Quit Forever (Stained with Variations--link to blog), a blog that, basically, was just a place to collect the things I would have posted on Facebook had I still been that weak, sniveling wuss who'd posted there so much.
But I found that posting on the blog site was not nearly so much ... fun. I didn't get instant replies to things. And because I didn't post the blog until the end of the day, I didn't have the--what?--thrill (?) of posting/sharing things the moment I thought of or saw them.
So ... at the coffee shop this morning ... as I saw the first flakes of winter floating in and falling through the Hudson air, I took out my smartphone, then realized there was no point in taking a picture. The moment was now. And was fast fleeing.
So I got home and told Joyce I was going to activate my account again--this same Joyce to whom I swore, as recently as yesterday (!), that I was through with it. Forever. She nodded. Did not show the slightest hint of I knew you would!
So ... my account is now active again. I've posted/shared a few things. I'm feeling both a little ashamed of myself and very happy. A little bit like a kid who just stole some candy. Shouldn't have done that, he thinks. But, oh, does it taste good!