Gone Focusing: Day 4

Fourth in a series of reflections on abandoning Facebook for 40 days and 40 nights.

In which our hero ponders the philosophical conundrum, “If Rob attends a Broadway musical, but does not post selfies, pics, or “check-ins,” did it really happen?”

I went to see “Waitress” at the Marcus Center last night.  I love musicals in any case, but this national traveling company included a friend’s niece making a stellar debut.  Check out the press on Lenne Klingaman, here, here, and here, where Klingaman tells how Sara Bareilles hand picked her.  An up and comer!

But I digress.  Besides not posting obsessively, or looking for photo angles to make a cool momento for FB, I noticed that (on those rare occasions where I pulled my phone out at dinner, or intermission) there was no red-dot notification, signaling important posts I just HAD to look at immediately.  Deleting FB from my phone may be the single biggest win in this battle against reflexive, addictive app use.

My tweaking is reduced.  I’m attending to the people and things in front of me a little more easily. I also notice that, since I don’t try to squeeze in those last few reads for a half-hour or so in bed each night, I have slept through the night twice consecutively.  Small sample size, but given my recent insomnia two blissful nights’ sleep is promising.

I also sat for an hour writing a short story, in prep for an 8 week online class that I start Monday: The “Tell Your Story” course, in UNM’s Rananim – D. H. Lawrence Writer’s Workshop.


Previous distractions: Bodhran lessons, hand carving tippers, weave a bullwhip, collect exotic wooden artifacts from various cultures.  Not just FB.

My issue seems to be less about Facebook per se, than about limiting its use.  Kind of the same issue I have if there are sweetened cereals in the cupboard.  If they’re in the house, I’m eating them!

Again, time will tell if I can come up with a “safe” regimen, or if I will find myself in meetings, seeking chips for “days FB Sober,” swearing off all interaction because I have absolutely no control over social media, and must seek a higher power.

On the down side, I miss my friends. There is nothing normal about the group of people I’ve attracted/collected in Facebook, and they energize me and my thinking. I could write emails to each friend, but that is “inorganic,” and arguably MORE distracting.  Social media IS social, and the last thing I need is to wall myself off more from interaction.

But then again pristine isolation might not be the best idea
It’s not good trying to immortalize yourself.

— Lou Reed, “Beginning of a Great Adventure”

Cold Turkey avoidance seems like a failing strategy. But that song is more about raising kids to be proxies for yourself, from 1989, so hardly perfect for a discussion of the value of social media.


Tangent Question of the Day:  Should one worry if, in a job interview, the interviewer says that the company is organized similarly to the way Hitler built his illegal SA army in the space between WWI and WWII, to get around treaty restrictions limiting the army to 100,000 soldiers?

Not sure I’m ready to sign up for a Blitzkrieg.


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