I always had mixed feelings about Facebook. I happened to end up living far away from many old friends – so in the beginning it was a gas to get back in touch. It didn’t take long to understand that the format or the setup of Facebook itself was not conducive to my emotional well-being. So I’m one of those who quits for awhile, gets back, quits. I’m trying to quit again after about a year and a half.
And after just one day, I am feeling so much better. Why? Before getting on the last facebook run, I was here blogging, writing poetry, fiction, working on books, taking photographs, and more or less not worrying about how to spend creative energies or which ways to go. What happened during the last year and a half of being on facebook? All those things – the joy of the doing – yeah that’s a good word – the joy – went away. But it happened gradually. Very gradually. So gradually did it happen that I didn’t realize how facebook eroded – yeah that’s better – facebook eroded the joy in doing cool stuff, until hitting that Delete Account button (yeah you have to wait 14 days – I don’t like that) and then experiencing this odd sensation – what is this odd sensation? like a…. a joy? A reemerging joy? Yes, that’s what it is.
Why? Can’t say for sure. But I do know that my thinking began to shift from cool ideas to write about to what so-and-so said on facebook, whether or not to participate in a controversial debate; how strongly to try and hawk my literary wares. Part of me thought maybe some would come to this blog, and enjoy, follow – but they didn’t. Because they’re focused on their profiles and pages and such. Really, facebook-related matters became weeds that choked out the joy that I once felt about writing creatively.
I came to the point where the very idea of slogging through a novel-length work or sitting down to play with syllables and lines and imagery felt dreary like chores. My conclusion is: maybe for musicians or artists more visually geared or for people who really mainly care to keep in touch with friends and relatives, facebook’s okay. And hey, if you’re a writer-poet type and you can do both, hats off to you. Really. I’m impressed. But I think I can’t do both.
In sum: when I am on Facebook, the writing, the actual writing, falls away, in both quantity and quality, along with the joy. It doesn’t happen right away, which is the tricky thing about it. Whenever I’ve not been on facebook, the writing always comes back, along with that juicy joy and excitement.