Yesterday a writer friend sent me a Facebook message to say, I’m leaving The Facebook!  He left a new email address, scrawled out his cell phone number, and escaped.

I think about this just about every day often, which is to say I think hard about leaving “The Facebook.”

How many times do log in as if I’m checking off a to-do-list item?  The newsfeed pops up and I spend precious minutes scrolling through while wondering why I’m spending precious minutes scrolling through and think:  J’m ‘en fous!  God knows I could have spent those minutes brushing up on my long lost French.

Then I come back the next day, like a smoker who needs that first morning hit from a fresh Marlboro Light, and log right in and take another fucking drag.

This morning I followed my friend to the door and cracked it open.  Some low light filtered in.  I stripped down my Facebook page down to the bare nothings:  no photos, no profile, no info, no posts.  It felt good to disappear a little at a time.  I didn’t leave altogether, there’s still a shadow of the me who used to be there — a literal shadow where my profile picture used to be — but even as I logged out I wondered who The Facebook Me really is.  Or was.


24 thoughts on “Shadow

  1. jpon

    I have a couple of friends (real life friends, that is) who have closed their Facebook accounts, but they put them back soon after — just couldn’t stay away. I have thought about leaving, but I’m almost never on it, so I might as well keep a presence there.

  2. Averil Dean

    I got out of there . . . let’s see, is it two years ago? Yeah, that’s about right. I haven’t missed it for a single minute. Honestly, it was too much socializing for me. Too many people, too much activity, too many fucking farm animals and dopey cartoons . . . Blech.

    Make a break for it, Teri.

    1. Teri Post author

      Facebook doesn’t get any of the writing done, now does it? And god knows I got nothin’ to promote….

    1. girl in the hat

      I use mine for self-promotion only. Actually, my major peccadillo is not Facebook, it’s blogs (like mine and yours). That’s where spend most my time.

      1. Teri Post author

        I’m with you, Anna. I like the few blogs I follow — I get something for the reader and writer in me there. And mine serves as a place to vent and chat with the like-minded.

        You know how sometimes you’ll have Commenter’s Remorse? I have that every single time I put anything on my Facebook page —- the need to run right back there and take it down, or wonder why I felt the need to “put it out there” in the first place. That tells me something.

      2. girl in the hat

        And Twitter? Don’t get me started.
        I know it’s not what you want to hear right now but I have to say that the editor of a litmag found me via my FB page, asked me to solicit, then published one of my short stories. Which makes it worthwhile, for me, at least until the high wears off.

  3. Teri Post author

    To be clear, I’m speaking about my own freak-out issues with Facebook. I know people who use it quite successfully, I just don’t think I’ve ever quite settled into the space of it.

    Tomato, to-mah-to, and all that …..

  4. macdougalstreetbaby

    I closed the door about 2 years ago. Total time suck with no pay off whatsoever.

  5. Lyra

    That’s it, isn’t it? Commenters remorse. I feel the same way when I comment and get no response on blogs, not all the time but at least some of it. I mean, I comment to reach across the void, to encourage, to connect. I don’t do it to brand myself (ick, ick) or god help us network, to be seen and heard. I only do it for a small connection. A Hey-friend-I-hear-you sort of thing.
    I think my Facebook status is still about my birthday…which was in November. I’m no good at shouting into voids. It messes with my head.

    1. Teri Post author

      I love the writer/reader connection of the blogs I follow — the conversation, whatever it may be — and blogging is actually a great warm-up exercise to get my writing day going.

      But Facebook? Sometimes and I think Mark Zuckerberg has the last laugh, that he’s just sucked us all into a giant slot machine that spits our money into his bank account.

  6. LauraMaylene

    I don’t have a problem wasting too much time on Facebook. My issue with it is the terrifying privacy stuff, how everything and anything you have EVER put on FB will be forever used against you to market you, reveal your info to others, or just saved for all of eternity on some creepy server. FB is collecting us, and we’re all willingly going along with it.. Of course, even if you delete everything, whatever you put up there in the past is still FB’s. Maybe that’s why I still have a FB account — I figure the damage is already done, and I can’t undo it now anyway. (Spoken like a true lazy/complacent person who probably deserves whatever FB dishes out….)

    I have had a few cool experiences on FB, and it’s helped me connect with people I might not have found otherwise. Too bad it’s totally evil. Otherwise, I might be okay with it.

    1. Teri Post author

      The evil empire known as Facebook scares the bejeezus out of me. It doesn’t help that I live with a techie and hear regular evidence that we are all doomed with every keystroke. This is the other half of my Facebook issue, Laura. You’ve said it so much clearer than me. Thank you!

  7. Josephine

    i deleted my FB account two years ago and then started it again last year when i decided to go freelance. they don’t make deleting it easy. first, it stays up for at least two weeks after you choose to decline and if you sign back in during the two weeks, then your delete-inquiry halts. at least, that was the policy when i did it.

    have you seen this:

    1. Teri Post author

      This video is priceless! Ha!!!

      I know Facebook is useful as an easy way of being “found” particularly once you’re out there publishing your book, etc… But hey, I got nothin’. I’m nobody!

      I just deleted the FB icon from my phone and my iPad. This is progress.

  8. lisahgolden

    I’m using Facebook less these days, but I know better than to close it. It has too many uses for me. If I can’t estalk my kids, my old boyfriends, and former employers, I wouldn’t have anything to do on my lunch hour.

    I hope you know I’m joking. I don’t estalk my kids. They’re dull.

    Lately I’ve contemplated not using Facebook mostly because the habits of others are getting on my nerves. The weather whiners, the people who always use “home again, home again, jiggety jig” after a trip, the ones who clump up my news feed with those photos and graphic with pithy sayings that are being recycled all to hell, then there are the ones who post a link to every damn political article they read. And the worst? I dread when a celebrity dies. All the R.I.P.s and shit? Enough already!

    Lord, I’d be happy to hear what they had for lunch and to get a poke or two. It would be a nice change.

    Hi. I’m clearly wearing my grumpy suit and it itches.

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