My Month without Facebook – Day 6 – 13

Friday 25 December

Merry Christmas! I usually put a post on facebook, and I briefly contemplated doing so again today. I then consider group messaging, but this seems even cringier, and separate messages would be too much effort for something I don’t care much about anyway.

And that is it. I would have posted Merry Christmas because everyone does; it’s what you do. Being away from Facebook gives me the freedom to ignore it without seeming rude. I don’t have to return anyone’s well wishes, as I don’t see them, I don’t have to admire anyone’s decoration, turkey, outfit or gifts, I just don’t have to acknowledge it at all. Yes, I really am the Christmas bore that I sound like, but on facebook, that’s just not acceptable.

Some people who know me less and wouldn`t know about me disliking this holiday however take the time to text or whatsapp me.

Thursday 24 December

Our cat sitter is posting pictures of our cats, my husband has shown me. A joint acquaintance has liked and commented on them, and so learns that I am in Malta, and for how long. I haven’t seen this women for a few years now, but my relationship with her was turbulent. I’m sure I`m mentioned now and then, but seeing it is a different matter. I don’t even know why it annoys me, I just know it does.

Wednesday 23 December

I said happy birthday to someone by text rather than writing on her wall, and rather than just liking the post, she took the time to write me a lovely message back.

Others are whatsapping me, and I WhatsApp a few others. Priorly, facebook determined who I spoke to the most. Now, I’m starting to feel for myself who I want to reach out to, and who is reaching out to me. A bit like work, really. Like, when you leave. All over sudden, those who don’t have facebook are no longer those I speak to least. Even though some of them are among the most important ones.

Tuesday 22 December

Lazy evening in the hotel, and Facebook is just one less thing to entertain myself with. Don’t feel the need to share, and neither do I want to look what everyone else is up to.

Monday 21 December

I recorded another video today, one with me in it, and put it on youtube. It was a promise to a fellow blogger, and I resisted the urge to put it on facebook, too.

Sunday 20 December 

Today, I could have been killed by my continuing compulsion to photograph. We were dining out. I had already taken photos of my husband with and without his glass of wine, and, of course, the food (why, I wasn’t quite sure, as certainly not for Facebook). When the rain came on, and the stairs outside turned into a rather fast flowing river, I got out of my seat, smartphone at the ready. As if this was their permission, too, other guests followed suit. Suddenly, a stranger pulled me back, and said something about my hair, and I saw how close I had gotten to a large set of real candles.

And then, I cheated big style. I put the video on youtube, and my husband put it on facebook. And tagged me in.

Saturday 19 December 

I start missing people. It irritates me that they haven`t replied to my emails, and I`m wondering whether I`ve upset them. Typically, I`d see them on facebook, we like one another`s pictures, and we know we`re alright, without having to wait until you see each other again, and without having to mention “it” again.

Friday 18 December

FAIL!!!

Last night, a thought occurred that I may cope better on facebook if I didn`t have quite so large a friends list. I could immediately think of 5 people who really should not be there any more. I`ve never seen them for a long time, never even comment on each other`s stuff on facebook, we just have nothing else in common since we moved house or jobs. In addition, both know people who I don`t want to know my business, which makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes. Now, the urge to review  this list was so strong that I had to do it right away, so I succumbed and went on Facebook, on Day 5. I don`t like the words “friends” list, and I certainly don`t like the word “unfriend” for a deletion. It makes it kind of personal. But of course, they don`t want you to delete contacts, they want us all to be connected and suggested to each other.

While I was there, I also had a look at the answers I received for my farewell message (but didn`t reply to them, as that would have been admitting to my presence. I felt like “lurking” on my own page.). But I could have done that all along, through my husband`s account, and I was amazed at myself that I really didn`t feel the need. Most people were understanding of my reasons, many said “please keep in touch in other ways”, and noone said you`re taking this all too serious, etc.

Other than that, I didn`t look at anything. Even though there were parties, two. I was invited to both, but even though it was my own choice not to go, I would have found it weirdly painful to see the pictures. But I was also wondering whether I`d succumb and look at them regardless. I know people who do that, and I can tell you a specific example where I did so myself – looking up stuff which I knew in advance was gonna hurt.

I was bored though, so I occupied myself with all other sort of nonsense. Like googling myself under all names and nicknames. Not good. This needs sorted badly.

1 Month without Facebook – Day 1 – 5

Sunday 13 December: 

You`re kidding! I`m going on a party, my cats are getting a Christmas hamper, and I`ve just taken myself off facebook and cannot post it! But I`m too proud to do it anyway after writing a public farewell note, which was, of course, the point of this note.

Suddenly, my instant messenger starts blinking, and there`s a message from one of the girls I was referring to when I said I think we are close, but somehow, we only ever talk on facebook. She apologizes for being so poor at keeping in touch and wants to arrange a lunch date really, really soon. Can`t wait. It`ll have been about 6 months since I last saw her.

Monday 14 December:

This day just has to be the biggest test ever!!

First of all, I`m going to a job interview and cannot post a selfie as I walk into the door. Then again, people would ask, and then I`d have to equally publicly confess if I was to be unsuccessful.

Back home, the cats go crazy with their new toys, I manage to take a long series of really amazing photos – and I cannot post them on facebook. Instead, I email them to about half of those I think care most. I still want to show them to all! A colleague was talking about a relative abroad who just had a new baby. She posts photos on facebook, but because he`s not on it, ever so often, he gets an email. Sometimes, the relative says those pictures are not on facebook, I took them especially for you, and then he feels really special indeed. And I remember how special a particular New Years` message felt last year, because it came by text rather than one of those blanket facebook statuses of which I`m extremely guilty myself, because it`s just so easy.

A Whatsapp asking whether I`m alright (“Seen you took yourself off facebook”), and another instant message saying that would be a shame if you deleted it completely. It`s from one of the people (abroad) who have none of my details, just facebook, and we would definitely not converse without it. We knew each other since I was about 11.

Best thing in the afternoon: I got offered the job!! And I cannot post it on facebook! I`m sending a few Whatsapps and texts and find myself being rather selective about who is getting the privilege. Then I go to my friend who opens a bottle of proper Champagne, and we get drunk. My phone is constantly flashing with messages from people who want to hear all about it, and while I`d of course need to tell just once for all on facebook, I`m not tiring of repeating everything all over again until I collapse laughing because I can`t manage to type a full sentence any more.

Everyone who matters was there at least in spirit. I didn`t need to broadcast my news to 110 people, but I couldn`t help thinking that, if I had not been successful, I would not have felt the urge to post a selfie and say. I`d be equally selective about who I tell, and I`d be grateful that I could. So is facebook all about bragging then? Some say so, although I always rejected the idea that this may apply to myself.

Tuesday 15 December:

I deliberately didn`t include the two ladies I was going to see today. I looked into their faces as I told them, and then we threw our arms around each other and danced around the room.

One of the girls is going to join me on my facebook break in January. She, too, is from another country, and she often thought about using facebook only for people back home, while those who are here in Scotland should be texted, telephoned and met for coffee.

Wednesday 16 December:

Bored in a waiting room. I instinctively grab my phone, but as the facebook icon is not there, I browse flipboard instead and read their summary of 2015.

All over sudden I think I may have worked out why so many people like selfies. It`s because they don`t need to read a text of three lines – they can just click a button without paying any attention, and pleased someone.

Thursday 17 December

I want to write one of those cryptic posts that only one person would understand. I briefly consider texting, but somehow, it wouldn`t be as funny. But, even if I had not taken a break from facebook, I wouldn`t have written this post. I may think about it, but when I consider how it would look to other people, just like the cats` hamper, I don`t actually post it.

I also consider emigrating to another social media website, but this would be cheating and keep alive the aspects of narcissism and visibility. Maybe, I should instead give some more thought to why it is that I feel that need to publicise myself at all. I briefly considered extending this break to my blog, but can`t imagine what I`d do with myself if I logged out of it all, so I`m looking for excuses and come up with the loads of ways in which the blog is different.

Farewell message on Facebook

I`m going to take a break from Facebook – I`m logging out for one month today. Been considering this for ages, and now seems as good a time as any other:

  • As Facebook is increasingly full of… other stuff, I`m becoming increasingly self conscious about posting the personal things it was once meant for, which means that I`m perceiving my own profile as a fake. I was so wanting to post a happy selfie when I was accepted for voluntary redundancy, but I was too concerned about what it would look like.
  • I`m curious to find out where my energy goes when I`m not working or on social media, which I don`t want to start using out of boredom. I have other plans for this energy, and I don`t want to bore you with twice daily updates on those projects, either.
  • My cats say they don`t really like the flash, and my food is almost cold by the time I finally eat it. 🙂
  • I always said I cannot take a facebook break when I go on holiday, which probably means that I should do it when I go on holiday. I am curious about how I`ll experience it without facebook in mind. The videoclip I posted last night may have stroke a chord. 🙂
  • There are people who I consider close, but somehow, we`re only ever talking on facebook. I don`t want my relationship with former work colleagues, or my friend who is moving back to Germany, to become like that.
  • Another person I email. I pour myself a glass of wine and devour her lengthy and very personal mails or take an hour and a half to write to her. This still feels like a quality relationship, and she`s in Czech Republic.
  • I dislike certain aspects of Christmas, feel overwhelmed with certain posts every year, but would feel rude not to “like” them.
  • A few weeks ago, my timeline showed a post about a stillborn baby right underneath someone else`s newborn. This was nobody`s fault and probably unique to my timeline, but I couldn`t really appreciate either.

Bottom line is that I`m finding facebook increasingly superficial, but as it is indeed the only link I have to some of you, I`m not planning to close or deactivate my account. I`ll also keep my instant messenger.

Other than that, I shall speak to you all on 13 January. Be good and enjoy the festive season! x

 

 

Work

An unexpected visitor at work, bearing a letter… This week, I was officially offered redundancy, and I accepted it. It was a very happy day, and people said congratulations. Today and yesterday (very contrasting) showed me very much what I need at work: warmth, recognition and feeling valued both as a worker and human being. Basically, to feel good about myself. As soon as I separated it from the notion of financial security (okay – the package helped), I concluded that my job has nothing to offer to me.

And today, I registered with the Open University! I`m going to do a BSc in Business Management! The other one I had in mind was Social Psychology, but I went with what`ll be most useful for my career – even while I`m still studying.

Life looks good! 🌹🌹🌹

Application Frustration

I`m frustrated about one of my applications. I applied for another job with this company in late summer (no redundancy on the horizon yet, but I really, really wanted to work for them) and despite me following up with an email and two phone calls, they never replied.

When they advertised a similar job recently, they said in the advert that they would only contact you if they were interested, and if you didn`t hear from them within a week, you should assume that you were unsuccessful. I applied again, once again haven`t heard, but six weeks on, the advert was still on their website.

So I emailed again, said I was still interested and would really find it helpful to know why I was not shortlisted. Today, I received a two liner: “Thank you for the time you took to apply for this position. We will not be taking your application any further.” The wording and lack of reason almost makes me think that there was something really, really wrong with my letter or CV, and if there was, I find it even more annoying that they won`t tell me what it was.

Anyway, I won`t apply again with them. Shame. I simply love what they do, and I`m a good customer. But if they treat applicants like this, they probably are not nice to work for.