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.