“Cool Was Always Flying Just Ahead of Me”

You know how it is when you have an old refrigerator and it’s killing your energy bill running way more than it should, but you live with it because no way can you afford to buy a new one. But then every once in a while when you’re home by yourself and you don’t have the TV or the radio on, the refrigerator stops running and it’s only then that you realize how loud it was and how quiet it is when the noise is gone, and you think, “I have GOT to figure out a way to get a new refrigerator.”

Quitting Facebook was like that for me.

I’ve been thinking about signing off for a long time. Tanita’s the one who made me start thinking about it (over a year ago, I guess–seems more like a few months), but ultimately it was wanting to get serious about getting back to writing regularly and realizing that my injured arm is as healed as it’s going to get that made me deactivate my account. It was hard to do, though. I’ve gotten in such a habit of keeping in touch with people that way, and for the first few days, I felt like I’d been cut off from the Feed. It was like a whole part of my world went silent.

It kind of freaked me out. I kind of liked it.

It’s been a week and a half now, and I’m finally not having the urge to check Facebook anymore. During this same time, I’ve been blogging more, I’ve been working on my book, and I scoured up a couple small writing jobs that will actually pay. It’s not like I was on Facebook all the time, but it was a distraction (I don’t think it is inherently–it’s just that I am often on the computer and am highly distractable). I am also very sure I’m not totally in touch with what all my people are up to, but maybe that will balance out in other ways. I notice I’ve gotten much less in the habit of writing letters over the couple years I’ve been on Facebook, but over the last week, I’ve been sending out mail almost every day.

Of course, that’s just a week.

It’s going to be interesting to see if any of these changes last. If not and if I miss Facebook, it’s not like I can’t sign back on (Facebook has reminded me about this via email more than once), but I’m going to give it a good long while first.

[This is a tangent, but talking about noise reminded me of “5 Ways to Listen Better.” I am lately addicted to TED videos, and being off Facebook has given me more time to watch them, too.]

9 thoughts on ““Cool Was Always Flying Just Ahead of Me”

  1. The funny thing is that I tried to send you a Facebook message earlier this week about a children’s book I was looking for and thought, “Oh… Adrienne unfriended me.. bummer.” Yes, because it’s always about me! LOL

    I admire you breaking away. I don’t know if I could do it although I find myself thinking of stuff I could be blogging but don’t because I’ve already posted the link/pictures/etc. on Facebook, so why replicate?

    I look forward to more WATAT though!

  2. I’ve been off of Facebook for a year since May – so a year and three months.

    I often remind myself that all I have to do is sign back on, and the rush of the Feed is back at my fingertips… but I don’t really want to, I find. I have gotten beaucoup work done. I mean, I’m in the hinterlands of Scotland (okay, even the village where we’ve just moved is five minutes from a city which has a castle which draws thousands of tourists a year. Not. A. Hinterland) and cut off – which means I have a lot of time to write anyway, what with no real social life or TV, but I was still trying to live my life in two places by holding on so hard, and checking Facebook and knowing every move everyone made. Now I hear from people who are truly my friends, and the mass of acquaintances I hear from at Christmas, like everyone else does. I am more fully present, I think, in the moments where I am, or at least I’m trying to be. That’s what giving that up has done for me.

    Plus, it makes Tech Boy feel less paranoid.

  3. Julia, Your post about that book in your news feed was one of the last things I saw before I signed off, and I did try to identify it. Were you able to figure it out? It’s a tough one. And, yikes, I hope other people don’t think I’ve unfriended them. I guess that’s the downside of quietly leaving. I wasn’t sure I could stick to it, though.

    Tanita, SERIOUSLY. I haven’t bought any new clothes or shoes in about a year and a half. I could use some pocket money. Plus, it’s a good boost to publish small things here and there while I’m working on longer-term projects.

    Olivia, It was really disconcerting for a couple days. Tammy’s been supportive.

  4. Wow, I am so impressed! Great analogy with the old refrigerator thing too — perfect way to describe the “drain” on energy and resources that we just go on living with for no good reason.

    I find I’m checking FB less and less; can’t sign off entirely because it’s the only way I can contact some people for blog stuff. But cutting out a lot of that noise really does have a calming effect that helps me think more clearly. Happy to hear you’re already noticing some positive changes.

  5. “House of Shadows” by Andre Norton & Phyllis Miller. Someone on the Barnes & Nobles site figured it out for me. Check to see if you guys have it! I thought it was pretty spooky/creepy as a kid and adult (waiting for it arrive at my house via amazon.com to make an “older” adult judging on it).

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