I asked Melissa to hold my hand while I did it because it feels like a betrayal. The greatest fun that Facebook offered was documenting ourselves being happy together, mostly with food, drink, and animals. We recorded countless road trips to Pea Ridge, AL, Savannah, GA, back home to Walker County, and stopovers in Birmingham. That photo of a black and white striped King snake in Joshua Tree and the fantastical landscape of Noah Purifoy’s outdoor museum, I can close my eyes and see them. It is odd though. A thousand or more photographs, but none to hang on the wall, or tuck into a wallet. They are just out there, owned by a corporation, and indiscriminately cluttered with photographs that are without purpose or meaning. Of course she still has all of these memories online, and she is the better photographer because I will readily admit as she puts it, I never “wipe off the hole.” I downloaded the entire contents of my recorded life on Facebook, but the message said it could take a while to get me the file, and ultimately I did not wait for it.

We held hands and I clicked, “delete my account.” The irony is that even still, it is not gone. I am granted 30 days to reconsider, whether I need it or not. I can return without consequence at any time during that period. It doesn’t matter. It’s over.

In these last 48 hours on social media, I really lived it up. There was no time to say proper goodbyes to so many people I value, some whom I may truly lose forever. In that way it is like a death, and like death, it must be accepted.

I tried to listen to the chorus of my better angels, but I put my fingers in my ears to tell someone that reading his political thoughts was like watching a dog eat its own poop. That felt great, probably like that sweet, hot toke on the meth pipe feels great. The comedown is a real son of a bitch, but the ride up is worth it for a while.

Anyway, I do not intend to write about social media ad nauseum. Quite the opposite, I want to gently close that book and put it on the shelf. It is too soon, and I am too close to it to understand what I have done, and what will be different. Time is sometimes called the 4th dimension, and that is the one that grants the best perspective. We shall see.


14 Responses to Shutdown

  1. My little squirrel brain is desperately trying to think of an alternative that would allow me to have more of the better conversations I’ve had with friends near and far (mostly far). Does Reddit offer anything? Are there still old-fashioned list/servs out there?

    • Reddit has a community for everything. The ones I follow are well-moderated, and because other “Redditors” up or down vote comments and content, trolling is impossible unless the point of the sub-reddit is actually trolling. In general, it is nerdier, anonymous, and I like it.

  2. Hmmm. Here’s an idea: When Aunt Nan and I were teenagers, a bunch of us discovered that we could actually talk (well, YELL!) over busy signals and have conversations with random people! Is that wild? We would hide in closets hoping our parents couldn’t hear us yelling. That was the first time I had ever heard of Bradenton. I was talking every night to a guy from Parks Hall (OU, remember) and he told me he was going to Bradenton for Spring Break instead of Daytona. I thought maybe that meant he was nerdy or something! Hee nee.

    • At the time he was on to something about Bradenton. I vaguely remember yelling over the busy signal or dial tone?

    • THE BEEP LINE! That was our kind of fun. I talked to some guy from Lincoln Hall but didn’t hide in the closet.

      Facebook has never enchanted me, being a sad replacement for Ajax Rock and Big Ring Circus.

      Let’s face it: It’s a time-waster. It lacks depth. It’s no place to share the real stuff of life. And worst of all, it monetizes close relationships as much as more superficial ones. Zuckerberg still insists it brings people together, but god help us if this is the future of togetherness.

      Can you even imagine what Peck would have had to say about it? Nope. Neither can I. It really is a cesspool. As soon as I save a few things I need, I’ll be following in Juancho’s footsteps.

  3. Do what you gotta do, man. I don’t really care what FB does with my personal information. I figure the mind suck of it is my fault. If this move reinvigorates BRC, I’ll be happy. I remember when a lot of the chatter was about riding bikes. A narrow topic and perhaps more the domain of the young, but I’m nostalgic for it nonetheless.

  4. It really came down to the difficulty and chore of maintaining a quality conversation on Facebook, because that is not what Facebook is into.

  5. I feel a vicarious satisfaction for you making the move! I SEE myself following suit, although the timing is not right just yet (or am I procrastinating?). You hold the mirror to my soul and allow me, without judgement to stay or go . . . May the beautiful ones who breathe LOVE follow you and add to your personal wisdom and beauty. I’m watching . . . learning! Thank you for showing me how to JUMP!

  6. Letters! Did not we used to sit down, open the minds eye, compose our thoughts and write a letter???

    Oh the joy of receiving one and doing the same thing in reverse!


    • Funny you mention letters. I have a close friend who still writes them, and it made me nostalgic, so I just ordered real stationery with envelopes to match. But then I’m older than you guys, being Juancho’s aunt.

  7. Hi Nancy! The other part of it is the brain commanding the hand to hold the pen…. form the letters…. to encode(?) the thought. There is beauty and art in good handwriting. My wife does it.

    BTW….. uncle Buzz has 70 trips around our star. Hahahaha


    • Definitely an art. My handwriting used to be almost artistic, but now it’s messy. Too much keyboarding has caught up with me. I’ve even gotten nostalgic for an old typewriter, the clackety-clack of the keys being a match for the pace of my thoughts.

      Love the “buzz.” 😉