fresh like snow

Well, hello! Welcome to my fresh start. It feels great to be writing again.

I said good-bye to Facebook three weeks ago and haven’t looked back. No offense intended, but it was a lot easier than I thought it might be to ditch a few hundred “friends”. Some have asked me why I deactivated. It’s complicated. I was conflicted. And I thought about it a long time. (Months, in fact.)

Although I’ve loved reconnecting with long-lost friends and keeping up-to-date with my family and their family, quitting was relatively easy when I stopped to consider the cost. It came down to three things:

  1. Increasing irritation. Facebook has become massively mundane. As memoirist Marion Roach-Smith reminds us, “Just because it happened to you doesn’t make it interesting.” Indeed. Yet Facebook illuminates and even encourages the self-absorbed. This drives me to the point of distraction. Worse, I fear I am becoming one of them?
  2. Continual exasperation. Facebook is built upon an economy of likes and shares that create dysfunctional dynamics. I’ve never cared much about being liked so, why now? And try as I might to post thoughtfully and add value, it seems I’m a mere drop in an ocean of meaningless. Meanwhile, I’m dismayed that I sometimes slip into snarky or fall to flip. That’s not the me I want to be, especially so publicly.
  3. Most importantly, resentfulness. Facebook is infamous for disregarding data privacy. Big data is a big deal — in this case, a $5b IPO.* Astounding. We clearly don’t understand the value of our data. And I am increasingly uneasy about the implications. No, it is not just Facebook. But I’m also not going to be Zuck’s chump.

So in the balance, my Facebook scales tipped the wrong way: too much to-do about nothing. Life is too short and I’d rather be writing!

It’s winter in the North Country and we’re socked in with a storm, a bit unexpectedly. A heavy blanket of snow has softened the stark landscape, brown and barren now cleanly covered in beautiful blue-gray-white. When the sun returns it will be glorious! Cheers to new beginnings, in any season.

~René Morley

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