Some weeks ago I made a conscious decision to not use Facebook, to cancel my sky subscription and to lead by example. Every time I look up I see my family lost in another world, one that has endless possibilities for good and bad, endless information both truth and supposition, and absolutely mind numbing games that keep idle thumbs busy and tapping fingers tapping so that the brain doesn’t need to think. My son can’t actually string a sentence together when he’s online.
I made my stand. Sky tv were convinced I was having an affair, ‘you’ve obviously enjoyed watching an extensive package so you must be planning to watch with another provider’. I calmly told them I was liberating my mind. I don’t need to know what’s happening in the land of sky tv, besides I think their days are numbered. We don’t need satellite tv anymore, the internet does it all and better.
I don’t miss it, but the tv isn’t on any less when the whole family are gathered, no one can stand to hear each other breathing or munching on apples, we need tolerance lessons once our liberation is complete.
I was using my phone like an extension of myself, my right hand no longer has slender digits, but a sleak oblong light box that does all of my thinking and speaking for me. I can ask it anything and it will deliver. What shall I do with this whole chicken as my oven has broken? Slow cooker my adaptation said. Why does my dog eat grass? He’s bored and likes it said the voice that never speaks. What shall I do while the baby has me pinned to the sofa feeding? Trawl through the lives of those that are collectively known as ‘friends’ and sit in judgment, allow myself to be pulled into arguments that were never mine to have, be rilled by small minds that are miraculously given a global platform and match the pretty colours to try and get my name in lights.
I tried to explain to my family why I was getting so upset with their internet usage. It should be a tool not a necessity, but I was as hooked as they were. The difference was I tried to justify my usage. I’m writing. I’m looking at pictures for the business. I’m networking. I’m shopping for the family. I’m tired. I’m addicted.
I deleted everything that was leisure related. Candy crush, bejewelled, Facebook, instagram, pintrest all gone. I left the blogs as they are an exceptionally positive use of time.
I sat in my ivory tower with a sense of smugness. My addiction was beaten. I told everyone what I’d done. My Facebook profile has a large rant on the about me section, photos will be uploaded so family can see the progress of the cherubs but I won’t be able to see or respond to their comments and messenger will stay as this was never about forced isolation. No one has read it. My friends haven’t even noticed my departure. One woman’s stand against the hypocrisy of an entire subculture is never going to make a noise, not even the smallest of ripples, but for me it’s the right thing to do.
I can’t be a part of something that condones racial hatred just because the tick boxes on a complaint don’t allow the explanation of why and how a page is damaging, yet a picture of a breastfeeding baby can cause an entire support group to be wiped off for pornography. These aren’t teething problems, it’s a deep running decay that we as users allow and consent to. They’re the things we don’t see, but the very ethos of what is offensive or not is corrupt, the black and the white has no shades of grey and absolutely no red.
Shame on you Facebook. We need you as we are all so addicted to the feeling of unity, to the information we think you allow us to access, the safe place to wind down and catch up after a busy day, the place to make us laugh at ourselves as well as each other, and the place that harbours bullying as an acceptable behaviour, graphic images as freedom of expression, racism as patriotism and probably a million other things that I don’t even realise. Oh, yes that’s right, playing with our emotions to see if you can actually manipulate what we post. Brilliant.
That’s enough of that. I have no right to rant, my account still exists. I’m scared to lose touch with the people it’s taken me years to find again. I’m scared of missing something in case a friend wants to chat. I’m scared of being judged. One day I won’t be, and I’ll be all Boudica leading the revolution with my sword held high demanding the release of our free thought, swearing vengeance on all rubbed out thumb prints, declaring the dawning of the new age. I shall call it liberation. You will all hate me.
The revolution won’t happen for a while yet. I got so lonely being the only one without a tapper in my hand that somehow candy crush found its way back into my life.
I still maintain work is a justified use of said tapper. If I can hang on a while longer my brain will have returned to its normal functional capacity and I’ll be able to write again. The end of the post addiction depression is in site. My example hasn’t worked though, they’re all still addicted. Badly.
Posted with Stone Power