Early last week I dropped out of Facebook. It got to me. All the clutter, the self-indulgence, the arguments, the banality. It was building but Paris blew it.
To be fair, I only went to it three times a day, unless, of course, as often happened, someone sent me a direct message, then I had to respond, didn’t I?
Did I? No, but I did, because I had the habit. Only one way to break a habit – break it.
I know this because I am an addict. My drugs of choice were hard booze, marijuana, and, in earlier times, anything around, including opium, hashish and a range of pills. But one day, in fact May the 13th, 1986, I woke up, went to an AA meeting, and never, ever, again, drank, smoked, dropped, shoved, any mood altering, mind blowing, substance.
Was it easy? Stopping it was, but staying stopped was a lot harder.
Back to the F book thing.
It started nice and easy, just a few friends, people who lived down the road a bit, people I saw often. It was just an addition really, an extension of an ongoing relationship. This is manageable, I thought.
Then it built and now it includes ex-girlfriends, people I haven’t seen since the 1960s, people I may never see again who I met while travelling, working, and dreaming.
And now it also includes important people, people I care for, love, think about most days, even dead people. Yes, the dead people are still there with their own page, forever, and I don’t mind that, because it helps me keep them alive in my memory.
But when you add it all up, it’s a universe and we are not designed to cope with so many people, so much news, so much information. And it's every day, relentless, pounding - Paris, Nigeria, Kenya, Lebanon, Burma, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Esperance .... on and on, all the places I've been, never been but dreamt of visiting and all the places I know people from or still in.
Overload. Too much of everything, including misery. Can only take so much. Thought I was managing it. Wasn’t. So I dropped out.
And while I was out I remembered it also brought joy, comedy and inspiration. There was, of course, more to it than I thought when I dropped.
That was last week. This is a new week. And in your modern world of the WWW, a week is not a long time in politics, or any other profession, or even the privacy of your own home.
I’ll go back now, slowly, ease in over the next couple of days. Need a bit more time to settle, refocus, remind myself what is important. Reflect.
You too. Remember to take time out, from everything.