My Epic Mission To Sort My Life Out Part Two: A Facebook Holiday

At some point in my life, I joined Facebook. I can’t remember exactly when or precisely why, but I chose a photo, put together a profile and became part of the social network. Before this, I’d been on MySpace – which I think everyone had but no-one ever admits it now – and had  been a member of a Sci-Fi forum and a surprisingly incestuous dating site. I don’t think I used Facebook that much for the first few months. I did post statuses, in that third person way people used to use, and the occasional photo. But the thought of using it to tag where I was eating, show off about my achievements or link into other sites didn’t really occur to me.

Now, of course, it’s all different. Checking Facebook on my phone is what I do before getting out of bed as part of connecting with the waking world. It’s where I find out what half of my friends are up to. It’s also home to a page I created for my digital art. And everything is linked to it: Twitter, Flikr, Tumlbr if I can ever be bothered to use it, my Kindle, this blog – they all automatically post links to my timeline. If I want to, I can even announce which half-forgotten 80’s film I’ve nostalgically bought on Amazon (it can’t be long before I give in and buy Masters of the Universe).

How it’s all going – how my online presence registers – can be sort-of assessed by likes. Well, maybe. Some people claim expert skill at manipulating whole swathes of the global population into following a person or a brand. Unfortunately, when you see a photo of someone’s apple turnover or equally well proportioned butt getting a huge amount of appreciation, it’s hard to imagine a Francis Underwood type figure has spent hours scheming it all up.

So this week, I decided to take a Facebook holiday until after Christmas. Not out of a sense of deep and abiding hatred for Mark Zuckerberg. Just to see what it’s like. After all, sometimes a single change in your routine frees the mind up to think differently.

A side effect of this is that, for a while, I’ll have no idea of how the content that feeds from other sites is being received. All this interconnectivity means that I can be on Facebook without actually being on Facebook. But when this blog appears on my timeline, I won’t know until the new year how well it’s gone down. And to be honest, that’s rather liberating. In fact, I’ve already noticed I’m using some of those other sites in different, more playful ways. It’s also made me think about making more adventurous use of the internet. It’s absolutely vast but I’ve been sticking to the same old places for a long time.

It’ll be interesting to go back to Facebook in January and see what I’ve missed. It also be interesting to see what I discover in the meantime.

Merry Christmas


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