Anti-Social Media

I’ve deactivated my Facebook account. That is, I haven’t erased it, because I want to make sure I have all my pictures (I think I do). It’s a time-sink, a freak magnet, and a PR nightmare all in one. I’m one of those who used FB as others use Twitter. That, no doubt, had much to do with the dwindling interactions and perhaps more than a few dropped “friends.” Getting off the Crackbook is, for me, a relief.

As part of the larger move toward taking back my substantive reading and writing time, I’m also downsizing. I am a bibliophile and a believer in buying codex books. I also have invested an enormous amount of money in supplementing my reading as part of my higher education. As I approach the end of the Ph.D., I now know for sure which books I could do without on a desert island. I hope to sell many of these very soon via amazon.com (look for “nestegg”).

No, I am not withdrawing and selling everything I own as a sign of BP-induced despondency. However, I am simplifying my life, in all ways, largely as the result of Katrina and the oil spill. Humans have limited time and brainspace. Through a series of decisions, I am moving forward into the life I actually want to live. Wasting time is no longer an option.

The truth is, I get far more pleasure out of watching the birds, sailing and diving, reading great literature, cooking, shooting photos, traveling, teaching my students, exercising, and *analog* writing than I get out of updating, commenting, tweeting, e-mail-checking, out-opting, and upgrading. My very best online friends are people with whom I share both these interests AND offline interaction, however occasionally. I don’t really care about quotidian acquaintances with people who aren’t really friends or who have no interest in my work as a writer.

Let’s be honest: neither should you.

If you read this blog, you know I don’t update it compulsively. I’m not actively trying to “monetize” every idea or reaction that flits across my synapses. I take the long view–the really long view–in hopes of writing something that others find worth reading. The ground rule of Every Poet Needs A Patio is that everything, everything here is a first draft. “First draft” is not “best draft.” Shaping, cutting, rethinking…that’s what real writing demands. My online life is but a sandbox, a playpen, a work in progress.

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