THE BLOG
10/08/2014 05:42 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

How Facebook Made Me Real: One Woman's Vision Quest

A few days ago, I decided to take a Facebook sabbatical. Of one day. Twenty-four hours. Not one status update. Not one peek at my newsfeed. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Like an online Fitzcarraldo, I had to prove it could be done.

The next day, after I made my coffee and then casually mosied over to my computer to check out what I had missed, boy, was I surprised to see that I had missed absolutely nothing. Nada. Zip.

I hadn't posted anything the day before, so I had no notifications, no comments, no messages - it was like I wasn't even missed - as if I had never happened! If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there - would anybody comment? What am I, Schrödinger's cat?

Well. Let me tell you it wasn't difficult to decide to skip Facebook for another twenty-four hours. No comments? No messages? No problem. No problemo.

Wait - I mean, I could go another 24 hours without posting but - could I also go without looking at the newsfeed? No. I could not. So I amended my experiment. Look, don't touch. Like holding a cigarette but not smoking it.

Perhaps it was this temptation, this mixed message that brought me The Insights. I do not know. It's all kind of hazy, like going on a vision quest to find my spirit animal without, like, the huarasca and stuff.

Anyway, somehow I was inspired to keep a journal of what I wanted to post and share but did not. It's kind of hard to read now, the writing is pretty - well I think I was putting a lot of pressure on the pen - but it was on this harrowing journey of self-discovery that I found a pattern, if you will. A grand design of my behavior - of my urges - of my basest self. This is me on Facebook.

In the Before Times -

  • If it happened to me and had ANY entertainment value, good, bad or otherwise, I had to share it. Otherwise, it may not have actually happened. My life is an echo chamber.
  • If I wanted your attention - any attention - your sympathy, your validation, your smiley face - I'd share something to get it. And I'd take it. I wanted it. I was bored.
  • I AM HAPPY LOOK AT ME! (If this spirit journey was a pie chart, this would make up approximately 50 percent of the pie).
  • If I liked this article or video, if it was clever, cool, subversive or hilarious but in a very intellectual way, I'd share it. This way you think that I am also clever, cool, subversive or hilarious (but in a very intellectual way). I AM the status update. Kind of like that movie Her.
  • If I was thinking this crazy thing that is kind of general yet specific and odd and I want to know if anybody else, like, thought about these things, I'd share it. Kind of like my own personal dorm room at midnight scenario.
  • If I thought or said something to myself and I thought - oh - that's particularly funny, you clever monkey - I'd share it. There's really nothing else to do with these kind of thoughts, is there? But they happened, right? Why am I talking to myself?

Anyway, it's been five days now. Honestly, it's been a real blow to my ego to have to write down in the journal that nobody noticed that I wasn't posting. But it's good, right, because if your ego does not get smacked down on a spiritual journey, it's not spiritual - hello. Anyway, what I mean is, there was no reaction to my absence. Ha ha those Facebook suckers - if they only knew how HAPPY I have been and how many FUNNY things I have seen and experienced. Oh man.

Probably for awhile, I'll just check my newsfeed but not post or share, just to see if reality collapses or anything. I'll read the newsfeed like a mildly interesting newsletter. For instance, that video of the kangaroos kicking the shit out of each in the middle of the street? Yeah, I saw that. I laughed. I don't need to know whether anybody else thought it was funny because that shit was hilarious.

I think the thing that I have really learned? My real take away from this? Is that when stuff happens to me - I think it is really happening anyway. It's like the God particle or something.

You don't really need to point out the fact, Judgy McJudgerson, that if you are reading this, it's probably because I shared it on Facebook. I was drinking a glass of wine okay? It's a habit, you know? Wine? Facebook? Ha ha that's funny - I have said several hilarious things to myself today.

I should post that. Just to make sure this is happening. This is happening, right?