[Repost] I am scared of social media.

I have a week and a few days left of my fall semester. In effort to end the semester right, I’m taking the weekend off from blogging. I hope you enjoy this repost, which originally appeared on the blog in Nov., 2010.:

For three weeks, I have lived entirely sans social media. For four years, I have trash talked social media. But for the first time ever, I am a little bit scared of it.

Earlier this week, a friend of mine forwarded me an article called Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction. The story, from the New York Times, is both fascinating and horrifying. In it, a 17-year-old kid said the following:

“Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway.”

For years, I’ve looked for words to express that very sentiment. I’ve never quite pulled it off, nor could I say it any better than he did. Let’s face it: he’s right. But that somebody who uses and loves Facebook is the one who said it is incredibly alarming.

When a way exists to put forth zero effort and come away gratified anyway, why would the general public put forth effort? The existence of that ability lowers every bar. It conditions us to settle, and to feel satisfied after settling. It’s like Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, told the whole world that a dollar bill is as good as a hundred, and the whole world believed him. So not only does the whole world feel good about having a dollar, but it stops wanting more, stops aiming for more and forgets the value in having anything more. The industry, which also capitalizes on our culture’s unfortunate obsession with convenience, robs us of depth, effort and patience. It makes them obsolete.

What might that mean for the relationships and communication skills and work ethics of the future?

That’s the scary part.

That’s the part that says “screw you, pal!” to almost everything I have ever valued.

Click here to read the story from the New York Times.

So I have a Facebook fan page…

It’s true.

I, of all people, now have a Facebook fan page (not to be confused with a profile! I don’t have one of those.).

Things are kind of crazy in a good way lately, as is what happens (apparently) when a person writes about sex a lot. According to the pros I have consulted (code for: the people whose careers look eerily a lot like my dream job), a fan page is a necessary next step.

Please know everything I believe about using Facebook to socialize still stands, and I wholeheartedly will commend you for it if instead of liking my page, you delete your Facebook profile. (Seriously.)

But if you’re gonna be on there anyway…

Click here if you’d like to like me.

[Insert grateful e-hug here.]

Social Media: The Beginning and the End.

Happy anniversary to me!

Today, I celebrated my second anniversary as a person who isn’t on Facebook. It was magical — dancing, flowers, chocolate covered smartphones. You name it.

All right, actually — I woke up, went to work, had a bagel. But when I thought of it, I read THIS, the first Facebook story of mine to be published. I wrote it in 2005, a) before I was good at writing and b) because I — adorably — thought this new “server” called “thefacebook” (Yes, kids, it was called that.) was fascinating. Little did I know “fascinated” would morph over time into “passionately against” and play a giant role in my life and career. Anyway, once again — seven years later — my apologies to Bobby Lewis (That’ll only make sense, friends, after you read what I wrote for the Oracle.).

But back to my day — I quietly reflected on what I really can’t believe: it has been two years.

Two years since, when I tried to quit, Facebook said this:

I wonder if they DO miss me.

Sneaky, sneaky — but, “Sorry, Facebook,” I said. “Olivia, Manny, Olivia, Kim and Laurel will have to suck it up.” I pressed on toward deactivation.

Obvs, “I spend too much time using Facebook.” So I selected it. Which I figured would finish the process. Only, I was wrong.

“I know me better than you do, FB. It’ll never work.” -Me.

Needless to say, I had to know what other ploys to coerce a person into not quitting helpful hints Facebook planned to offer. So, I tried a couple other selections:


Silly Facebook.

Unconvinced, I continued toward deactivation. One step remained:

What you can’t see under the security check is something like
“I’ve been trash talking social media for years. It’s time to
practice what I preach.”

I just had to type “opposition uncled,” and it would be finished. I would have no Facebook account.

And so…

Please don’t email adawg85@hotmail.com. I don’t remember the password.

I did it.

I really did it.

And I really don’t miss Facebook.