Report From a Facebookless* Life

You might know that I recently quit Facebook. It was easy, from a technical perspective (much easier than quitting Amazon, which was a genuine dystopian nightmare.) I’m glad Facebook has bothered to design and maintain a user/d-friendly process to not being a user/d anymore.**

Like many folx, I’ve been re-evaluating my relationship to social media, and the online world in general. It’s addictive, it takes up quite a lot of time, it’s literally selling my attention, all of that. You know the arguments. (And if you don’t, um…google it.)

I kind of miss Facebook. But I’m glad to have broken its power over my online time and my emotions.

I remain active on Twitter and Instagram. I am conflicted about this, of course, because all of the above considerations are still true. And there’s this: social media highlights a specific and highly curated version of me, one to which I give a great deal of my limited attention. The yawning gap between those statements has its own gravity these days.

I’m glad to be choosing my continued allegiance, at least. I genuinely enjoy the interactions, and the imaginative expansion, available on Twitter. And much as I want to resist the instant gratification inherent in the name, I absolutely love my daily mainlining of landscapes and cats and friends’ beautiful babies on Instagram. None of this wonderful stuff can be tidily untangled from its delivery medium.

Part of the choosing has been a more intentional approach to following. I’ve tried to both mitigate and enrich the effects of both sites, by placing a heavy emphasis on accounts that remind me to do the very things neither Twitter nor Instagram wants me to do. Read slowly. Hold silence. Take naps. Think deeply. Make weird creative connections. Get offline.***

If you’re similarly inclined, three recommendations and a bonus for your Instagram and/or Twitter time:

The Tenderness Project — “Tender: to care, to be sensitive, to tend, to exchange.”
Very weird. Very creative. Very beautiful. Oh my goodness, go read the one about the bees.
Twitter @tendernessproj
Instagram @TheTendernessProject

The Nap Ministry — “Rest is a form of resistance.”
Good for de-programming your attitudes toward rest, laziness, work, and productivity. Will literally remind you to take a dang nap when you need one. I don’t know who needs to hear this but: naps are
a) not a crime, and
b) a very positive, high-return form of magic spell.
Twitter @TheNapMinistry
Instagram @TheNapMinistry

Emergence Magazine — “Ecology, Culture, and Spirituality.”
Good for learning and pondering inner/outer worlds, and remarkable among publications for its almost uniformly soothing social media presence.**** There’s a “podcast,” which is mostly authors reading their own deep and exploratory, often very beautiful essays and investigative work. Also sometimes fascinating interviews.
Twitter @emergence_zine
Instagram @emergencemagazine

Bonus: The Florilegia Project — “Poetry of the sparkling phrase.”
Okay, this one is a little bit cheating, because it’s my project. I do think it’s good for weird creative connections. And I do, in fact, follow it.
Twitter @SparklingPhrase
Instagram @TheFlorilegiaProject

This hyper-curation is certainly a band-aid. My husband would remind me here that band-aids are extremely useful: they put a layer between you and your pains and irritations. They’re a visible sign of a desire and intention to facilitate healing.


-Chloe Leisure, writing at The Tenderness Project

*Technically correct is a slightly awkward kind of correct.

**If you too want to quit Facebook, don’t forget to download all those years of pictures first. It’s easy. Hit me up if you want help.

*** Is that a form of using the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house? Maybe.

****Not to say that the content is entirely, or even mostly, soothing. Fair warning.

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