Yesterday I was reading my current book when I came across a perfect quote for me as I cut back on social media: "I wondered then and still wondered what giants we miss by not looking." That's from "Virgil Wander", by Lief Enger, also the author of one of my all-time favorites, "Peace Like a River".
How many wonderful sights have I missed while I was spending time scrolling down the Facebook wall? Perhaps my creativity will come back now: I used to write a poem every day, just to see if I could, but that pretty much went by the wayside. And the books I've missed out on! For the last couple of months I have not been able to settle myself into reading any book all the way through, because no book was getting my full attention. I'd get pulled away by the lure of Facebook, wondering what I was missing; I might get a quarter of the way through a good book that had been on my hold list for two months, then have to stop because the library "only" gives me three weeks to finish a book. So if I wanted to read the rest of it, I had to put it on hold again and wait. In other words, I had lost interest in reading!
I suppose reading is another form of escapism, but it's much healthier than social media, and I'm learning new words and new ideas. We can learn things even from works of fiction. I'm really not putting down the Internet in general: the knowledge to be found online is endless and amazing! But social media is not the place to learn anything except maybe how unkind people can be. It is a great way to keep up with family. I understand why some of you think I should just enjoy it. That's like telling an alcoholic they really don't have a problem, though. If it's causing me to miss the joy of everyday life, if I'm so crippled by it that I can't finish a great book, then I'm wasting my life; as you know, I'm old enough to realize there can't be that many years left for me, and I want to actually be aware of things around me.
I've decided not to leave Facebook, though, because now when I go to check what's going on there, it's downright boring. When I stopped over-posting, there weren't many things for friends to comment on or "like"; obviously my posts were fueling my desire to see the reactions of others. Now when I scroll down, it's a yawner for the most part. My new rule for posting memes, pictures, or anything else is three a day. That doesn't include the times I might post a comment on someone else's status, but I find I'm doing much less of that anyhow. "The Donna Show" is over, with the exception of my blog. And from what I've seen, blogs aren't really of interest to most people any more. I heard a comedienne on TV say, "Are blogs even a thing any more? Weren't they just for people nobody would listen to, so they made a blog?"
What I love about my blog is that I can look up any event I've ever mentioned here and see when it happened. This is especially useful for finding out when surgeries took place, because doctors always want to know that stuff.
Who needs a shrink, when I have myself to figure my problems out?
I think I'm done congratulating myself for working on a real problem; isn't it tiresome when someone gives up a habit or goes on a diet or supposedly improves her life in some way and won't shut up about it? People on diets insist on telling everyone how few calories they've had, or how many pounds they've lost (but 90% of the time they put it back on when they get tired of dieting... been there, done that). People who successfully stop smoking suddenly wonder why EVERYBODY doesn't quit smoking.
So unless I backslide, this is the last you'll see about this. What? You don't trust yourself Donna?
Nope, I don't. I've had backsliding down to a fine art throughout my life, and it can happen at any time. But if I do, my readers will be the first to know.
Yours from the former producer of "the Donna Facebook Show", now leaving primetime. News at 11.