un-implanting

October 25, 2010

i’ve noticed that a good portion of my time is spent on MetaFilter, AskMetafilter, and Facebook. while i do visit other sites, like Reddit and Lifehacker, with regularity, the first three have become almost become a borg-like implant into my social consciousness.

i don’t necessarily participate a lot, either. i am definitely a lurker. i post occasionally the sites, i spend most of time just poking around. i’m not quite sure what i’m hoping to find, snuffling around in the recesses of the sites. i haven’t seen the majority of people i’m friends with on Facebook in almost 15 years. i’ve never met anyone IRL from MetaFilter.

but i am voyeur, i like to know what other people are doing, if only to judge my own humanity against theirs, to figure out if i’m some variation of “normal”.

so i’ve decided to take a break. i’m not logging into Facebook to post a farewell message. i made sure that my contact info was updated and that emails from within Facebook are sent to my Gmail account. i’m not actively trying to avoid anyone, but i’m not really in active contact with anyone on there as it is. i’m contemplating posting that i updated this blog, but that seems like i’m only posting a “farewell to facebook but not really” message and that’s pretentious. if people want to get in touch with me, they can. my info is there.

AskMetafilter is a lovely place, full of every question you wish you could ask your wise aunt or grandma, plus all the questions you would never ask anyone. excepting strangers on the internet. i found that i was constantly heading to AskMe and searching earnestly, desperately, through the questions, hoping to find an answer that would resonate with me and resolve my internal dissonance. so i’ve been slowly not really going as much. not reading it on the weekends on my phone compulsively. not spending hours at work trawling through the backwash of tags and archives with increasingly bizarre keyword combinations, hoping to find a dowsing rod of text to ferret out the meaning of my life.

i’m pretty sure my life is meant to be filled with mixed metaphors, hyperbole, and an excess of adjectives.

so…i haven’t gone to Metafilter once today. i stopped by AskMe earlier and rolled through the new posts, read a couple, and was out of there in under 15 minutes.

i’ve decided to tweet instead. if i want to say something short and sweet that maybe i want to remember later, i’ll tweet or post on this blog. but i have never found myself digging through twitter feeds for answers. twitter for me is less social, less inundating, than the other sites i’ve frequented. i get little updates from Glenn Greenewald, Center for Investigative Reporting, NPR – i can keep on top of the news that way.

i’m already feeling more attached to this world even though my migration from my favorite sites began last week. maybe it would be different if i saw the people from Facebook and Meta/AskMetafilter in real life, maybe it wouldn’t seem like all my friends are digital and only there when i sign on, lurking in the shadows like an awkward kid at a junior high school dance, hoping to be noticed and ignored at the same time for fear of ridicule or fake politeness.

anyways, here’s to a more engaged internet experience for me – less mucking about the dark swamp, more hiking on the ridgeline and taking in the sites.