Friday, May 13, 2011

Anti-Social Network Break

If you've read my earlier Blog posts, you know that my first Social network experience was with Yelp. I was Goggling for a restaurant, and came across Yelp. Being bored, I really got into it, and started participating in the "Talk" section. Because of my irreverent humor, be it witty, sarcastic, obnoxious, or down right not funny, people liked me. It wasn't until some stalking issues came up that I decided that enough was enough, so I deleted my account and eventually joined Facebook. I never did find the restaurant I was looking for.

On Facebook, most of my immediate friends were from Yelp. Eventually, IRL (In Real Life) friends started finding me. Some of my friends have never seen this side of me. Only my really close friends and co-workers have been subjected to my brand of "humor." No, I am not unique in this, as many others have similar tastes as I do. But, most people thought of me as the quiet, serious guy, who exhibited maybe a little bit too much self-control. A nurse friend told me, "You're really funny. I never knew that about you."

I blame my humor on many things. My upbringing amongst many different cultures, my best friend Ernest, and being a Firefighter. Firefighters, Police Officers, as well as people in the Medical industry, develop a different type of humor. Usually referred to as "Gallows" humor, gallows humor can be thought of as extremely insensitive to the average person. But it is used as a coping mechanism, to not let the drama of real life "get" to people who are always in stressful situations.

Yelp helped me learn to express myself, and vent any feelings I had in a way that was more articulate. Most of the time I kept everything to myself, letting it build up inside of me. I'm thankful that I did have this experience to exercise my mind, and to learn how to express myself in a more positive way. I probably wouldn't be writing a Blog if I hadn't found Yelp.

After joining Facebook, I kept up my brand of humor, making salacious comments on people's pages. I even used self-deprecating humor. Really, you shouldn't make fun of anyone if you can't make fun of yourself.

However, being online, you can never judge another person's reaction to what you write, or show what emotion you yourself are expressing. Body language is what's missing from ALL online communications. Eventually, I was blocked and/or de-friended by some people. Oh well, I guess that's life.

One downside to this, was that I was speaking almost anything that was on my mind. Things that I should have kept to myself. Not things that were "TMI," just those thoughts that you think about when you're over analyzing the world and everything that goes with it. You know, when you're writing messages to other people, and you just read too much into something and then go off into your own world, and then people think you're crazy? No? It's never happened to you? Um, er, me neither.... *embarrassed* Well, at least I was truthful....

Anyway, one of my last Facebook posts was "180 days." I won't go into it too much, but one of the pieces to this puzzle of "180 days," is self-improvement. And one way that I must improve is to be better in my real life relationships. In my opinion, I have been closing myself off to my co-workers and some friends by burying myself in this computer. I have had some issues with my new co-workers and had decided to ignore these people and I spent more time online. I have even neglected my close friends by not calling them or trying to set up things to do.

I have also had a lot of work that has been piling up for the last two years. Projects around my rental unit, and my own home. I even promised to repair and repaint parts of a ceiling at a friend's house. But, instead, I spent my extra minutes on Facebook.

The projects at my rental unit and friend's house have not been interrupted by my Facebook addiction, but it has interfered with the projects that needed to be done around my own house.

So my last Facebook post was about how I would take care of these projects and be back in a month or two. I asked that any communication with me be made through E-mail or by telephone. A friend asked that since I would check my E-mails at night, why couldn't I just log on to Facebook only at night?

I guess I made up my mind by then. There was a certain situation where I was not getting "positive feedback," and it seemed that I was just going in circles, again. So with that, nothing was holding me there.

I asked a friend to take over my Facebook account. This way, there would be no way I could access my account. Due to the Privacy settings I have for my Facebook, I can't even see my page. I've been off Facebook for 4 days, and I have absolutely NO clue what's going on in that "world."

I do get bored at night, during that period after dinner and before I go to sleep, as I no longer watch much television. But even before I left Facebook, I started jogging again. So that's what I'm doing now, after dinner. That's another piece of "180 days," getting in better shape.

Now, I hope to be more involved with real people, my friends and co-workers. And if one or more of my Facebook friends wants to meet and do something, then that would be great. It's no longer about Facebook time, it's about face-to-face time.

As of now, I don't want to go back to my old ways on Facebook. I'm hoping that the time off will help me break my addiction. I'll leave the account "active," but I don't want to be as active as I was. For those of you on my Facebook that may read this, Yes, I CAN do it. I can be stubborn at times when it's something important, and I have a little bit too much self-control.

No, this isn't goodbye. It's just a way of forcing me to be more involved in the real world, instead of just in cyberspace.

Anyway, I hope I see you soon, because I'll miss your face, but not your Facebook.

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