I have started Lord knows how many blogs in the past and never wound up getting more than a handful of entries posted before becoming discouraged or getting permanently sidetracked. As they say, however, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. So here we go.
I am optimistic about my chances of successfully maintaining this blog, mainly because I have committed myself to quitting Facebook on May 31. Without my morning, afternoon, evening and in between visits to the site, I suspect I will have more time to devote to writing and other long forgotten hobbies. But that said, even now, two weeks before I must say goodbye to my much loathed distraction, I find myself pining for my feed and all of the dull, meaningless and overwhelmingly transparent status updates of needy "friends" and colleagues. I think I am going to miss the illusion of somehow thinking that I'm involved in other peoples lives just because I follow them on Facebook. Perhaps what I am going to miss even more is the security provided my the inverse illusion. There is comfort in knowing that other people, some of whom I care for and many of whom I do not, are taking the same hollow interest in my life. Perhaps by maintaining this blog and committing more effort to actually letting people know the details of what's going on in my world, so many miles away from them, I will be able to replace that emotionless, empty comfort of Facebook with something more genuine and meaningful that will be capable of providing the satisfaction that Facebook has always lacked.
This all hinges, of course, on convincing family and friends (many of whom will now be questioning which of the above categories of being cared for that they fall into) to follow me on Blogger. That is the most important thing, hands down. The one thing with which I can credit Facebook is putting me in contact with many members of my extended family. I am elated to have started getting to know my many cousins with whom I have never had any sort of relationship and all of whom I have met no more than two or three times in my life. I am not a person who makes friends easily and I suffer from the same disinterest and barefaced apathy for socializing as both my parents, but I do still care for people. More than that, I still have the same need as everyone else to feel cared for by those whose friendships and family connections I treasure.
A couple of weeks ago, before I decided to get my own butt off Facebook, my Mom came to the conclusion that she was spending far too much time on the site as well. She took much more dramatic action than I and proceeded to cancel her internet connection. She decided that she wanted to go back to her old life of amusing herself in her own garden rather than on Farmville. I applauded her, but in the end, her decision to leave Facebook and the internet had no bearing on my own decision to do the same. My reasons for leaving Facebook are solely related to Facebook's blatant disregard for the privacy of its users. Having said that, however, when I discovered that my Mom was no longer going to be following my status updates and harassing me to post photos, a little part of me died inside; I felt a little less cared for. How ridiculous is that?
I survived before Facebook and I know I will continue to survive, and likely flourish, in a post-Facebook life. I will strive to continue caring for the budding relationships I have begun to cultivate with my cousins and other family members, and continue to protect, support and maintain all of my long standing friendships with those individuals for whom I care most deeply. I'm starting to feel pretty good about this whole quitting Facebook thing!!
For those of you who have taken the time to read, thank you. It would be great if you bookmark me and keep checking back. Vedran and I are going to Sarajevo this weekend. So hopefully when we come back I will have some interesting things to share and undoubtedly many photos too.