5.25.2014

Looks Good On Paper

We are becoming too wrapped up in the own importance of our tech.

There. I've said it. You can quote me on it.  For those that have known me for any length of time, you may be smiling at the above statement. Especially if you know of my love for all things shiny and gadgety.

But lately I've been doing some re-assessing. I wouldn't call it a mid-life crisis. In the first place, I plan on living well past 84, so this is not my mid-life. Secondly--it's not a crisis as much as it is an awakening.

Some of my friends see it as a crisis.

They can't understand how I can walk away from Facebook. Or how I can be completely content to take one pic with my phone and 20 pix with my instant camera...and NOT post them online.  The funny thing is, I've been on Facebook (off and on) since 2008. Six years. I would consider myself an early embracer of it. Some of the same people who look at me sideways when I say I've walked away from it are the ones who gave me the very same looks six years ago when I tried to explain to them what  Facebook was and why it mattered in their lives. In retrospect, I wish I had not dove so deep in the rabbit hole. Sure. It let me connect with some long lost friends. But I also lost friends. I lost hours...days...weeks of my life in that online world. And it wasn't much of a boon to my marriage, truth be told.

But it cracks me up. Friends, trust me...when I say I've deactivated my Facebook account and am reducing my online footprint you should congratulate me.

I'm getting my life back.

And I know that might not make sense.  But maybe this next sentence will help you understand where I'm coming from.

I have an addictive personality--Facebook was my latest addiction.

Get it? Addiction.

Would you tell an alcoholic that one beer every now and then isn't so bad? No. Because you know that to the alcoholic it's not just one beer. And that addiction permeates all areas of his life.  Would you tell him that he needs to go to the bar every now and then to keep in touch with his family and friends? No. You would support him. And you would recognize that there are alternatives for staying in touch. And you certainly wouldn't respond in such a way that called in to question his decision not to drink.

So, why is it then when someone says they are deactivating their Facebook account, the first thing anyone says is "Why on earth would you want to do THAT?!?"  I'm gonna break it down (just to get it off my chest--not that I think the people who need to read this actually will).

  • I am a Facebook addict.
  • I spent WAY too much time on there.
  • It was taking me away from my life, my friends, my family, and affecting performance at work (past jobs and starting to creep in to this one--which I did NOT want).
  • I was not happy with the quality of my real-life relationships.
  • Facebook collects WAY too much data about us. And it's not good (more on that in another rant...er..post)

And there...I think the Facebook horse is dead (it just re-surfaced in my mind because after de-activating my account, I had to temporarily re-activate it tonight in order to change my Spotify subscription).


On to another retro-trend in my life...the Instant Camera.

I was with a friend at the Columbus Zoo yesterday and they could simply not understand why I preferred to take pictures with the instant camera.

"They look like the old Polaroids? They're not Hi-Def or digital or anything?!?"

Nope. Not hi-def. Not digital. Film. Tiny prints that I put in a book when I get home.

"But you can't post them online."  And this came up Friday night when I was at Fourth Friday. Another friend told me..."But Todd...people LIKE  seeing your photos....you NEED to share them with people."  I looked at him and handed him a photo album of my trip to Put In Bay.

"What's this?"

I said, "It's me...sharing my photos with you."

And he looked through them. Spending as much time as he would have on Facebook. And he told me which shots he liked.   And then we went on with our conversation...actually socializing.

That's really what this shift in my life is about, friends. It's about me getting my life back. And it's long over due. I've gotten almost 200 pix in 3 albums with the instant camera. Email me. Text me. Call me. Let's get together and hang out.

I'll share my pix with you :-)

Peace Out
-A.T.

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