I’ve been struggling lately. I’m constantly thinking about things I want to write, but I’ve lost my mojo. I have lost that burning need to put words down on paper. In fact, I’ve lost that need to say things at all. To anyone. To facebook. To people I have always wanted to talk to in times like this – my friends, enemies, and co-conspirators. I just feel like shutting my mouth.
This, above all else, feels wrong. This, my friends, is not who I am. Or is it? I don’t even know. To say I’m feeling a bit lost is an understatement. I think in my household all souls present are going through small bouts of lostness and trying to find the best ways to fend them off. For me, for now, my best hope for fighting the onslaught is to do one of the posts I have done so well in my past blogging lives – a simple, open-ended, directionless brain dump to the interwebs.
Commencing my brain dump now.
For those who take interest in such things, I deactivated my facebook account. Though, if you take a keen enough interest, you may already know this. If you’re a close friend, you may notice your number of photos has dropped precipitously and I apologize for that. You can contact me with any photo requests and I’ll dig them out of my archives.
To say it is liberating to leave Facebook is to lie. It is much more than that. It is absolutely mind-alteringly wonderful. Facebook had become very demanding of my time. I needed to make a clean break. To get out. It’s nothing personal, Facebook. It’s just a thing that I’m going through on my own and I need some time and space with my thoughts. Without you.
To quit Facebook, when it seems like one of the few tangible ways of connecting to your far-away home and friends is a bit tough. But, honestly, it was just time. Too many game requests and baby photos and neurotic checking of news feeds that showed me memes I thought were idiotic. ( Well, except for that one about the otters holding hands—that was pretty adorable.) But, moving on!
Pinterest, you’re next. That site is brainwashing the minds of American women.
I have some pretty strong feelings about where social networking is taking us. As an early adopter of most of these sites, I have a long and complicated history with social networking. Mostly it began with curiosity and ended with deep internal conflicts and existential questions about what I am doing with my life. I think that is probably a bit like how drug addicts might feel. I know I am not alone. I think we all know the draw of facebook, and we all now know its corresponding pitfalls. Facebook is a great way to stay connected to people and find out news from your social networks. But, the vast majority of that information is entirely superfluous – and therefore a distraction. With time and with a increasingly strong desire to have real and meaningful connections in my life, I have realized facebook needed to go.
Along those lines, I have a growing internal conflict about the crafty, food, art website Pinterest. Pinterest is possibly the more sinister of the two in my mind and I haven’t even gotten in too deep. Pinterest, while wonderful in theory, has begun to represent (to me) a vast, heteronormative, stereotype-solidifying, consumption-driven, pit of female distraction from real life. (Men use the site too, just not in droves like women.)
It’s no wonder we see the steamrolling of women’s rights in the U.S., with all the young, educated women so complacent in the notion of their unimpeachable equality that they can devote hours to trolling websites for the perfect coral socks for the baby they don’t yet have, while looking for indulgent recipes to try at home in their soon-to-be redesigned kitchen, while wearing the cutest apron imaginable.
Pinterest, to me, embodies materialism at its most insidious. No only does it set up all kinds of strange normalizing scenarios (Should I have a board of Thinspiration quotes?? Do I need to lose weight? Should I be making this cheesy appetizer for my next party? Should I be throwing a party? Should I redecorate my house before the party?) it also is simply a fantastic waste of time and mental energy.
It’s a bit like an online version of when I walk into a Anthropologie store. I don’t want to pay their ridiculous prices to some white Republican dude who wants to use that money to donate to other white Republican politician dudes who are slowly conspiring to take away my rights. No. I go into Anthropologie and I smell the candles and look at the pretty clothes and pillows and artful displays. I take detailed mental notes, and then I go to a thrift store and commence getting creative. Pinterest is like that idea, on steroids, in your home, on your computer at all times of the day calling to you to forget the things that are bothering you and look at pretty pictures of home gardening. You don’t want anything to do with that mess unless you have the willpower of Gandhi.
That being said, I’m still on it. I’m a hypocrite. But I am at least aware of the depth of my vice and that’s the first step.