Thoughts on Facebook and Futility...
Sometimes I forget why I'm doing something in the middle of doing it.
It's like I start something with the vigor of a Viking, and at first, it is motivated purely. As the "thing" progresses (or digresses depending on your vantage point), autopilot starts, what we'll call, the second 8 hour shift of the work schedule. It carries me into the early hours of the night and passes the baton off at the stroke of midnight to what we'll call the "third shift" of a habit's continuum. It is in this third shift that autopilot is the most innocuous. It is dark during this shift, everything is upside down and backwards. You are fighting to stay awake but wanting to fall asleep. Whatever it was that you set out to do in the first shift, you have all but abandoned, leaving behind nothing but the shed snakeskin of thoughtless futility. Whatever the "purist" was inside of you, he isn't anymore. He's lost his voice and though he's shouting angrily, all you hear is the raspy sound of air being violently forced over tired vocal cords. It's tragic, really.
I watch this cycle run its course in my life quite often.
My Facebook is one great example of this.
When I met "Facebook" initially, I was drawn to her user-friendliness. This is important to a technically challenged web-surfer like myself. If the waves are too vicious, I will just sit on the shore and take pictures of all the other surfers. Facebook took my hand and helped me to see that it's really easy to connect with the whole world. All I had to do was give her my email, my birthday, a six-lettered password and "shizzam!", the rest would come to me. And it did. All I needed to do was Accept or Ignore for days on end. Oh, occasionally I would stalk an old friend and ask to be added to their plethora of friends, but usually I just sat back and let the Facebook Fairies do their thing.
She continued to dazzle me with her simple ways. We did have a couple rough patches early in our relationship when she went off and got a facelift. Go figure...facebook getting a facelift! I guess there is a lot of competition out there these days, so I don't blame her. It didn't take long to get used to the cosmetic changes and before long, we were hitting on all cylinders once again. I haven't known her for very long, but just the other day I caught myself in the middle of something that didn't seem right.
Have you ever caught yourself doing something that felt weird even though the day before it felt perfectly fine? It was like I was saying before, I was in the middle of something that wasn't me anymore. I was posting little status updates like an attention starved cat. I didn't even need cat nip; I was purring and rubbing up against people's legs leaving my itchy hair all over them. Maybe it was the turnoff of getting status updates from some people ad nauseam. Maybe it was watching myself try to come up with clever one liners to catch someone's eye. Maybe it was the inability to respond to all the notifications simply because I made the mistake of creating another avenue of accessibility, unknowingly promising a friend-like connection that I couldn't make good on. I mean, who can be friends with 858 friends and expect anything but a logjam of information-overload? And I did this to myself...well, Mrs. Facebook helped me expedite things with her magical networking skills, but once the train got going, I started pumping in the coal like a soot-faced miner.
My motivations in this relationship started very innocent, very pure. But over time, I think I lost my mind and my heart in it all. There are a couple passages in Ecclesiastes that have rocked me lately...
Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. - Ecclesiastes 5:7
As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. - Ecclesiastes 5:3
And Proverbs has one that's even scarier...
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. - Pro. 10:19
I just caught myself in a torrent of wordiness that was foolishness. No matter how much you love words, you can prostitute them until they are rubbish. Words are far too precious for that sort of tomfoolery.
I'm not going to over-react and can my Facebook account, but you can expect a whole heck of a lot less purring and leg rubbing, I assure you. Nobody likes being the scratching pole for people who need to get a life.
I'm off to get a life, a real live life. It will be so good--at least this is the hope--that I won't have time to be on Facebook playing pretend.