Day 2 Off Facebook apart from…

23.16 pm and as the nation’s Dorian Gray, Sir Cliff Richard opined, it’s these miss you nights that are the longest. I am missing Facebook right now. During the day it was quite easy to keep off and keep busy: I was absorbed with emails and calls about me going. But I’m jonesing for it now and getting angsty. In fact, I do have a bit of a confession. Earlier this afternoon I did sneak a peak, oh Saint Zuckerberg forgive me, but to my horror there was a chat message sitting there saying “Jules you’d better not be lurking on here” left by a mate. After I stopped blushing I decided to take my decision a little more seriously, and here’s what’s occurred to me today.

It’s not so great on the outside

Some people applauded my leaving by telling me I would be able to join the real world again. Facebook is real, (unless of course this is The Truman Show Pt 2 and I’ve been pissing myself laughing with a bunch of actors). How is it less real than the conversation I have with the postman, or friends I bump into on the street? I’ve been living in Suburbia for 12 years and I can tell you right now I’m not going to step outside the door tomorrow and find that a whole host of like-minded, amusing people will have been parachuted in to the local Caffe Nero and are ready and waiting to have a laugh. Facebook allows you to gather together people you like no matter how far across the world you have to search to find them.

Time is not my friend

My slavish dedication to the rolling news feed on Facebook had seen the happy annexation of acres of my time and having claimed it all back I find I’m less bereft about leaving than I am bemused by what to do next. I’ve only been on FB for 9 months or so, yet the idea that I may have to return to hunting for a decent conversation in my locale is too depressing to contemplate. And before you start, fuck book clubs, fuck going for a walk, fuck going back to work. I don’t read, walking is not talking and I have a job. We all know I was frittering away too much time there. But leaving it will not make me any more productive with it, believe me. Facebook is not time wasted.

It’s a lot harder doing it in bits and pieces

Before I left, I just used Facebook plus a regular trawl through my email to keep me in touch with people, now everyone is scattered across different social media and my interaction with them has shattered into thousands of fragments of communication. I am exhausted by emails, texts, phone calls, chat and Tweets. Facebook is simple.

Tomorrow I am going to tell what is good about leaving. I hope.


  • Isn’t it a bit ironic that those of us who are enjoying your wee experiment (and even considering copying it…) are invited to ‘*thumb up* Like’ your entry? Feeding OUR habits, if not yours!


  • This is a great post.

    It got me thinking about three things: addictiveness, what is real and wasted time.

    1) I am SURE that Facebook has a staff psychologist to advise them on how to make people keep coming back.

    Moshi Monsters is a masterclass in how to design in addictiveness. It’s quite shocking.

    2) I agree wholeheartedly that Facebook is real.

    I always try to say online/offline rather than online/real.

    It’s all real because the particpants are all real. Whether we withhold information, exaggerate or lie, it’s still all real.

    Witholding, exaggerating and lying are all things that can happen in a text, in mail, in a letter or on the phone. There is nothing special about the Internet that makes everyone and everything they say unreal.

    3) I agree that FB isn’t wasted time. But with the proviso that if it’s time spent interacting with people (rather than spending all one’s time on a single-player app, for example).

    I went to The Story 2011 and was struck by something Cory Doctorow said when interviewing Graham Linehan.

    Graham had said that he hadn’t read a book in six months. Cory said, yeah, because there’s always that little voice calling him back to the computer as there’s gonna be some guy sticking a lemon up his nose on YouTube if only he looks.

    It made me think about what it really means to waste time online.

    Seeking out and watching a video of a man shoving a lemon up his nose is, I would say, wasted time.

    But interacting, engaging, sharing, teasing, laughing and crying with people online is precious time.

    If you can take a leap of faith and trust in strangers, online can be more real than offline because the bubble of politeness and security isn’t there online; people can REALLY see you, see into you. It’s a rare and intense thing. Sometimes the strangers let you down. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained. The occasional moments of breathless intensity usually out-weighs the inevitable let-downs.

    I blogged about it a few years ago:

  • wha’ ‘appen to yer facefuck page? did the powers that be decide your outpourings were clogging up the bandwidth? or did you get laid? or die? or get a stalker that you need to hide from? I reckon it’s the last. I shall be opening a book on how long this is going to last.

    You underestimate facefuck’s ability to reach ALL of the people ALL of the time. Constant emails constantly alerting one to your every breath, sniff and sigh…

    You’re going to be found shivering behind the toilet, dribbling and gibbering, by sunday at the latest, once you realise all your fuckbook friends, having developed the modern malaise of goldfish memories, have forgotton you already.

  • Of course, one of the first signs of realization that your fame’s flame is diminishing will be when you start posting remarks supposedly made by other people onto your own comments page. That will be a truly sad day, I hope it never comes.

    Why the self-flagellation? Is methadonebook really better than smackbook? Look what happened to all those poets and musicians who kicked their habits, became pedestrian and found themselves consigned to the bargain buckets at Cancer Research. Nay, not even the kudos of Oxfam books, but ending up next to Jeffrey Archer on a forgotten shelf in some smelly Cats Have Aids charity shop in Luton.

    Having said all that, if you actually do clean up, I sincerely hope you’re going to become all sanctimonious and prissy when people sitting next to you on the bus whip out their iphone4 for a quick “F”.

  • Juliet Bowbrick

    AJC let Jesus into your heart. He found me when I was lost, he has room for you too.

  • Jesus, with his incessant love, is a stalker and, along with that peeping tom all-seeing dad of his, should be on an ASBO. But there you go, born in a barn, pikey for life.

    I have noticed the internet in general has speeded up noticeably since your departure, which is another laudable by-product of your lemming leap.

    The downside is you’re back on the streets, As if teenage boys didn’t have enough to worry about already. x

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