Caffeine intake today: 4 cups of coffee and 1 tea, not bad for me.
Hello, my name is Bea (Beatrice) Wildered and I have recently come off of Facebook.
My best friend did it first and then I followed suit, a sort of mini revolution in this particular aspect of social media’s face. We are not delusional, we do recognise this is a very mini revolution, minor, hardly significant at all in the scheme of things, in fact it’s not really a “revolution” more of a “rev”, but nevertheless it was a big deal to us. We decided were getting little pleasure from scrolling through upsetting images of far left wing rants about right wing people, far right wing rants about left-wing people, images of well-rehearsed pouts, images of under-rehearsed pouts, reading about what people had for tea, how far they cycled and looking at cherry-picked beautiful family selfies with tags lines such as “just had a marvellous day at the Centre for Science and Maths, Edward loved the physics section and Emily learnt how to do long division in just five minutes! Finished off with a trip to the theatre (Ibsen) followed by mochaccinos and babyccinos – decaff of course! lol xxx ” Edward is 5 and Emily is 22 months and the parents look like they’ve just stepped off the catwalk with the wind gently blowing in their beautifully well-groomed hair. What they have edited out is that Edward cried when he realised he was going to the Centre for Science and Maths and not the Cinema to watch “Mid-pubescent Mutant Tadpoles” and hit another child when he was there, Emily filled her nappy ending a three day constipation stint as a result of refusing to eat anything other than jam sandwiches for the last 10 days, Mum cried after Dad told her to “control herself” when she screamed at Edward for hitting another child and Dad is no longer wearing socks because they forgot the wipes and the loos had run out of loo paper when Emily’s body finally ejected what it needed to eject (well, that’s what would have happened if it were my family except my husband and I don’t look like we’ve stepped off of the catwalk, rather we look like we have been walked on by thousands of cats that have ripped holes in our clothes, scratched out our eyes, pulled our hair into frizzy balding masses and shit and pissed all over us during their stampede, which incidentally has now melded itself into excess fat on our bodies).
Of course, Facebook has its well-earned place in the world and has done a lot of good as well as being a portal for the vain and strange. It has undoubtedly helped a lot of people raise money for charities and raise public awareness to national and local issues. It allows us to publicise local events, helps pull communities together, enables friends and family to stay in touch, helps small businesses promote themselves and allows us to share the really interesting articles that perhaps we should all be reading. It also helps to spread laughter and gives a lot of people a little light relief from time to time. It all of course comes down to the person posting on Facebook and the weird person at the other end reading it (me), and people are as varied as anything else (expect perhaps kettles… and the shape of books). It works wonderfully for some and not so wonderfully for others.
Anyhow, my best friend Maz said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Thing is Bea, I was fed up with wasting my time scrolling through this shyte and not getting anything from it. I don’t feel happy when I come off of it, I don’t feel happy when I’m on it, I never ever post anything so I thought, why the fuck am I doing this? So I’ve deactivated my account. I’m free! Yipee! The compulsion to look at other peoples’ lives is over. So instead, guess what I’ve dedicated the 10 minutes a day that I’d usually use to look at FB?
“What?” I say with bated breath idolising my wise and brilliant best friend
“I’m doing mindfulness” She’s so wise “and I don’t miss FB at all AND I feel sooooo much better for it all”
“Are you using that mindfulness app you said about?” I asked
“Yes” replied Maz
“Doesn’t the man have a really lovely voice?” I comment, probably missing the point of the app
“Yes” she agrees “lovely”.
“Maz!” (Marilyn is her name) “That’s soooooo great of you, you amazing person you. I’m going to be like you and deactivate my account and improve my life and become a better person and become a Zen-like Goddess” Or at least I said something along those lines anyway.
After deactivating my own FB account I came to realise that this process had highlighted a personality trait I had been hiding from myself for years. I am a procrastinator.
Although I don’t miss FB I realised that perhaps I had vilified it a little too much and it wasn’t all that bad and the problem actually laid with my use of time. I had allowed FB to become my personal procrastination portal and in my downtime from my trying toddler daughter and chaotic 5 year old son I was sitting on my bottom scrolling through FB justifying it to myself as “relaxing” or “switching off” when in fact I was doing neither. What I really want to do in life (besides being a mum to my kids) is to write. I’m already 37 (how did that happen?) and going grey so I feel time is slipping by quickly and I can’t afford to spend time on FB or watching YouTube or burying my head in any other social media’s sand hiding from whatever it is I’m frightened of (most probably failure, but we won’t go down that route today). And so, my intention was to remove the time I spent dribbling in front of a screen, thus forcing an open space in my day to put my mind and therefore my life to better more personal purposes, such as finding out about the world and the people that live in it, be like Maz and do a bit of mindfulness or actually follow my dream of being a writer… and do some writing.
So, did I proactively educate myself on the issues facing our generation and my children’s? Did I read up on other cultures to further understand humanity? Did I spend mindful time breathing and meditate myself into a serene soft green aura? (or is that just farting?) Did I finish writing the same bloody book I have been writing for the last three years? Did I, in fact, write one word of ‘The Bloody Book’? Did I even write one word about anything other than my shopping list and filling in the calendar with dentist and doctor appointments? I think we all know the answer… As the queen of procrastination I did none of theses things that I actually wanted to do and instead baked numerous cakes, put on 4 pounds, watched mindless programmes on cooking and reruns of 1990s crime dramas on the internet.
What an effing waste of time.
So I had to sarcastically congratulate myself for finding yet another way to waste time, ruin a few more brain cells and not do what I really want to do. In addition to realising I was a professional procrastinator, I also became an annoying human being who smugly said to others “I’ve come off of Facebook” which has the subtext of “that makes me a better person than you”. In short, I turned into the sort of person that is a bit (please excuse my use of bad language here) twatty, going about my life saying one thing and doing another.
This process has made me realise that I go about my life mostly bewildered. I mostly bewilder myself by not following my dream of writing, after all I know how to do it, it’s not too difficult I’ve been doing it since I was four and regardless of how good or bad it is, I enjoy it, so why don’t I do it and do something with it? I probably also mostly bewilder others too by my weird opinions, exaggerations and stories that I wish weren’t true but actually are (Like our FB friends I mentioned eariler, I too have used a sock in a desperate pooh situation… but not on my daughter… on myself… and whilst we’re on the subject of pooh you may or may not wish to know that I have also stood in a real-life human one, but they are stories I shall save for another day. I bet you can’t wait).
So in an effort to become less twatty I have finally started to write and thus, this is my blog and this is my life and this is how I spend my time being mostly bewildered. I hope you can bear it, I know I sometimes can’t.