15 February 2012: DC Exile Day 22
[Author’s note: I initially wrote this blog over a week ago as I prepared to leave the Facebook platform. I had last-minute doubts about departing the site when Cone Alone had its most views yet yesterday. I do not know if persons found the blog because of Facebook, but I felt a moment of intense panic that people would never be able to find the blog again if I left Facebook. I thought about going back on my challenge to myself. I thought about saying, “My mistake” or “By popular demand, I’m staying.” In the end, I am moving forward with my decision. I sincerely appreciate every single friend on Facebook who has read and shared Cone Alone and my work. Thank you so much. I hope I can continue to produce stuff that you like and that you can continue to find it.]
I keep telling myself this step is not a big deal. In fact, it is not really a step at all. In reality, I wrote “step” to have something for “this” to modify. I didn’t wish to have it (this) just hanging out with nothing to do. This starts loafing then this turns into vandalism and gang violence and who knows what else. This cannot be left alone.
Today is the day I deleted my Facebook profile.
I did everything I could to prepare for this day. I tried to find my friends on Twitter via their handles. (Do you think [Karen] Handel’s handle is @handel or @messiah_h, baroquen_handel or something else?) I posted way too many posts on Facebook telling my friends that I was leaving and telling everyone to follow this blog (Cringingly Personal), follow the Cone Alone blog, follow my current three Twitter profiles (@mentalmacguyver for the quotidian, @JoeRichardsShow for updates about my podcast and @ConeAlone for the latest on traffic cones around the world) and email me at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Was it enough? I have no idea.
It feels a bit strange to depart from Facebook, but at the same time it feels ever curiouser that departing the social networking site should be such a massive task. Of the 200-plus persons who are my friends on Facebook (of course some individuals have multiple profiles), I wonder who will remain in contact. I assume most people will be happy to have me out of their newsfeeds, if they had not “unsubscribed” from me already. [I really should avoid such unnecessary self-deprecation.] I admit I did enjoy the ability to “unsubscribe” from a person. Like being in their online presence was too much of a burden and hinderance that I had to take myself off the list of their public friendship. I think I shall begin carrying a black marker with me at all times. When I get into public and have to “mingle” with “new” “people” I will simply use the marker to make a check mark on the forehead of these “people” from whom I wish to unsubscribe. Observe:
[Our scene opens on a crowded party. Drunken and tipsy socialites and snotbags are pouring alcohol into their boring mouths. Mitzy and Tad chat incessantly about the awesome sports play they saw yesterday. Wasn’t it so awesome how Quarterback Phelps threw a hurling spiral-back twisty into the reaching hands of PomPom McGee? Oh, yes it was Mitzy. (The author apologizes for placing so much dialogue in the scene set-up italics, but the author just does whatever the fuck he feels like, even if it makes no sense.) Our handsome, winsome, lonesome, awesome protagonist, JPR, walks into the scene and winces visibly. The undeniable din of Good Charlotte’s Greatest Hits blares through the speakers from the host’s mp3 player device. Fuck, this is going to suck.]
Chip – Hey there JPR. Have a shot of this balmy nipple. It’s got Schnapps and Schwepps and Starburst and rubbing alcohol and WD-40. And Country Crock.
JPR – Hold still Chip.
[JPR uses a black marker to make a check mark on Chip’s forehead, indicating that JPR has unsubscribed from Chip. Chip withers back into the corner mumbling the lyrics to “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous”]
This has been a practical application. Brought to you by Mark-O’s Markers. Writing unwanted marks on strangers’ skin since 1992. (When an unknown fan wrote on Eddie Vedder’s arm prior to their Unplugged performance.*)
So. I am no longer on Facebook. I guess I’ll keep you informed of what that means for me in the months ahead.
*This statement may or may not be historically accurate, but is absolutely inaccurate.