Week With No Facebook

December 22, 2010

If you missed reading my two parenthetical updates to the last blog post — although I don’t know why you’d miss it; you compulsively check this site twice an hour for updates — the Post-Dispatch article on me hasn’t run yet. As of December 18th, it was scheduled to run on December 19th. As of December 19th, it was scheduled to run on December 26th. As of now, it’s scheduled to run on January 2nd.

Yours truly, known procrastinator, jumped the gun on promoing the article. I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t even talk about the article. It might get bumped again. It might get bumped two more times. It might never run. Print might die before then. Jesus might come back before then. (“I heard there was supposed to be a really good article in the Post-Dispatch today about some writer fella, so I came down to check it out. What, you bumped it again? Fine, I’ll be back in two thousand MORE years. Get your stuff together, human race!”)

We’re in the homestretch of the holiday season now. I’m at the point where I can’t hope to send out Christmas cards to relatives more than one state over and have the cards arrive before Christmas. I’ll have to scour the Hallmark store for the Merry Belated Christmas/Happy New Year/I Know You’re Not Surprised This Card Is Late But It’s Better Than Nothing section, preferably some cute card with Ziggy on the front. You gotta love that pathetic, bald loser Ziggy. You know, I might send out Christmas cards late, but at least I have a full head of hair. Though I almost certainly lose maturity points for trying to compare myself favorably to fictional characters from the funny pages.

My timeline’s all screwy right now. Christmas is three days away, Hannukah has been over for two weeks, and I think they moved Kwaanza to March this year. Today is Wednesday, my body thinks it’s Friday, and to figure out today’s date, I had to summon the brain cells that are usually only used once every ten years to determine which Dakota capital is Bismark and which one’s Fargo. (NOTE: That debate got a heckuva lot easier when the movie Fargo came out, and I could simply visualize North Dakota as being Almost Canada.)

Even screwier, I’ve followed my newfound buddy and comedy partner Chris “Woo” Trader into a social networking experiment known as Week With No Facebook. Keep in mind, I didn’t sign up for Facebook until July, on the day Silas came home from the hospital. In the time since, Silas has more than doubled his body weight, and I’ve probably quadrupled my time spent idly on the Internet, both on my laptop and on my mobile. If I’m outside watching the kids, and I get even a millisecond’s stab of boredom, I check Facebook. If I’m inside putting the dishes away, and I think of something even marginally clever to tell a specific someone or just whoever on Facebook might read it, I pull out my phone and type away.

My comedy and writing output is at a quality and quantity level not seen in almost a decade, but Facebook time eats at Real People time. I’ve found myself pretending I wasn’t just typing on my phone when I hear my wife’s footsteps approaching. That’s cause enough to take a week away from the Facebook machine, and in that time, I’ve finally gotten some good work done on a book editing assignment I’ve been procrastinating on.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be keeping some kind of diary about my time away from Facebook, but I haven’t. Typical for me. The vast majority of this hypothetical diary would read:

    3:15 pm: Kids sleeping. Wanted to go on Facebook. Went on Twitter instead. Nothing of interest. 

    11:45 pm: Took a break from book editing. Wanted to go on Facebook. Checked email instead. Nothing of interest. Went to The Onion A.V. Club instead. Killed a half-hour.

    1:30 am: Maybe if I just check and see how many notifications I have on Facebook, it will sate my curiosity and won’t be cheating. No, it’s definitely cheating. Can’t I claim my Week With No Facebook was actually just a work week? It’s been five days already. Enough is enough.

I logged off Facebook at midnight on Friday. You’d better believe I’ll be right back on Facebook at the stroke of midnight tomorrow. I might even do what I’ve done on more boring New Year’s Eves and celebrate the midnight changeover in other time zones first. (“Hooray, my WWNF is over in London! Let’s read some status updates… Hooray, my WWNF is over in New York! Let’s post some pictures from 4 years ago.”)

I think my weeklong Facebook blackout will help me appreciate and maximize my time on and off Facebook, and now that I’m reminded you can email status updates without even logging on, I might start doing one day on/one day off or just have set times of the day when I go on Facebook.

Some of this sounds feasible, and some of it sounds like the old alcohol justification arguments I used to pull on myself: “I’ll only drink vodka, because I handle myself better, and the hangover’s not as bad… I’ll only drink beer, because it’s not strong, and I know exactly how buzzed I’ll get with each beer… I’ll only drink two nights a week… I’ll only bring 10 bucks to the bar with me… I won’t drink before the kids are asleep.” Lots of experimentation and justification there, but I’m going on three months sober, so obviously anything’s possible.

Right now, though, maybe I should just keep my new goals simple. Like, for instance, how about getting the cards out before Christmas next year?


Sarah's first Christmas


3 Responses to “Week With No Facebook”

  1. Good blog, good humor, and good for sobriety. Mine started on Good Friday 1978 and have been high on life ever since. Ginny and I believe in you.

  2. Suzy Voices Says:

    “I’ve found myself pretending I wasn’t just typing on my phone when I hear my wife’s footsteps approaching.”

    This is so ME! I hide my phone under the blankets while I’m watching TV.

    Looking forward to reading more of your work!

  3. Kelley Says:

    Andrew, I hate to break this to you, but 9 out of 10 people believe I am in fact a Real Person.

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