Facebook might be the devil.
There’s little I could say about it that we don’t already know. It’s voyeuristic, it’s a time waster, it’s gambling with our privacy. Yeah, yeah, I know. I do it anyway. I have lost count of the number of friends who daily struggle with Crack-book and I include myself in that guilty profession. I find lately I like to keep it open in the background while I’m writing with just the top bar showing so that when a new notification comes up I see that bright red indicator come into view. I stop what I’m doing to see what’s new.
Not bragging, I am truly penitent. Sort of.
Sadly, what I stop doing when Facebook calls is that I stop writing. So, yes it’s a procrastination issue. The real point of this here post is not that Facebook is the devil but rather that I am horribly susceptible to that great horned cyber-pleasure leaning out the open window on my desktop. The truth is that right now I don’t feel like writing. I feel like I OUGHT to be writing. I feel like I OUGHT to want to write. That old adage, “writers write because they MUST” rings in my ears. I get that and I know it’s true. It’s just that some days it feels truer than others. Today that adage just feels like a big fat bully telling me to stop my whining and hand over my milk money. So I’m doing the only thing I can think to do, write about not wanting to write…and maybe blaming it a little on Facebook…because Facebook might be the devil.
Of course, a lot depends on the ever fragile balance of sleep, exercise, foods and caffeine. Get one of those out of whack and I will find my motivation for doing anything sinking into the mud my youngest son tracks into the house on any given day. When I’m most out of whack all I can do it stare into space…or into cyberspace as it were. It’s easy to browse Facebook and see how productive everyone else seems to be. With hundreds of “friends” in my social network there is no shortage of good news and drama, controversy and conflict, the mundane and the marvelous.
And then this leads me into a greater temptation than procrastination. Envy.
Envy is the enemy of joy. This is what my smart and gentle friend Sarah says and I think she’s right. I know she’s right. The real temptation of Facebook for me isn’t in the time it eats up all pac-man like in my day, it’s the number of times the posts I see on Facebook lead me to chide myself for the hikes I didn’t take, the miles I haven’t run, the books I haven’t gotten published, the poems I am not writing, the house we didn’t buy, the house we cannot sell…all these things…and all while I really ought to be writing.
Clearly, Facebook is the devil.
Here’s the crux of it though, Facebook isn’t really the problem. Avoiding Facebook would alleviate some of my inclination toward procrastination and toward envy but in reality it’s likely I’ll simply find another outlet to stick my finger into given the chance. Opportunities to fall into temptation are unavoidable. I can try to reorganize my world so that my temptation is less, certainly but the deeper issue really is in me, not in the carefully arranged cyber-landscape around me. The devil is always going to show up someplace, every place…sometime, every time.
Rest assured, I’m pondering it all well at the moment…rolling it around in my head, testing the taste of grace on my tongue and handing over my damn milk money…