Monday, April 22, 2013

And Yet, I Opened Facebook

I rarely enter into writing here without the intent of, ultimately, hitting the publish button and letting it go.  I understand that if I write it here, and publish it out there - the screen you are looking at now - I understand, that it is a permanent thing.  Hell, I count on it.  I want this to be accessible, I want my friends and like-minded souls to find this, and, I want it here when the time comes for the boys to find it as well.

Consequently, I rarely get too revelatory, I may let something slip or infer something between the lines, cleverly, intentionally (you know, like people used to do before the advent of emoticons - insert winky-dude here).  I did once, and I regret it a bit, publish a post I maybe shouldn't of, this one, but, as I said before, everything is strangely, ironically permanent, here in cyber-world.  It is hard to escape what you've said.  There are no 'takebacks' on the world wide web.

That being said, I did like to tell you something very personal, something that I am ashamed of and deeply saddened by.

Nope, it's none of those things, although whatever you thought would probably be very interesting.

I often wonder if the words and terminology we use in our writing today, especially in social media and e-mail and the like, might seem ridiculously anachronistic in a few decades.  Like a bad seventies movie dripping with bell-bottoms and disco and psychedelic swirls, this Age may seem so empty of depth and personal contact, so rich in consumerism and imagined pathos, that it, too, becomes unwatchable, unsavory, laughable.

Wait, I was trying to spew my pain and shame, that's what the internet's for, right?

Here goes - When I approach my computer, I automatically open my browser and, I immediately, mindlessly, habitually... open Facebook.


Well, I'll tell you a story or more.

When I was in college I was into music.  I can't say I was into a particular band, or genre.  I was more about absorbing the sound, listening to lyrics, thinking about what the person, the artist, was trying to do for me, give me.  I am a product of the seventies, I was trying to dig the vibe, man.  Back in those days, whenever I went to a party or dorm room or apartment or field the second thing I always did was check out the music situation.  Not what was being played, I didn't care much, I just wanted to be sure there were going to be tunes and that we could crank them up if needed.  (Sadly, the first thing I always did was check out the girls.)

I could have sat down at my computer and started the music playing, I could have pointed my browser to Pandora (what's that, Dad?), which always gives me something new or forgotten to listen to, and yet...

... I opened Facebook.

I lived in NYC in the late eighties and was trying to write poetry, dipping my toes in prose as well.  I had a job for a few months at a publishing company as a personal assistant.  I had access to an electric, very modern typewriter, and, a photocopier machine.  This combination afforded me the opportunity to attempt to polish the stuff I was working on at the time.  Sadly, it wasn't very good in the firsts place but it sure gave me a sense of what was possible.  A decade later I was using a word processor program on a primitive Apple computer and wrote a very forgettable novel.

I could have, in three seconds, launched a word program and begun another novel, started a new post, or composed a thoughtful letter to a friend who could use some kind words right now, but...

...I opened Facebook.

I did a couple of years thinking I might have the ability to produce visual art, mostly vivid acrylics in a post-modern style.  I know, just stop laughing.  However, I really had a lot of fun doing it.  It was a very hands-on sort of thing at a time when my mind needed distraction.  I enjoyed feeling the canvases, the palette knife, the oozing paint from tubes.  Mostly though, I enjoyed arranging the shapes and colors and thinking about abstraction and distillation of image and balance and the like.

I could've sat down here and opened a drawing program called TuxPaint, which the boys use, which I think would have blown my mind in nineties, and had a very enjoyable and creative time.  Today, I could download or buy incredible software programs designed for artists and spend hours making the prints and images I could only imagine back then, but, shamefully...

...I opened Facebook.

I could have found the software and camera I used on the old computer, added it to this one, and opened it up, hit record, and spent a few hours working on one of the many of songs I am trying to write, but...

...I opened Facebook.

I could have googled any of a number of things I want to learn about but always forget - soccer positions, recipes for chicken breasts, semi-colons, fructose, baseball scorecards, consubstantiation - but, yep...

...I opened Facebook

You might remember that I write a blog about the silly, wonderful stuff my twins make and do.  I like to feature their beautiful drawings and take home stuff, their conversations and sports exploits, dreams and hopes.

I could have opened my scanner and scanned one of the ten things within arms reach of me right now; I could have opened the camera and put the memory card in the computer and in seconds begun adding photos to the folder I use to hold the future stuff for my blog.  Instead, mindlessly, embarrassingly...

...I opened Facebook.

So there it is, I told you.  My point isn't that there is something wrong with Facebook or even the internet.  My problem is me.  I am simply not using this tool, my computer, to the full potential it offers.  Imagine what the artists, writers, musicians, thinker, poets, dreamers of even a mere century ago could have done with this remarkable, ingenious, miraculous even, tool.

And, sadly, I opened Facebook.

As a peace offering, in atonement for my sins, and, because I like to always have an image or two three lots, I give you this:

Nick's Spi Journal.

It's got a pen and a pencil, a decoder there on the left, it's WiFi capable and, get this, it has a paper grappling hook, attached to a string.  It's pretty nice although I am not sure I would have gone with the pink.

From Marci's  "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

(on the way to First Communion)

"Let's do this."

And, they nailed it... 

Thanks for stopping by.  Now, I'll hit publish and go post the link over there on Facebook.  Yeah, that is pretty ridiculous isn't it?


  1. Great post, I too am guilty of opening the time sucker that is Facebook. But I usually do that instead of dishes, so its no biggie really. The dishes will, sadly, always be there waiting.

  2. I usually open FB for two reasons... one, most of my family doesn't answer the phone any more and since I'm not a huge texter that's the only way to get their attention. And second... Tony and I have a HUGE battle against each other on Bejeweled. Every once and a while I let him win. :)