Tag Archives: life

The Results of Unfollowing People On FB for a Month.

Well, it’s been a month and a few days since I cleared out my FB feed.  What did I learn?  What happened?

I think this will be a short post because most of it has been covered in the previous posts aligned with this topic.

Ultimately, I got VERY bored with the platform.  I used it as a resource above all and curbed my interaction by over 90%.

That is a big jump.  I no longer had a feed to scroll unless I went to my friend groups, and I only went to my friend groups out of curiosity (mainly about local happenings.)

I continued to get notifications, and any late comers to the game were silenced for 30 days.  Those silenced parties just started cropping up in my feed yesterday.  Namely companies that advertise through FB.  For me, namely, craft beer breweries I am a fan of.  Without thinking, I saw these posts crop up, and silenced them for another 30 days.

Honestly I am not “missing” anything, per se.   I love passing along info.  If a person has a question and I feel like I have a viable answer, it is a pleasure to share.  However, all in all, I only contacted people or posted if I thought some one may benefit somehow from that post.

I feel a need to remind my audience that I do not have FB messenger or FB app on my phone.  If I want to post there, away from home, I have to go to the mobile web page and I am limited in options.  I also need to remind readers that I am able to access FB more often than a person with a “normal job.”  I work from home, or rather home is work, but WIFI is pretty consistent and FB is an easy distraction from mundane domestic duty.

Did I miss it?  No, not really.  At times I noticed myself pressing the refresh button that leads to my own echo chamber and then I was like “Oh yeah, I boycotted this like I would a Walmart.”  I still drive by, I still have opinions, but…. I have no plans on going inside and interacting with anyone in there for the sake of boredom and randomness.”

Honestly, I think that is cool.  To me, it proves I wasn’t as addicted or reliant on it as I thought I was.  I gave myself the power of choice, and the challenge of abstaining.   I do suspect I will fade away and that doesn’t worry me so much.

Today I dug through my senior year book, and I didn’t have a shit ton of signature/ messages, but the ones I did have, reasserted the best parts of me that sustain to this day.  A majority of these messages were not short.   Most of them had connecting themes when it comes to talent; kindness, weirdness, good feelings and impact.  I am still ALL of those things and I didn’t believe it back then.  I always assumed people were blowing smoke up my ass because they, themselves, did not want to be rejected.

I don’t need Facebook to be my daily Yearbook.  I enjoy these throw back features to see what I was saying and doing xxx years ago, but I don’t have to have it to survive.  The thing that makes me feel like I am dying is isolation with no solutions.  In fact, since I have taken the leap of disassociating with my live feed I’ve made a new friend/workout partner; started spending multiple hours during the week to build workouts for M,W, F, AND connected IN REAL LIFE with people who are actually in my geographic sphere.

I feel accomplished.  I see how this type of process can fold over into other situations that may need conscious regulation.  If you feel like you would appreciate slowly pulling away from the intoxicant that is Facebook, hit me up, or read my other posts on how I experimented with the idea.   It really is a challenge of “out of sight, out of mind.”  A break like that allows you to question yourself what you want to use the platform for, and what you expect out of your engagement.

If you want naught, why fruitlessly search and conjure up partially fulfilling illusion?  All I’ve ever wanted is “real life friends who are true and honest.”  I’ve had them in spurts, and maybe it’s time I give those real life connections a chance again.

My hope is that you find this useful, and if you want more info contact me, I love sharing intel.  ❤

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My Unabashed Wyoming Bias

I have to admit it;  I am completely enamored and biased by people from Wyoming.  Specifically Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I was born there; raised there, excited to leave there, and reluctant to come back.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again; I think I came from a really special “breeding ground.”  It gave us everything other than what we wanted, and we made do  with what we had.

I stepped outside my FB echo chamber today, to check out my Cheyenne Friends List.  I set this up almost ten years ago, as a new offering on the FB platform.

See it automatically set up a “Cheyenne, Wy” friend group, but it was purely based on the people who listed Cheyenne as their current home town.  At that point I created my own list including people I have known over the 18 years of growing up, and then adding people I met living there, from real life and online interactions.

Some of my favorite people from my past, exist on that list.  I root for them the hardest.  I believe in them the most.  They rarely disappoint.

By this point in my life, I thought I would be the type of person that  would be “followed” or “friended” for this specific type of list but somewhere down the line I really stopped giving a fuck and I am sure people have noticed and unfollowed or unfriended me along the way.

I am no longer the over achieving-personality pleasing person I thought I was.  I am not jumping large social hurdles, or even putting up much appearance at all.  I am okay with that because it leaves me time and energy to root on other people.  It gives me something outside of myself to “believe in.”

Personally, I feel pretty solid in the fact that I have to keep myself in balance  enough to the point that I can’t really rely on others for supplemental encouragement or energy; nor do I want to be an energetic vampire.  So we sit in stasis.

I will admit I know some amazing people who  continue to exist with amounts of personal drive that I have a hard time fathoming, but probably could have trumped in my earlier years.

These people are from my home town.  These are people I want to follow. People I knew, “once upon a time.”

I want to see how they thrive and fall.  I want to be there to encourage them no matter what.

But I feel this way about other people who have fallen in and out of my periphery since then.  I never want to see them hurt.  I do not want to contribute to their pain.  I believe in them and their purpose.

Perhaps it is just those old stories, of when we were young and lacking confidence and suddenly found ourselves falling into a new group of friends, or perhaps it is just that rubbernecking attitude like watching a car wreck on the highway; I will never leave on a purposefully mean note.  I may not agree with everything they say, but I feel that they represent me on some level, whether due to geography of once upon a time or some other relating factor, I believe deeply in who those people are and what they have to offer.

I love my Wyoming Kin.  I love having a list to check up on, when I am curious.

I say : Go dominate the world with the amazingness that  you are my fellow Wyomites.  Always ask Wy-Om-In(g) here?  Wy-Om-I- (will)ngly to stay or go?  You know the Wind will always blow you in the right direction, if you are listening.

Wyoming- sometimes you aggravate the shit out of me, but for some reason, I always have your back; the people you produce and spit into the vast space of time and separation are worth keeping and holding close.  I will remember this when you forget.

Wyoming you are more akin to the dandelion than you are the Indian Paintbrush… unless of course they are plant cousins, and then I can see the relation and purpose in distinction.

Here is a bowl-full of love for the vast, beautiful creativity that was able to dissipate outside the square we were living in.  I hope to see your beautiful faces, sooner than later.

In the meantime, we will still be here waiting for you to return with your wild seeds, ready and willing to plant a new and colorful generation.

Facebook Catches Up to My De-Clutter Mode

As I suspected, my news feed was a self propelled echo chamber, with random results when it comes to engagement.  I was certain that the systematic program needed to catch up with my swift and drastic changes in platform usage.

Here and there, people were starting to pop back up, into my feed because someone (not on my list) had tagged them in a post; in addition to that the Ads feature seems to be attempting to “hone in” on me.

To remind you of my process; I have done the best I can to unfollow every person, group and page.  I am actively hiding ads that I find irrelevant to me, and I am snoozing people if they reappear on my feed.

See, much like you, I want my best experience on Facebook to be productive, insightful, and easy to walk away from.

I know I am great at research, assistance and connecting on deeper levels.  I know I primarily use my page to share what I am doing, otherwise, well… next to no one will see it, and I still like engagement on my creativity.

So.

I got my first relative ad today.  A local coffee roaster is having a sampling.  I like coffee, I like local, and I like samples.  This is relevant.

The only ad I have not blocked was for this pen, that acts as a mouse and a stylis, so it’s easier to draw with than your average full-palm mouse, or finger mouse pad.  Useful for things I would like to do.

Part of the perfect experience on FB, is going to be the ads since we know those aren’t going to go away soon.  If they are going to work hard to tailor the ads to me, I hope to see stuff I would actually consider spending money on, rather than multiple ads about pregnancy supplements and funnels.  I will leave that to the pros.

The next piece to make a great experience is to eliminate the repetition of singular reoccurring posts within a few scrolls of the screen.  At times I’ve wondered why I have seen the same post from the same person with only a break of three to five posts between them, (not to mention one of those three to five posts would be an irrelevant ad.)

The third thing that would add to the experience, and also give leeway to walk away, is only showing deeply relevant posts.  They rely on us, to pick our audience to some extent; this is why we can set up contact groups, regulate posts to public, friends, selected audience or private.  This is why groups can choose to be private, or closed.

I am pretty open.  I am interested in seeing a bunch of different things; the one thing I DO NOT WANT is repetition.   If the program feels inclined to repeat a post, that is when I want the “There are no more story posts to share at this time.” prompt.

Cool.  Let me walk away.  I know someone will post something in five minutes, but if I can walk away before that happens, or I press “refresh”  I have a better chance of walking away until later, when a group of new posts are ready to fill my feed.

I wouldn’t even mind if you had the option to set yourself timers for your online engagement.  Perhaps it would just cut you off at a certain time, and only let you back in after a set duration.

What I do know, is that I am thankful that I haven’t put the app on my phone at all.  I don’t have mobile FB messenger and to reach the website in public is tedious.  Even from the web page, messenger is unavailable, so I definitely do not have the problem of being engaged with FB when I am away from my house.  ( I love being at least three years behind in mobile tech than most people.)

I wonder if more people decided to take proactive action in how social media platforms SHOULD operate, instead of waiting for the platform to slowly develop by adjusting our engagement for the purpose of the company; how our interaction with these platforms may actually serve us better and add into productivity vs. distracting the hell out of us.

What do you think?  Have you taken a social media break that didn’t pan out?  Did you basically leave social media at one point?  Are you a late social media bloomer, and wonder where this has been your whole life and why you didn’t jump on the boat earlier?

I’d love to hear your stories about life with social media.  Stories of love, hate and ambivalence.  Please share in the comments and as always, thank you for your patronage.

 

Get Clean!

I hate cleaning. Unless I’m angry.

My initials are M.E.S.; let me break some of this down.

Growing up, my Step Mom was quite the “Martha Stewart” (huh, I wonder if Martha’s middle name is Elizabeth, too).  Each weekend my brother and I had to have our rooms clean by the end of the day on Sunday.

Like most kids I liked to play outside, read books and watch cartoons.  Who in their right mind would want to be inside cleaning, on the weekend?

I saw the down side of cleaning at a young age- that down side, is the strong urge to immediately make another mess.  See, when it is always messy, it just goes through degrees of discord but everything is already out, ready to use at a moments notice.  When it was clean and organized, I would want to use it all, at the same time- right way!

I’d hate to totally misrepresent myself with a false sense of simplistic organization.

The weekends it was easiest to de-clutter and clean, were the weekends I was most upset about something, and may or may not be confined to my room as a sort of punishment.  These were the best cleaning days.  I would take the entire weekend to “disassemble to reassemble”, fueled purely by rage, passion, angst and melancholy.

I would take the rage out, by dumping everything onto the floor, and passionately sorting it all out, pain-painstakingly putting it in it’s  new right place.  The melancholy was evident as I wiped clean the drawers while listening to moody music.  I would clean it ALL, and not just the knick knack shelves and obvious flat surfaces I was required to dust.  I would process my emotions by attempting to control order.

By the time our rooms were to be checked on Sunday, I would be running low on energy and I would end up with a small pile of miscellaneous, which would be dedicated to the perpetual epicenter of chaos that is a junk drawer.

Cleaning, to me represents anger, isolation and process.   It is the absolute feeling of controlling ones own environment.  It can be a safe, yet violent upheaval with peaceful results.  Rearrangement or superficial change are the quickest ways to to feel renewal, or personal shift.  How much we actually settle into the temporary nature of it, depends on the individual.

For me, I am a mess.  I can keep it together for everyone else.   For them, I can color within the lines and organize like no ones business…. but for me, it just doesn’t take a priority.  And that is weird, because I really appreciate cleanliness.

We all know what it is like to stay overnight somewhere and the bathroom is filthy.  “Like, how many years of pubic hairs have accumulated at the base of your toilet?” kind of gross.

My Step Mom helped me to appreciate the not so subtle and subtle nuances of cleanliness.  I am forever grateful that she made me and my brother take turns cleaning the bathroom.  I appreciate the fact that I now have an ingrained disgust for piling amounts of filth.

-Side note, I remember (way back when) I was nineteen, looking for places to live in the SF Bay Area, and I was checking out roommate situations.  I found a Craigslist Ad for a woman looking for live in help/ roommate in the downtown Oakland area.  I figured out how to get there on bus to meet with her and the minute I walked in, I wanted to walk right back out.

I don’t have animal allergies but the minute she opened the door I saw the draft catch a massive amount of cat hair and it was whirled into the air, falling like a cat hair shower.

As she showed me around the place, I mentally noted how it was absolutely puuurfect, except for her inability to clean up after seemingly, anything. The four cats, obviously were not pulling their weight in this household,  rather they were just letting it accumulate in the corners.   I quickly found my way out and back to the bus.

I could tell you more stories about gross roommates, but I will save you your stomach.

I try to be a self contained mess.  My room is organized, overall… but it is cluttered at times mostly with clothes.  If I am in the middle of a project, or a show, my stuff get’s scattered in public areas; I keep this to a minimum.

Then, there is the work space.  It’s much like my childhood bedroom… it goes through a revamp when I am frustrated.  My creativity and cleanliness are both tied to boiling emotions, or anxiety.  Sometimes the anxiety is positive, but it seems rare to have that kind of feeling. ( A For Instance is wanting to impress some one but I kind of run with a “No Fucks Given” kind of attitude, so that kind of thing is rare.)

I think I might want to reevaluate my relationship what what I think Cleanliness and/or Order, are.   My Facebook Cleanse has been good, and I am more bored than before! I like creating content that may be useful… so I am thinking about taking my relationship to Clean to a new level and understanding, especially if it means your interaction and support.

I will start with 10 days and see how it goes. Everyday, I have to clean something and write about it. Deep Clean and Deep Dialog.  Maybe it will be a Conversation with Clean.  What can I deep clean over ten days?  How will it make me and my grandma feel?  (She already thinks I clean too much.)

Where will I start?

Last September, I deep cleaned and reorganized my room from top to bottom.  It had been a few years since I had rearranged.  It felt good, and I was sleeping better. I was able to maintain all of it for just under two months, when a kittery came into my life.  Over all, it’s maintained, but I noticed the layer of dust last night and felt a spark of inspiration to renew, again.

There are plenty of places in this four bedroom, one and a half bath home with an attached garage and basement that need attention, yet again.  Maybe I can reprocess parts of myself by taking note in the journey.  Do you want to hear about healing through cleaning?  They do say that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.  This could be interesting.

The nice thing about writing, is the accountability in publishing a series.  I don’t really market or advertise my work.  My follow-ship is pretty small.  If you do like my writing, and benefit from it in some way; I will remind you that it is always okay to share and that I do have a paypal link on the homepage for this site.   I won’t complain a bit if you throw a bone or two my way as an appreciation for the content, and I will make sure to shout you out in the next article.

I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them.  If you have inspirational ideas or insights, please leave a comment or send me message. I appreciate you and Thank you for your patronage!

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Facebook News Feed

In this series I am discovering how burdensome my Facebook  News Feed had become and I wanted to experiment with Unfollowing people, pages and groups while still maintaining friendship, and the pages I Like.

Did you know that you can Prioritize your News Feed?  All you have to do is go to your News Feed icon, click it, navigate to Edit Preferences and then click on Prioritize.

News Feed – Edit Preferences- Prioritize- See First

From here you can choose who to see first on your feed.  You can also choose from your friends list by navigating directly to their page; Follow the person if you aren’t already following them, hover over Friend/Follow and choose “See First”.  You can only choose up to 30 people or pages to See First.

This is a great way ensure that your Top 30 Favorite people, pages, or groups will be prioritized on your feed.

The “See First” option, differs from close friends. When you select a person or Page to see first, you won’t receive notifications for their posts. However, when you when you select a person as a close friend, you’ll receive notifications for their posts.

To add someone as a close friend, go to your Friends List set up, which can be accessed from the left hand of the screen, under “Explore”, look for “Friends List.”  

Click on Close Friends to see who is in that group.  I realized I only had one, my dad.  You can add people to close friends by typing their name into the add bar on the right side of the screen.

When you navigate here, you will only see posts from people on the Close Friends list.

There are other groups you can add people to, as well, like “Family”, “Acquaintances” and “Restricted.”  You can even set up individual groups to keep your old college buddies separate from your current church friends.   This can be helpful, if you post things that one group will appreciate, such as an inside joke that people outside of the circle may not appreciate.

This allows you to split your communication by communicating more directly to those who will appreciate your specific posts.

There are two ways to view stories on your News Feed:
  • Top Stories (Default): Shows the most popular stories from friends, Pages and groups at the top of your News Feed.
  • Most Recent: Shows stories from friends, Pages and groups in the order that they were posted.
 The News Feed will always re-default to Top Stories, so if you are sick of seeing the same things over and over again, try clicking Most Recent posts, to see what is fresh off the press.
If all this stuff seems like a lot of work, it’s because it is.  Facebook is constantly adding features.  I encourage you to go to the Explore feature, and see all of the options underneath it.  There is even FB messenger for kids now, which I am not sure how I feel about… but they say it is restricted, for kids to talk to family members.  There is also an Jobs option, which I have yet to explore.
I suggest doing some spring cleaning to your friends list, before adding anything new to the mix.  We certainly know that it is easy to get distracted on this platform.

Followless

Well, it is day four of the Unfollow Experiment.  A few people keep slipping through the cracks and mainly it appears to be people who aren’t overly active on FB anyway.  They seldom post.

Facebook offers another feature on posts, which is to “Silence XX for 30 days.”  At which point, you just won’t see posts from individuals or groups or pages, etc. for that allotted amount of time.  This could be good for people who get triggered by posts or find their feed inundated with posts from groups with heavy traffic.

What I realize from the “On this day” feature is that I go through cycles in regard to topical interests.  Sometimes it is conspiracy; sometimes it’s health related, moving into political subjects, or comedy and spattered in there are my own observations.  I am never just stuck on one topic throughout the year.  I suspect that engagements with certain posts on certain topics brings them onto your feed more readily.  So if you hate a topic, it is probably best to avoid commenting on it, unless you want to have more of what you don’t like, invade your feed.  Or, if you like to troll, you could probably set up the people and topics you want to troll, very easily.

I’ve made nine posts in the last 5 days.  Five have been related to this blog series, one of which was a recycle from “On this Day” memories feed.  Two were related to a creative function that I took part in.  One was a question directly to my feed from a friend, and the last one was a video that I found interesting, being a 1999 interview with Seth MacFarlane.

Engagement for the posts, are as follows;  high engagement on the experiment.  Light engagement on the creative function.  A comment and a couple of likes on the recycled content, and no activity on the interview with Seth.

I think I might post some controversial subjects and gauge that content.  I would like to see if I preface the content with “If you see this content, regardless of whether or not you agree with it, just leave a comment like “I enjoy content like this” or “I hate seeing things like this on my feed.”  I want to see what people enjoy interacting with, as much as I want to see what they are hands off about.  Maybe do a poll?

“I do not like content like this, but I engage with it.”

“I do not like content like this and I ignore it.”

“I enjoy this type of content and engage with it.”

“I enjoy this type of content but I do not engage with it.”

Pretty basic.   The key though is on the side of the audience to participate with that poll.  If I post the poll and gain no engagement, I assume it isn’t being seen, and then the question is “why”?   Especially if I’m not “over posting” updates.

My feed is pretty empty.  I continue to block advertisers who “do not relate to me.”  I’ve seen one product that I didn’t block because I actually want it, and hope it pops up again at a time when I will be able to purchase it.

I haven’t been curious about anyone’s feed yet, so this could be a great way to detox yourself from Facebook and help control your time online. I have reduced my FB time by 90%, right away since there is nothing to scroll through, but myself.  The double edge sword of it, is “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”  Maybe this is when you take the time to figure out who you really want to see and engage with online.  Mute everyone for 30 days, and as they come back to your feed, decide if you want to follow or unfollow.

There is also an option to prioritize people by groups or individuals.  If you want to make sure to keep up to date with family, or really close friends; there is a way to do that and in exchange it really cleans up your feed.

I am in a couple of very active international groups, and I was getting hundreds of their contributions in my feed on a daily basis.  One out of ten things I would see on my feed, were from people who are actually on my friends list.  Double the fact that about half of my friends list are people I’ve never met face to face, less than half the the posts on my news feed were from close friends or family.  My own engagement was just all over the place and at the mercy of my feed.

I am a “helper” type personality.  Most of my online FB time was answering questions and being an available resource for people who need it, whether or not I know them or if they belong to a mutual group.  I realize maybe I was doing too much work for others… and there should be more encouragement for people to research things.  I get a positive high from helping… add this to the seratonin hit we get from online likes… and well, you can see where a problem might develop.

Being a full time care giver AND being an online helper, is a lot to give.  Often times I silently ask myself, “when is someone going to help me?  I give so much.”    It’s definitely time I focus more on helping myself instead of spreading my finite energy too thin.

This is definitely an interesting experiment for me, and I hope you enjoy following along.

 

The FB Unfollow Experiment: Is Anyone Out There?

My  FB feed is almost completely empty.

I am in my own echo chamber.

Things are awkward.

I am thinking even more about my previous posts than before  (Thanks FB Memories On This Day) … I re-read them and listen.

(I really did think about them a lot before I posted, but some were quite slapdash. )

Things that I would think before posting:

“Who isn’t going to like this and do I care?”

“Who is going to troll me or beat me down because of what I posted and why?  Are they on my friend list?”

“I’m tired, I know my grammar sucks and my message is messy; we all do it,  who is going to beat me down about that?”

“Do I really believe what I am posting right now, or am I just looking for reactions and interactions?”  ( These are posts without any preface in commentary.  Posts that I know will be catalytic, they are usually highly commented on, or left as silent posts no one seems to see. In this case I always wonder, “What are my ‘friends’ capable of?”)

“Am I just lonely right now, looking for conversation?” ( I like thought provoking, mind expanding and controversial conversations… can I create a breeding ground of bias or honest offerings?)

“Who is willing to be raw in public?”

“Is this a feisty post meant to ruffle feathers because I feel like stirring the proverbial pot right now? ” ( I have nothing to physically hit in my frustration.  Is this a universal feeling in the moment or is it me, being the ultimate weirdo?)

“Am I proud of what I wrote?”

“What happens when someone gets fierce and I don’t expect it?”

“Can I keep my integrity in my responses?”

“Will I allow myself to look at responses and respond?”

“Is someone going to have me committed to an asylum for just being myself online?”

Yeah… I’m not really a “write unabashedly with no thoughts and post” kind of person.

I have at least 30 things sitting in a draft bank because it hasn’t felt like the “right time, place or articulation” to post and the ideas are just that…  ideas.  It doesn’t always pour forth as clear and  thought out thoughts, commentary or observation.

The ideas are not always fleshed out in an edited way.  Sometimes it’s bare bones;  basically notes, with some cohesive sentences lacking  the obvious mechanics of language  people need to be able to read English.  They are sloppier than my normal lackadaisical writing style.

( I still write for myself… if you like it, or if it helps you; BONUS!)

I, much like every other human, are worried about being brutally disseminated by people who either honestly disagree, or are inspired by playing devils advocate.  I get the same reaction most people do when they are confronted about their offerings… upper lip sweat, under arm sweat and heart palpitations.   It’s not  a great look but it hasn’t killed me yet.

Sometimes I will write something, and I go to bed, my body coursing with the stress hormone cortisol (which assists in weight gain) silently worrying about what responses I am going to wake up to.

You wanna know nuts?  That shit is NUTS.  My entire sleep cycle, and body hormone production is being influenced by my fear of “who might hate me tomorrow, because I was somehow controversial  in their opinion, and how they will let me know about it.”

The people I have met in real life, and have had the wonder of calling “friend”, is priceless to me… and I always fear losing it, because I was often the “third wheel” growing up.  Treated as a prop for jealousy or bullying.

When I did make friends in adult hood, it really filled an empty space in my heart and I wanted to hold on as hard as I could… but sometimes it feels like those friendships are slowly draining out because that is the harsh reality of maintaining friendships in adulthood, through changes.  It’s a hard two way street.

So often I feel like I have nothing to offer but my mind; imagination, creativity, kindness and experience; and even that feels somehow worthless.  (This is by no means a pity party… just the personal and internal interpretation of experience by the author.)

At the end of  the day, I just really want to talk to people that I enjoy and love, while also  inquiring about how they see the world and interact with it.  The cyber interaction reality is a bit different than real life connection.  I set myself up for a huge potential disaster with this tactic, online.

I wake up. I feel fine, sometimes even great… and then I think… “Oh yeah, I wrote or posted a provocative thing… I guess I am going to have to deal with that later.”

Eventually, I would hesitantly approach my feed and notifications and expect to see bombs, but instead, mostly, I found an echo chamber.

I justified this as ” I have really respectable friends.”  I assumed those that didn’t agree, just didn’t respond.  I didn’t take into account “unfollowing.”

This whole experiment was provoked in me, because one of my longest running female friends, (who I put in the category of my first REAL female friend in adulthood, and therefore was admitted to Best Friend Territory)  admitted that she unfollowed me ” a long time ago” after a recent and controversial post that I had made somehow popped up on her regulated feed.

Of course I didn’t know that she had unfollowed me.  Facebook doesn’t tell you that.

I mean, she still honored our relationship because she still calls me on the phone, and she didn’t FB unfriend me; however my posts were so disturbing to her, that  it was enough to make her question my mental state.  She chose to unfollow, as to not engage in topics that I posted that cause her to feel cognitive dissonance .

Before the recent post came up on her feed, she didn’t tell me that she was worried about my mental health or well being and I she rarely commented on anything that wasn’t commented on by a mutual friend.

This begs the question of how much we actually care about each other, and how much we use each other as entertainment and distraction, or as a fulcrum for  disagreement; as well as how far we will go to create our own self perpetuated echo chambers.

To me, this seems like a great reason to experiment.  I feel like I am super honest about my mental health in my posts, and my blog writing.  How much of that you choose to read, as a reader or friend, is up to you.

If  anyone needs  me to spell it out,  “I am lonely as fuck and I crave insightful, creative and thought provoking conversations.  I love thought experiments and imagination.  I crave human contact.  Most of all, I want sincere and deep connections.” Few people in my real life offer this, so I find it where I can and in my spare time, I provoke it online.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am hoping that over a week or so, I start getting posts on my feed again, especially from people that I really care about.  Honest posts, raw posts, thought provoking posts.  Simply, “Engaging Posts.”

When I engage online, I do it with an open heart, an open mind and a strong desire to CONNECT.  (Hey, I want hits of Oxytocin, too and I am in a huge hug drought!)

I am not holding my breathe.

Right now, my feed exists of  me; the pages I admin (if they have activity), ads,suggestions of new  friends and FB direct posts on how to properly use FB.

My feed is the biggest  self echo chamber in the cyber world right now… to be honest, it feels pretty fucking lonely, awkward and weird; but somehow appropriate because that sums up my real life.

I am still receiving notifications on my own posts or comments on posts… so you know, I can attend to those but if I want to know “wuzz up” with someone, I have to navigate to their page, and scroll their feed.

Do you know what happens when you scroll a feed?  It isn’t always ordered by the date of the post.. so you might scroll through 45 pictures that were taken 5 months ago (highly commented on) and somewhere in the middle of that find something that was posted recently.

When my friend told me that the post that upset her popped up on her feed… I had to wonder:

Is FB trying to break the real life friendships we have made and have been able to maintain over decades, or is it just trying to create some subtle but extra chaos in the world because now we base so much of our worth on our likes and responses? (Now every time you respond, there is an automatic audience able to respond.)

I don’t know, but it feels wack.

I don’t want the friends that I have had for years, whom I’ve  met in real life and helped or helped me and been present in some really personal  and trying times to placate me as obtuse because of my online posts.  That is really scary territory.

Yeah, I admit, I am kind of a strange and at times considered a controversial person.

Often I don’t fit into the mainstream.

What I do understand, is that the world is full of critics and trolls ready to beat someone down.  I don’t want to fall victim to that, and I don’t want my real life friends to be on the  worst end of my insecurities.

I am my own worst critic; sometimes it is really hard to be “nice” or “kind” to myself, and it is the exact reason I don’t decimate people for fun, online.  It would be easy to do but I fully understand that most people are hypercritical of themselves and need no help  in the self destructing process.

My job is to see the best in all of us, and to encourage that.   My posts,  especially those  that are  considered fringe, are just that… fringe: thought experiments for the willing. If you are unwilling, and reactive in a mad way, check yourself.  Why does this shit make you mad. I really have no invested interest other than “getting to know you better” ,  this is a way to gauge what we can and cannot talk about and it is completely based on you.

(Who ever “you” are, You could probably talk about anything with me. Unless you hurt people for fun.. Those topics make me upset.)

I feel less likely to post those random things now  because I am begininning to have some new thoughts,

“How many of my ‘friends’ have ‘unfollowed’ me because they think I should be committed for a post they didn’t like?”

“Am I going to be forced to conform for the sake of others and if I do, will I find out I have no actual friends?”

These are scary thoughts, scarier than my thought experiments about things we can’t prove because there will be an eventual out come that exists out of our control.

It reminds me of why I’ve always wanted to just run away and disappear.

These are not fun thoughts to have,and I plan on pooping them out soon because so far as I can tell, they belong in the waste bin.

Even my “crazy” posts are more positive than being okay with fading away or disappearing.  But sometimes, I want it, because I can’t seem to get the connection I want or need.

If you want a thought experiment, think about fading away or disappearing with no reason or clue, and then contemplate about who would care and why.  I’m not ready to give up on Life because of the opinions of others, and I still desire connection.

Facebook is a mind fuck.