Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Facebook Kidnapped My Mojo


These watermelon radishes and chiogga beets were photographed in the height of their beauty last fall in Vermont, where finding sublime vegetables was relatively easy. I'm pretty sure I had every intention of sharing this image when I captured it, along with a few others that show you how gorgeous the roots look when you slice them open, but I lost focus. The pictures have been relegated to yet another flickr photo set, and lost in the swamp of my unorganized iphoto library. My regret here is twofold; I don't have interesting vegetables readily available to me, and facebook (for the better part of the last 4 years) has literally scooped up any of my blogging power and tucked it in its dirty back pocket.

(Before I move to the next topic, I should add that if you can get your hands on a watermelon radish and slice it up, you should. Their color is an inspiration. And just think - if I had decided to include the photo of their interior, would you more or less likely to go out and find one for yourself? The chiogga beet interior is shown in a previous post.)

Sometimes I will take a peek at a random old blog entry from years past and feel a bit uncomfortable - like that deep embarrassment one feels when reading old journal entries from middle school - but other times I have happened upon some decent posts that serve as a reminder of my hectic past, things that I'm surprised I took the time to write out, things that kept my old friends close to me even though they were far away. And then Facebook came along... and look what it fucking did!! I don't even think I need to explain how easy it made keeping in touch with my friends around the world... and how alluring it has been to spy on everybody, to stalk old boyfriends, to put my immediate world in the face of many many so-called "friends". This makes me deeply sad if I think about it too much, but if somebody could show me how many hours or minutes I have spent gazing into the light of a computer screen or sucked into the glow of my iphone in the last year alone I would probably feel sick inside. How is it that FRIEND has gone from noun to verb in such a short period of time? Why have I felt it necessary to dip into iphone candy to alert the world to my experience of apple-picking with my children? Does anybody really need to know, or is fb just my new video game (I wasted a good year of college playing computer tetris during deep bouts of depression)? In this questioning I have become much better at confronting my motivations when making a "status update", and even limiting my computer/phone time entirely.

As it goes, there is a flip side to everything, and I see that fb is a joy and delight for many of us that are too busy to stay connected (either on the phone or via snail mail) and I am not ready to give it up cold turkey... but I will say that I am far more mindful of how I use it as a tool rather than an escape. And that's just how I see my present stance on blogging. This space has become a type of tool. I'm not entirely sure what kind of tasks this tool accomplishes, but I know it does SOMETHING. Something more than just nourishing my ego.

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