Wednesday, 2 January 2013

"Enable social reading"

Erm. How about no? How about fuck off? How about leave reading ALONE? I've succumbed and fallen into the mire of social media. Heavily. But reading? That's mine. Just for me. All for me.

I need to go to some kind of Facebook Anonymous meeting. I'm suffering from massive withdrawal symptoms. My flat is like Renton's in Trainspotting. There's a baby Facebook logo crawling on the ceiling, crying and crying. I'm huddled in a corner using Twitter as methadone.

Everything I do and think has become a commodity to spaff over the internet. I compulsively write my thoughts, my hilarious bon mots, my traumas and my worries on Facebook. And YES OK, I used it for validation. I use it to feel part of 'it'. I don't know what 'it' is. I became convinced that I need it. What if someone has something important they want to say and their only medium, for some inexplicable reason, is Facebook Chat? I'm also addicted to following Colonel Meow and Henri Le Chat Noir.

It makes me feel included and like I have friends. It's entirely possible to live 95% of your social life through it. I know. I've been doing that. The more I've stayed in, feeling all introspective and wormy, the more I've sat on Facebook, watching other peoples' lives. Like The Little Match Girl. If she didn't sell matches. And without the death bit.

I do actually think there are many plus points to social media, as long as it acts as an addition to an already thriving life outside of the internet. It's when it mixes with depression and self loathing, it can become a stick you beat yourself with.

One of my main problems in my head is comparing myself with other people.

I'm 36, single, neurotic, phobic, anxious and live alone with a cat. I am a walking cliche, forever worried and worried and WORRIED about what people think of me. More now than ever before for some reason. Perhaps it's as I get older and Mr Right, or even Mr You'll Do, remain elusive. Perhaps it's some kind of vague realisation that I haven't achieved what a lot of people have by my age. I don't have a house, I don't have children, I can't even bloody drive, I don't have a mortgage, I don't have a cosy family. I'm just me. And, particularly over the festive period, being me didn't feel like very much at all.

As someone very important and wise, I'm going to say Einstein. Could have been someone entirely different, said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," I've cut the chord. It's gone. My password is now in the hands of (a very trusted) friend. And every time I compulsively click to Facebook I'm rewarded with a login page and no way to get into it.

It's weird. But good. And today, while I wasn't on it, I've signed up to not one, but TWO writing courses at York Uni and will be volunteering at York Cemetery on Saturday, cleaning up graves and that. Can't wait. Am intending to polish a crypt for me to skulk in when the mood takes me. I've also bought a Samsung Chromebook and achieved a lot of very boring but very necessary things.

So it's all good. I can live without Facebook. I just need to stop shaking and uncontrollably vomiting. As soon as that's over, it'll be GRAND. And reading will go back to being something I do for me. I might write about it, I might analyse it, I might talk about it, but I won't be 'logging in to see what my friends are reading' because that's weird and intrusive and, well, stalky. And I don't actually care.


  1. “I don't have a house, I don't have children, I can't even bloody drive, I don't have a mortgage, I don't have a cosy family. I'm just me.” – There are a million and four things that make you ‘just you’. You’ve listed five. Don’t be ashamed of any of them!

  2. You are the first person I've come across in a long while who's volunteered in a cemetery... You might also fancy this & it's worthwhile