I recently turned 65, and “clack!” went the abacus in my head. Somehow I had been able to fudge (or smudge) myself into still being somewhere in the middle of my lifespan. But chiaroscuro is no longer hiding the truth: the time I have left is way less than the time I’ve spent here on this planet. And for the first time in my life, I am paying attention to math. And my priorities. (And verbs! Does one “spend” a life? From now on I am investing.)
First on the chopping block? Facebook. I know, I know—it serves some positive purpose for some people, sometimes. Me too. Especially me, too. Of course, there are family and friends to easily catch up with. I administrate a group page, Miss You, Pat, so I am responsible for maintaining the memory of 9/11 FDNY hero Captain Pat Brown in the most succinct way possible. I recently joined a Woodstock 50th Reunion page that is fun and helps me with a graphic memoir I am working on. And I have causes to support and share, and a desire to interact with people that I barely know or have never met, because in this serendipitous universe, they too are often valid relationships. My closer ties are still present in my life, even if I don’t “like,” follow, or even am aware of what they post on social media. And thank god I never got into Twitter or Instagram, or I’d still be untangling myself from all of this.
For me (I can only speak for myself, and you don’t need to like, share, or validate this realization), the bad on Facebook now outweighs the good. And so, email alerts are turned off, and I only indulge in brief peeks to interests that would be complicated to keep up to speed with, should I really pull the plug. The funny thing is, a month after my last post, I really don’t miss it. Even the lurking is nipped in the bud. What I do instead is read, draw, walk, write, organize, garden, do yoga, do research, meet friends. Tuning out Facebook has freed me up to actually live my life. Well, what’s left of it. And I highly doubt that my last words will be “I should have spent more time on Facebook.”
Instead, I am picking up a book that I’ve never read, written by a very wise author that I haven’t indulged in for over half a century. Its title? Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
art and words copyright Sharon Watts 2018