Returning to Facebook

Once Again Rubbing Glass for Dopamine Pellets

It was a reflex. My brain constantly aching for that hit of dopamine. Stopped at a red light, Facebook opened. Kid taking a bath, Facebook opened. Laying in bed to go to sleep. Facebook opened.

Scrolling scrolling scrolling. Hitting the Like Button. Commenting on things I shouldn’t.

I grew frustrated with Facebook and deactivated my account back in December of 2015. I wanted to see what the holidays would be like without having white and blue frames burned into my corneas.

It was much easier than I anticipated.

I had no desire to get back on. I didn’t miss Facebook at all.

So it went for another seven months. Life was good.

I finally re-activated my account last week. I’d like to blame the wine or the inscrutable second season of Mr. Robot, but it just kind of happened.

Stepping back into the fray after being gone for so long comes with a new sense of perspective. I’m not using it nearly as much as I used to. It actually feels bad to use it. Like eating a bunch of fast food after a strict diet.

It’s amazing how easily thoughts get inceptioned into your head while scrolling through the feed. Only a few swipes scrolling through my feed yesterday left me feeling stressed out, a little angry, and like I needed to go argue on the Internet. I managed to resist, but the posts that I had a reaction to were cycling through my head randomly throughout the rest of the day.

Be careful about letting other people put thoughts into your head.

It’s horrifying when you haven’t been immersed in it and you see the insanity wrapping it’s blue tentacles around you. It gets into your mind and just metastasizes there. Some awful corrupt file that can’t be deleted.

Stay Frosty.

I’m going to keep my account open for now. It is useful. And they have my friends and family.

But I’m going to remain vigilant about not getting pulled back in like I was before: looking through the feed compulsively, trolling Trump supporters, sharing passive-aggressive articles.

My new approach is to think of Facebook as a mass medium or a polite dinner party at church. No politics. No over the top jokes. Try not to be a jerk or to provoke anyone. Smile politely and make sure your shirt is tucked in.

Keep it strictly life-updates and pictures of kids.

That’s what it’s good at.

I’ll just go to Twitter if I want to get yelled at.

Also published on Medium.