I've been on a Facebook diet for a bit now. We had off of work for Chanukah and I figured it would be good for me to unplug for a bit. There is between us (Facebook and I) an odd relationship. Dysfunctional for the most part. It scares me. More like the fact that I have a hard time imagining life without it scares me. I'll meet an old friend, and when, after telling them to look me up on Facebook, they tell me they aren't on it, I'm in awe. "Wow, this person must have a life. Like a real one, in the real world."
It's not really a diet. Diet refers to a regimen of food, not a lack of it, or even a sequestration of it. It's mostly what you eat, not how much. But the term has been hijacked, twisted, recalibrated, defragmented, and possibly hydrogenized. Somehow someone along the way decided that food was the enemy, and we can't trust ourselves with it. We developed a complex about it. We eat fake food, bad food, horrible tasting food. We starve ourselves, measure ourselves, drug ourselves. Enemy! Food is thy name.
Where was I? Right, Facebook.
Facebook has been really good for me. I've met some amazing people, and made some wonderful friends. It's the perfect advertising medium for a photography business, and most of my clients have come from there. I can keep tabs on friends, see who has more kids, whose beard is bigger, which beers are hot, ask questions (and get answers!).
But then there is the dark side. The endless cat photos, sponsored garbage. The preponderance of fringe articles written by fringe experts propagating the end of the world, and how evil the naysayers are. The never ending "look what I found on the interwebz! And then there is the even darker side. The ego stroking, the need to share ones personal indulgences to prove their worth to himself. The endless waste of time. Sometimes it seems as if Facebook is a giant metaphorical fridge to whom one stands in front of again and again not knowing how he got there or what his purpose is. Except this one is hypnotic, enticing you to post, comment, like, so maybe the next time you open the fridge the contents will have changed. But as the likes and comments die down you need another fix, another high, so you do it all again. All in the name of being social, and in my case sometimes in the name of my business. Cultivating friends and relationships for my own benefit. And it scares me. Horrifies me.
So I took some time off. And although my hands never quite started shaking, I did miss it. Mostly the good, but, especially when tired, or down, I missed the high. And that's a high I never want.
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of photographing Kelly and her beautiful boy. They used to live around the block from us (the Berkowitz clan crashed her playground quite often), though, sadly, they moved away. Kelly isn't on Facebook, and, well, Wow, she must have a life. Like a real one, in the real world. So we went to that real world and took some real photos on a real camera with real film. We went somewhere they often go, did things they often did, and captured some meaningful memories. Take that Facebook!