A few weeks ago, I decided to sort of quit Facebook. I say sort of because I haven’t deleted my account entirely (I still use Messenger frequently to stay in touch with people who are important to me), but I did delete it from my phone and I’ve avoided going there on my laptop.
But that made me realize, I would’ve shared my daily internal monologue on Facebook, hoping to get a bunch of likes or other form of engagement. Since I had decided not to use it, though, I needed a place for these thoughts. I felt like they needed a home. So I started keeping a list of them in Google docs.
The cool thing is that it’s like keeping a mini-journal. I’m a big fan of journaling, and I’ve done it since I was a kid (side note: IIRC, my very first journal had a little lock on it, and I wrote exactly one entry about how I was anticipating my first date, which was like in 5th grade or something). But as an adult with real responsibilities, deadlines, and a family, I find I don’t always have the time and energy to write a journal entry every day, or even every week.
I still keep both a written journal and a digital one for longer entries. But I found that taking the time to jot down a few random thoughts that would’ve been posted on Facebook in a separate, running document, is a good release. It keeps the mind clear, and I don’t obsess over stupid details. And I don’t worry about whether or not my “brilliant” thoughts are being validated. They’re just existing in and of themselves.
When I started it, I thought I’d just publish them here (or on Medium), but as I’ve written this, I realize I don’t need to nor do I have the desire to share them. That said, if anyone is really interested, I’ve made my Things I would’ve posted to Facebook document publicly available.
One of the things this entire experiment has made me realize is that there is essentially now a culture of begging people to interact with you. It’s the digital equivalent of Jeb Bush’s Please Clap. Part of my goal is to just produce writing (commentary, fiction, etc.) in a sort of Zen way; I’m putting stuff out there and it’s great if it resonates with people, but I’m not spending my own mental energy trying to get people to read, comment, or care.