The only reason I even noticed I had reached the sixty-six day mark of the “99 Days of Freedom” from Facebook project is the reminder I had set on my calendar. My thirty-three day update was a list of things I had done since leaving Facebook…since then I can add three more books to the list including Edan Lupaki’s, California, Levine and Heller’s, Attached, and John Perkins’, Confessions of An Economic Hit Man. I learned to play chess and played a couple of games online with my sister, and as a result of the leaving Facebook/quitting TV combo, I’ve started listening to CBC radio during the day (which I will say as a late comer to the party, I find incredibly entertaining and informative and more enjoyable than TV). I’ve also gone to a few movies at the independent movie theatre downtown with Mr. W., including Tracks, Are You Here, and Boyhood (of which I liked two – I had problems with Tracks that anyone who knows me would identify pretty quickly). And I suppose most notably, I’ve spent oodles of time learning to draw a floor plan for the tiny house (and not posting status updates about the progress!). Obviously, all of these experiences have been enjoyable and not in any way lessened by a lack of Facebook updates.
As discussed in a previous post, I started my fifth year of university this week. As a gender studies major and history minor I have always taken more courses in the former per year. When I decided last year to forgo my honours year (which I’m making up for now), I consequently dropped my history minor (something that really bummed me out – for some reason I had always looked forward to seeing it on my degree). In making up my honours year, I am also picking up the remaining credits to complete a history minor, and this has meant taking three history classes this semester – The Holocaust, The Soviet Experiment, and Gender in North American History, and only one gender studies class – Gender In The Global South. In my first week I have read 230 pages of history readings. Fascinating at times (especially the Soviet readings), dry at other times, and time consuming either way – this work load will stay relatively consistent for the duration of the semester.
I can’t tell you the feeling of relief and freedom I have felt knowing that in the face of all this reading, my lack of ability to exercise self-control with regards to Facebook and TV is not an issue. When I come home after class or wake up in the morning and sit down in the living room, I don’t have to choose not to turn on the TV just for a minute. There is no TV. When I’m in class and the lecture loses my interest for a minute, I don’t have to feel like a shabby student for navigating over to Facebook and starting a conversation with someone, which will then hold my attention for the rest of the class. There is no Facebook. It is liberating to feel free from the weight of those chains. (I know this sounds intense, but in my defence, I heard in a CBC program that when we check our emails or see Facebook notifications or Likes, we are rewarded with a small shot of dopamine! I’m not crazy…this shit really was keeping me coming back!).
And finally, even without Facebook, I received news and pictures of the arrival of Mr. W’s newest niece right away and we’ve made plans to visit this coming weekend.
My next update will be the final one, day ninety-nine, at which time I will decide if I should sign in to Facebook to see what I’ve been missing or permanently delete it. We shall see!