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Archive for January, 2010

I deleted my Facebook account two days ago.

I’ve done this before. Usually during finals. Last year, I had my roommate change my password so I could maintain my account without being able to access it. I cracked pretty early in and was back posting and probably stalking you before my last exam was over.

This time was different. I just got fed up with the whole thing. The whole fact that I was (we all do?) create this persona that exists online. It’s starting to creep me out. The friend requests, the new privacy settings, the people popping up in my newsfeed—the majority of whom I don’t really care much about now and have mostly never cared much about.

But I also have little self-control when it comes to Facebook’s unique synthesis of shameless narcissism and voyeurism. Not only was I assaulted by photos of people I don’t care about, I found myself actually looking at them.

Yes, Facebook is an extraordinarily useful tool. But right now, the pluses are being outweighed by the minuses for me. The people that really matter have multiple ways of getting in touch without poking and tagging me.

I also have this weird theory that Facebook is the antithesis of mindfulness. Maybe the whole internet is that. But Facebook especially seems to be caught in the future and, of course, the past, having very little to do with the present. Which is why I’m redirecting my social networking attention to Twitter. Something about Twitter seems more Zen than Facebook. Nobody reads old tweets or judges you on pictures from four years ago. It’s all about spreading ideas and following trends, and less about…stalking people you’ve hooked up with. This piece in the Times by David Carr this weekend got me started thinking about Twitter in a new way. A year ago, I made fun of it. Shamelessly. But now, I see that it can really open your eyes to what’s out there on this big, bad intraweb.

One interesting thing to ponder, however, is that I did most of the promotion for this blog on Facebook. I now automatically post all blog entries onto Twitter. Will clicks go down? Up? Will I get a fantastic job offer from someone who reads my tweets (yes, that word is ridiculous)? We’ll see.

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I’m lame and white

Okay just on Stuff White People Like and stumbled across #105: Unpaid Internships. This is the best part:

When all is said and done, the internship process serves the white community in many ways. First, it helps to train the next generation of freelance writers, museum curators, and director’s assistants. But more importantly, internships teach white children how to complain about being poor.

Stuff White People Like always reminds me that no matter how hard I try, I will never, ever be a cool kid. Between running marathons and studying abroad in Africa to wearing scarves, I’m just not all that original, I guess. Seems like everyone else hating on unpaid interns. Like, my favorite, The Onion (#109 on SWPL), which had the headline: “Fall internship pays off with coveted winter internship.”

Pity party time. On an unrelated note, I saw someone wearing this shirt last night:

I’m a poor unpaid intern and I’d really appreciate it if you could buy that for me. Size small.

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I love making resolutions. I make resolutions so much, it’s like every day is New Years. Sometimes—training for a marathon, giving up soda— I’m really successful. Sometimes—never ever touching tequila again, for instance—I’m not. I like the language of absolutes. But language and reality aren’t the same thing and I have a less than stellar follow through rate on resolutions.

Still, because it’s New Year’s and because I might actually commit to one or two resolutions, why not? Next year (this year), I plan to:

Sing in the shower. Spend less time on Facebook. Keep my room clean. Blog at least three times a week. Stop biting my nails.

More than anything else, I’d really like to make an effort to be more mindful. To slow down and appreciate things and spend more time thinking in the present tense.

One of my new favorite things is GOOD. My friend Danny got me a subscription to the magazine and every time I get it, I learn at least ten new things, both from the content and the way it’s produced. According to its website:

GOOD is the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. We are a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward. GOOD’s mission is to provide content, experiences, and utilities to serve this community.

GOOD currently produces a website, videos, live events, and a print magazine. Launched in September 2006, the company has garnered praise for its unique editorial perspective and fresh visual aesthetic and is quickly positioning itself as a significant new voice in our culture.

Anyway, the newest issue is all about slowing down, complete with a guide to slowing down. It includes the obvious: unplug the smartphone, take deep breaths, plant a garden. My favorite tip, however, is Number 4: Build a Backyard Dumpster Pool. Basically it involves renting a dumpster and filling it with water. Maybe I’ll try it next summer.

Anyway, I’ve decided the official start date to my new year is tomorrow. Until then, I’m drinking some Diet Coke, watching the Biggest Loser, eating ice cream and procrastinating.

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