The cat watches me brush my teeth kind of always. Cute/creepy?
As of two days ago, I have internet access. I was joking to my roommate that this meant that we’d basically quit talking to each other, now that we had the internet to occupy our time.
We spent the rest of the weekend in near-silence. Bless our poor self-control, every one.
I managed to use the free time to watch a British TV series that Netflix recommended to me in the “You Seem to Like Accents, Nerd” category. In true UK fashion, the first season included a marriage dissolving, two affairs, and a main character choking to death on his own vomit. The season was six episodes long. The show is nominally about a book club.
But the other weird flipside of that is that people expect you to be able to be fairly immersed in your at-home life while you are abroad. This happens on both a social (“why haven’t you uploaded Facebook photos yet?”) and academic (“you need to register for classes/apply to the honors program/find your summer internship”) level.This has been a weirdly America-focused week for me. When people talk about the dangers of technology while going abroad, they seem to be focused on you withdrawing—staying on Facebook (or blogging, ahem) rather than engaging with wherever you are. This happens, of course, and I’m guiltier of it than most.
After a minor existential crisis earlier this week, I decided to pursue an honor’s thesis for the coming year. Because you’re required to file all of that paperwork before April, this has meant that I’ve spent a lot of this week writing in English, to other English-speakers, about things I’ll be doing when I’m back at home. Ditto with the very weirdly terrifying experience of asking someone whose work I really like if I could maybe possibly work for them this summer—which requires me being able to email them. Continue reading →
I removed my Facebook wall today. I’m going to try to avoid Facebook as much as I can, and see if that goes well. I think it will. Realistically, there are very few people I interact with regularly, and I have redundant systems–email for my friends who don’t got to school with me, phone for my family, and running into people at my little tiny school if they need me. My contact information is still up there, if someone needs to text me.
While my wall is gone, I’m going to reevaluate what I’m using Facebook for. I’m not one of those people who truly wants to delete my profile; for one, I have had useful and good things come of Facebook, and it is by far the thing that gets me the most hits on this site or on my HackCollege articles. It’s a great way to distribute content I find interesting or useful (or–to be honest–that I create). There are links that I routinely want to send to individuals, and I think it’s probably ruder and more intrusive to send those via email. The reusable K-cup that I found the other day is totally awesome for my friend with a Kurig, but that doesn’t make it worth an email. And, oftentimes, it’s the way that I find out about parties friends are throwing–real-life events that I want to attend because my friends throw awesome parties.
Perhaps the way to use it is to reevaluate the Facebook ettiquette. Currently, I’m like most people; I friend pretty much anyone who requests me, regardless of degree of intimacy. Perhaps if I knocked that back down to the 50 or so people I actually care about, Facebook would become useful for me again. It is difficult to go through the 500-ish friends I have accumulated, though, and rearrange my settings so that I’m back where I want to be. And, because I’m a worrier, I’m always somewhat afraid that I’ll unfriend someone who I really will want to get in touch with at some point. The fact that I possess about 800 ways to do this outside of Facebook (or, with Facebook messages, within Facebook) does not seem to appease my lizard brain. And, if I lost those contacts I would have difficulty keeping people up-to-date with things I write, which is something I want to do.