Twelve hours into the New Year and I was inwardly congratulating myself on not having switched on the TV, thereby not having exposed myself to any eye chewing gum; viewing for the sake of it rather than watching because I want to watch something in particular. The congratulations were short-lived when I realised that both my wife and I were side-by-side, phone-in-hand, most likely both on Facebook as our toddler played at our feet.
I'm not going to be too harsh on ourselves as we also have a seven week old who is frankly rubbish at sleeping. Day time? No bother. Night time? C-Come on everybody. C-Come on everybody, let's twist again like we did last summer, Yeah, let's twist again like we did last year. Do you remember when things were really hummin'? Yeah, let's twist again, twistin' time is here. Why do you do this? Why aren't you sleeping instead of dancing to a poor cover of a dated song? If I'm going to imagine you imagining a tune in your head, why did you let me think it would be Jive Bunny rather than something infinitely cooler. Faithless! It could have been Faithless! Proper middle-of-the-night madness. One dry potato inside, no bread, jam and the light above your head went bam. I could have been imagining you imagining yourself dancing to these pearls, almost certainly plucked directly from Shakespeare's quill. But no; you want to twist like you did last summer? Where have you even heard Jive Bunny in the 52 days you've been here? Anyway, let's get back on track as anyone who has had the misfortune to stumble upon this blog is rapidly making plans to wander off; I'll sort out our internal mix tape issues in private.
So, there I was, in the middle of an epiphany. The initial draft was very bold:
I am going to give up Facebook for a year!
I was very quick to temper what appeared to be my new year's resolution with a touch of reality and the final wording was somewhat less ambitious:
I am going to give up Facebook for a month. And then see how it goes after that!
Very few would disagree that this is right up there with the most rumbustious of statements of intent. King's Dream, Churchill's Beaches, my Epiphany.
I would use all of this new-found free time to read! To dust the cross-trainer! To contact people properly, just like in the days of yore, before we even knew what social media was! When people would go to an online forum but to admit to doing so was taboo for fear of social ostracism. To contact people properly: write to them! Get a grip man - are you high? - keep this within the realms of reality. Ok! To write! To write more blogs! To get good at it! To use fewer exclamation marks!
I was pumped. I've never been pumped before and frankly it's not an experience I would care to repeat. But, in the moment as I was, I was unwittingly pumped. I needed to tell people of my plans immediately, strike while the iron's hot or, at the very least, smooth my clothes. I would write a succinct post on Facebook to inform the world, or the 123 'Friends' I have accumulated since 2007. Some would consider this to be a poor, low number; if you're one of them and of this opinion then consider yourself lucky I'm not reducing this to 122. Yet.
Anyway, I was about to spend an hour on an off-the-cuff witticism, to announce my decision when I thought, No, I won't do this. If I was to announce my sabbatical I would spend the next minutes hours days refreshing my screen, looking for the little red number on the notifications icon. 1 for a like. 2 for a like and a comment. I would then spend time choosing which comments to deem worthy of a response, which are better left unanswered (irrelevances or attempted jokes where the best put down is a deafeningly silent non-response) and which must be written in a tone that I am misinterpreting as otherwise the person writing it is a bit more of a dick than previously believed.
Therefore, I have said nothing. People are not aware that I have extricated myself from social media for a whopping "31 days and then I'll reassess" period. I really can't imagine my life is going to suffer greatly. Hopefully if anyone decides to get married or die then they won't only use Facebook for the invites (I have been invited to both a wedding and a funeral entirely organised on Facebook).
Hopefully I'll find other activities to pass the time. Presumably in the BZ era, I was able to take trains, ride an escalator and defecate; I'll just need to re-learn how to do these without Zuckerberg's assistance.
Suffice to say I'm on a break. And nobody knows. Until now. There are a few people who read this blog and if you are one who is real, not here to check whether Banka Barrister Johnson is going to make you rich (he won't), and you know me personally, please let me know of anything important that I may be missing out on. I suspect I won't be hearing from anyone, anytime soon.
So, all of this to say, you should hear more from me on here, nothing from me on there. Happy 2016.