So I decided to cancel my Facebook account. And my decision, was as much as a shock to me, as to many of my friends. My 525 Facebook friends. After all, Facebook was my daily cup of coffee. It was the first thing I would do in the morning and the last thing before going to bed. It was the buzz I needed every 10 minutes. Flipping through my phone… Typing on my screen… Every 10 minutes, I would go to Facebook just because… just because I didn’t know how to be with myself. And worse, because I didn’t know how to be with anyone else. Getting together with friends was about talking for 5 minutes to each other and spending 10 minutes looking at our respective devices. Would you get together with someone and start reading a book in the middle of a conversation? So why it’s not only accepted, but expected of us to look at Facebook while in each others presence?
I am compulsive about books. I have always had a book in my hands for as long as I can remember. School break officially started by my dad taking me and my sis to a bookstore, and buying the volumes that would entertain us for weeks to come. And when I catch myself mopping about the fact that writting a memoir is probably not gonna happen, I pat myself on the back for my short story published in a college literary magazine that no one has a copy of. Including myself. For more than a year, I’ve been photographing rare books from the Princeton University archives. The studio is located among open stacks of books only second in size to the U.S. Library of Congress. I am surrounded by these objects I so adore. A few million of them.
But lately, I had been ignoring it’s shelves and many other things in my life. I was compulsively reading and writing a different kind of book. And I had to face it, page after page, the lines were not beautifully written and the stories were not that interesting. On Facebook there was just this nagging person desperately trying to receive and give attention. Disguised not as much as coffee cups, smiley faces, and fluffy pets but into an artsy, intellectual, snobbish self, just as needy. That person was me. As an open book.
I would be lying if I said, I don’t think there are positive aspects in an online presence. There are. And, that’s why I will keep this page for my photography www.facebook.com/jennifercabral.photography. But I just don’t want an online existence. One where I only have been to a place, shared a cup of coffee and talked to someone if I posted to Facebook. As if it didn’t really happen unless its there.
So, adieu Facebook!
To my friends I wanna say…
It doesn’t really matter where I am, unless you are with me. Let’s sit and share a meal once in a while. No instagrams involved. And when we do, we can tell each other how we really feel. I miss you, my friends. Especially, while we were on Facebook.
And, Zuckerberg! To like is not enough. In life, you have to love. Period.
PS: And maybe now, I will have time to write that memoir after all.