Because If Anyone Knows a Word for Misery it’s the Germans

All the things I want to write, and all I can think about is what to pack next. That’s the thing about moving, and about me in general. I tend to get very absorbed in projects, to the point where I’m thinking about them in my sleep. I’ve had several moving dreams this week, and while none of them have been unpleasant, it’s not the best way to spend the several hours of your day when your eyes are not open and seeing your tiny house packed to the rafters with boxes.

We have packed a lot of boxes so far. I’m actually pretty impressed with the way we’re going, even in those moments where I turn a corner on my way out the door for work and bang my shin on a box of books. Everything is boxes right now. My whole life is boxes. If something can’t be compartmentalized and shoved into a box, I’m not interested in it.

I’m glad that I have all of this packing to do, because it’s helping me keep my eyeballs off of screens while I’m home. This is something I’ve been worrying about lately. I spend about nine hours a day at work, and pretty much all of that is spent looking at screens. There are the monitors on my desk, the display on my work phone, and, during breaks, the screen of my iPhone because fifteen minutes grabbed here and there are not enough for me to get into a book. I spend so much of my life staring at screens and I know my eyes are tired, so I’ve started to make the decision to look at screens as little as possible when I’m outside of work. This means I’m missing texts and fall into Twitter radio silence after 7pm, but it also gives me time to focus on real life things like books (well, I would if they weren’t all packed), the outdoors (even in the city), and definitely not Facebook.

Facebook has been wearing me down. I don’t want to go as far as deactivating – I live about 2,000 miles from my family and quite a lot of my friends, so Facebook is a lifeline I daren’t cut – but for awhile there, I realized that I was frustrated and disheartened by most of what I saw there on a daily basis. I couldn’t figure out how to make that stop. I tried hiding certain apps but new ones popped up in the old ones’ places. I tried hiding certain people but they still appeared as commenters on mutual friends’ posts. I tried ignoring people altogether, I tried scolding them, I tried being really really positive to the people I actually liked. Nothing really worked, so finally, a couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to simply excise the offenders all together.

Here’s what I learned when I trimmed my friends list:

– I’m not Facebook friends with too many people I don’t like. Actually, I’m not friends with anyone I don’t like, but I’m not even friends with casual acquaintances I don’t particularly know or care for. Good for me.

– Of the people who aren’t my actual friends, I am on cordial terms with at least everyone. This does not, however, prevent me from being apathetic about their lives or critical of some of their posts.

– I was not especially interested in remaining apathetic to people’s lives or critical of some of their posts. At the very least, I could just as comfortably be apathetic and/or critical at a greater distance. And that greater distance could include defriending these people.

– I am not obligated to accept friend requests from people I don’t like. Haven’t talked to you since grade school? Nope. You were shitty to me in high school? Nope. I’ve already defriended you twice because your political views are so moronic that I can’t stand to even look at them? Nope. As much as I’d like to believe that the people from way back in the day always thought I was fascinating and still want to get to know me, I realize that for most, Facebook is a collector’s game, and I am just not up to playing.

– I could also defriend those who, while I don’t exactly hatefollow them, I don’t follow them for genuinely friendly reasons. I suppose that at one point I really enjoyed watching them shit all over their own lives. And in a gross, defective, completely entertaining way, I kind of still do. But I realized that I was more annoyed than amused anymore, and that someday, my resolve to never get involved in their shitshows would break down, and I would probably send a well-meaning but poorly-received private message and it would all just go to hell. As much as I will always love schadenfreude, it doesn’t exactly make me a better or more complete person, and going forward, I am just going to have to be more selective about it.

– Not that there’s anything wrong with schadenfreude or hatefollowing. Both are absolutely valid Internet pastimes and I do not at all judge people who are participating in them, at least in passive ways. I’m just not in the place where either of them serve me, and besides, if I’m going to hatefollow someone these days, it’s going to be for their boring-ass blog or inability to use Twitter.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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3 Responses to Because If Anyone Knows a Word for Misery it’s the Germans

  1. Gurl, just click unfollow! Or make people your acquaintances. Or deactivate it every 2 weeks like me.

    • erineph says:

      The point I apparently failed to make is that I HAVE been clicking “unfollow,” and with what feels like recklessness. AND I’m not even tempted to be like “here’s why we’re not going to be friends.” Which is a huge step for an asshole like me.

  2. Becky says:

    Um…….I hatefollow a lot. Pure entertainment. I need to clean up my friend list. .

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