Banned Things

Over the last 5-6 months or so I have banned some things from my life. Well, banned or boycott. Whichever is more appropriate. How am I doing on these things?

The most recent ban started six days ago when I started working to remove carbonated beverages and caffeine from my diet. If I am going to go through with the weight loss surgery process, then these two items will be permanently removed from my diet forever and ever. Apparently they are both stomach irritants and when you surgically mangle the stomach the way I plan to, then irritants are really bad.

I first learned of this development on Thursday 2/3 and my first day without either of them was Friday 2/4. I’ve made it six days. So far so good, I guess, but it’s definitely not a second nature sort of thing yet. Not even close. My quarantine routine over the last 23-24 months has involved filling up a bottle of water before I go to bed (with grape flavoring, always). If I don’t finish the bottle then I finish it the next day, but not until sometime in the afternoon. I’d have soda, diet pepsi, in the morning and early afternoon. Caffeine and soda. Now I am just drinking water all the time so the night time water bottle carries into the morning. That probably sounds more complicated than it is, but the point here is that every morning I continue to leave the water bottle next to my bed as if I was going to have a morning soda. No. You’re not. Six days on and I still forget that I am not drinking soda anymore pretty much every morning. That needs to end.

So the dietary bans are still going well, though not quite a routine yet. What was the other ban? Facebook. August 27, 2021 was the day I sort of spur of the moment banned Facebook from my life. That was a little more then five months ago. It looks like five months is pretty much long enough to get to the point where I don’t even notice it anymore. It hasn’t been 100%, but I think I can count the number of times I’ve visited on one hand. FoMO brought me back to clear off some notifications once, and once I went on to just mention I wasn’t going on anymore. That was probably pointless. The last time was a couple of weeks ago when I found out one of my Aunts wasn’t well and I checked my cousins accounts to see if I could learn anything. I was only on for a few minutes but I’ll fess up and admit I was there.

Other than those few times I’ve been able to stay away. I don’t think about it anymore. In fact, I got a notifications email the other day for the Lizardfish group and I had to look at it twice to remember what it was talking about. Sometimes it needles me, like when a YouTube show or a podcast that I am a regular viewer/listener of makes a mention of their respective Facebook groups, of which I am a member, and I don’t know what’s going on. I feel out of the loop. FoMO starts creeping in, but I forget about it quickly enough.

So my personal cancel culture targets are still going strong. Facebook is a big nothing to me now. Caffeine and carbonated drinks are going to be tougher to deal with. I can do it though. Absolutely.

48 Days (I think)

I often start my lunch break with a visit to Google News where I just pick a handful of articles to read. I saw one today that talked about Tumblr and how, while it seems to be a dead platform, lots of younger people are starting to use it. The implication was that many of the younger people who are ignoring Facebook and Twitter are ending up there. That’s nice. I always like Tumblr, but they made the same fatal mistake that Flickr made when they let Yahoo buy them out. That mistake was, of course, letting Yahoo buy them out.

I think I had two Tumblr accounts and I am pretty sure they are both active… pretty sure. One is just a copy of this blog. Anything I post here gets cross posted there. I would tell you what the address is, but I can’t remember. I just know that when I look at this account’s dashboard there is a reference to it. The second account sometimes gets used when I work on a music project like RPM. I post daily (mostly) progress that are pretty much meaningless to anyone who isn’t me, and after a few days they all look exactly the same.

This post, however, is not about Tumblr. It’s about Facebook.

Reading that article made me ask myself how long it had been since I logged in to Facebook. Turns out it’s been 48 days. December 2, 2021. That’s nice, huh? I’ve only received one notifications email from them over that time and I just trashed it. I don’t think I ever considered my boycott to be permanent, but it’s pretty nice the way I haven’t felt any need to check in for as long as it’s been. I imagine that there is a magic number of days that the boycott will last that will fully satisfy my need to stay away and once I hit that number I won’t get pissed off at myself if I go back.

Something like that.

Effin’ Facebook / Effin’ FoMO

Damn it. Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

It’s been two weeks since I visited Facebook. I wasn’t even thinking about it. Not being there was seriously becoming second nature and I was liking it. The ban/boycott, whatever we call it, was becoming less of a thing and more of a normal.

Then they sent me a friggin’ email. I’m pretty sure I marked Facebook notification emails as spam, yet they still come through. It said there were 18 notifications. No sweat. It said there were three friend requests. WhatWhatWhat? Fear of Missing Out officially triggered.

I mean, let’s be honest here… they are all going to be porn spam. That’s a given, isn’t it? We all know that. I don’t get a lot of that shit at Facebook, but given that I haven’t interacted with anyone in weeks it feels like a great big pornographic red flag.

I don’t know though… there’s a big part of me that really wants to log in and see who the friend requests are from. There is a big part of me that also wants to stay away. I am conflicted. I am in social media conflict.

Fuck you, Facebook. Fuck you right in your fucking eye*.

*I don’t think you need to actually see The Book of Mormon to appreciate its brilliance. You just have to listen to the soundtrack. If you do that, you’ll get the reference.

ADDENDUM: I caved. I looked. They were all spam. FoMO. I didn’t look at anything in my time line, I only looked at the notifications. So yeah I was there, but no I didn’t actually put myself into a real position to get sucked into anything. Well… just being there is risking getting sucked in, but I think you know what I mean. FoMO won today, but it’s been reset to zero again. For now.

How Goes the Facebook Crusade?

I haven’t mentioned the old anti-Facebook crusade that I started a while ago in some time? How’s that going, Robert?

Well I’m glad you asked. It’s been three weeks or so since last I mentioned it and I’m sad to say I’ve actually been on Facebook twice in that time. It’s okay though, I can explain.

First, now that I’m off my father decided to create a new account. I don’t think the two things are related, but the timing is a little crummy for me. My sister mentioned that he sent a friend request. I logged in, accepted it, and logged out. That was it.

Second, I was listening to a podcast focused on cover bands. One of the hosts mentioned a music venue in Manchester, NH that I wasn’t familiar with. I Googled it and clicked on the first link to come up. It was their Facebook page. I wasn’t logged in but I still clicked off as soon as I saw the banner. Nope, no Facebook for this red head.

That’s it. So since the whole thing started almost two months ago I’ve been logged in twice and on the system without logging in once.

I think I can do better than that in the future.

One Month

Today at a little before 2:00 (the end of my lunch break) will mark one month since I started my personal anti-facebook crusade. How many of you fine people have jumped on my little spartacus wagon and left with me? I’ll wait a second for you all to sound off.

(insert sound of crickets chirping here)

Anyway, At some point tonight I may pop in and actually tell everyone there that I’m pissing off. That and clear the 106 notifications (got another email today). I still have Messenger on my phone so folks can find me there, and there’s always twitter (@RobJ_).

After that? Will I be gone for good? I don’t know, maybe? I’m getting to the point where I’m not really missing it anymore. I don’t find myself tapping the spot on my phone’s home screen where the bookfayce app used to be. I take that as a good sign.

Outside of the facebook boycott, today is the day we get to ride out a nor-easter without having a furnace in the house. We have a space heater in Jen’s office and a the wall mounted heater in the bed room. I’m still planning on working from Harry’s room today. If the temperature starts bothering me I’ll move to the bed room. I really don’t think it will though.

Watch me as I eat my words.

Facebook Fights Dirty

As we enter the fifth week of the Facebook boycott, Facebook starts fighting really dirty. Low blow, bro. Right below the belt.

Last night I got an email telling me I had 102 notifications waiting for me. One Hundred and Two. It’s not the first you-have-notifications email they’ve sent, but the last one was after only a few days away. Those bastards saved them up and threw them at me all at once. Assholes!

Okay. Wednesday is the one month mark of this fun little romp of social media defiance. When I left I didn’t think about it, I just did it. I didn’t leave one of those stupid I’m-taking-a-break posts, I just went away (and bitched about it here, over and over and over and over again). Maybe on Wednesday I’ll log in, clear the notifications, make sure there isn’t anything important, and then leave one of those stupid I’m-taking-a-break posts. Then I’ll go away again. Maybe forever. Who knows.

I’m working a half day today. My mother needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment so I am leaving early to take her. I haven’t been over to see my parents in a couple of weeks so it’s time for a visit as well. I’ll be masking up and hittin’ the road around lunch time.

Our house has been a battle ground for a long time now. Two opposing forces fighting to dominate the terrain.



Both are stationed in strategic places throughout the house. Both are able to control the lights and some other things. Both play tunes. It’s been clear for months now that the house cannot sustain both forces. One needs to eliminate the other. In the end, there can be only one.

We bought an amazon echo before Apple’s Home app was really a thing. After having everything in the house routed through the echo for a while, I got all hot and bothered over Apple HomePod Minis and when we got one for the bedroom Jen set up everything through Home as well.

I have slowly but surely found myself using the echo less and less. I can get to Siri through my watch so when I need something I just hold down the digital crown for a tick and ask for it. The only thing the echo is really doing these days is working as an alarm clock in the bedroom. Siri can do that too, but echo somehow handles it a little better. Also, the echo we have in the bedroom is one that shows the time. The HomePod doesn’t do that. It’s a small edge for the echo but a noteworthy one.

Over the last couple of days Jen has been making a conscious choice to start using Siri instead of Alexa. It is clear that finally the war for control of our house is coming to an end. Siri will be victorious. Long live the winner of the personal digital assistant wars.

Now if we could just get Google to let Apple run our Nest thermonstat.

Okay. Time to go to work. Happy Monday, everyone.

ADDENDUM: I got another Facebook email. It’s 106 notifications now. Ugh.

I Forgot About Facebook

Monday came and went this week without me examining the status of my self imposed boycott of the facebook. I’ve actually lost track of the number of weeks. Three? Yes, three. Three weeks without a single visit to the social network.

I feel pretty good about the situation, though I still find myself looking for the app on my phone, or wondering if anyone has posted anything interesting, or feeling jealous when Jen is doom scrolling her feed. All of that feels gross and a smidge on the chemically dependent side. Mostly though, I feel good about the situation. I haven’t found myself fuming over some fascist asshole belittling human life on some random newspaper post in three weeks. That feels really good. That feels sane. Weird, huh?

I just looked it up. I started this idiotic, childish temper tantrum of a crusade on September 27th with the intention of having it last one week. Now I think I’ll set the new re-evaluate date at the one month mark. I pledge to remain bookfayce free until Wednesday October 27th at 2:00pm.

Wish me continued good luck.

Two Weeks Down

It’s Monday again. You know what that means? At 2:00pm the time runs out on the second week of my facebook boycott. I said I’d stay away for a week, then when that week was up I extended it a second week. That second week is up today.

I would like to say it’s been getting easier. I’m not sure that’s true. It’s my nephew’s birthday today and Facebook has become the traditional birthday wishes extension mechanism. They also tried fighting back again. When I joined Lizardfish Kevin made me a co-admin of the band’s facebook page. I got a notifications email for the page the other day. I didn’t open it. I have only gotten the one for my personal account which leads me to hope that I don’t have any new notifications which means maybe they’ll leave me alone now? I don’t know.

While I definitely do not miss the nazi bullshit, which is the reason I left, I am starting to miss some of the other connections. I haven’t seen any pictures of any of my brother and sister’s kids, including the birthday boy, I’m out of touch with friends, and I haven’t had the opportunity to check out any fellow guitar nerds’ rigs on the various groups I belong to. I guess my point here is that I am in full blown FoMO mode right now. The fear of missing out is catching up to me.

When 2:00pm rolls around today I will extend the facebook ban by another seven days. I’m not sure I am going to make it through this one, and if I somehow manage to, I am not sure I’ll be able to stop myself from putting an end to it. It is starting to feel like failure is inevitable.

When the Facebook Boycott Actually Hurts

I think this is the fifth day of the facebook boycott. I didn’t think this through.

Today is my niece’s birthday. I’m sure my brother and my sister in law are posting all sorts of great stuff about how wonderful she is. How smart, how talented, how generally awesome. All true, of course, but if I don’t go to facebook to see it I can’t contribute my tiny amount (likes and comments) to the festivities. I am missing out. It’s not the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) it is literally missing out.

My sister’s birthday is next week. My nephew’s birthday is the week after that.

Fuck. This actually hurts. Now I feel like an asshole for missing things on top of feeling like an asshole for blocking nazis and fascists and trumpers left and right. All because of some fucking social media site? What the fuck is wrong with me?

In summation: Fuck.