Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stephen Rolfe Nielsen is writing the first post for this blog.

So, I dropped my Facebook account. Not like I dropped it like a quarter and I'll pick it back up. More like I dropped it like it was hot (I love being white), and I'm done for a while. I decided rather, that blogging would be a better solution. Gives me an opportunity to write things that I don't want all my passing acquaintances to read, and also doesn't push my life into your face unless you choose to come see/read! In a way its like when I moved to Riverton my senior year of high school.. I guess I'll learn who my true friends are as I move out to the digital boondocks of blogging, rather than the suburbs of Facebook.

So in my time machine I jumped, and found myself back in the simpler, quieter, more private world of 2006, before the 'Big F.' was a staple of our daily routine. Over the past week of being without, this is what I have found:

“The ability to express myself in any format longer than about two sentences... is entirely gone from me”

  • Some friends I wouldn't talk with so much as I would just check up on them on FB. In that way my little bit of checking up prevented me from knowing anything actual about their life. This also happened in reverse. I could also mention the mass of people on the FB that I don't care much about (and they not much about me) but we have this strange connection via the inter-web that puts way more of each other into each other's lives than we'd ever care to experience.
  • When I would get lonely or bored, I would turn to Facebook rather than calling someone up or going to do something, and like sucking on a pacifier, I was coddled but not satisfied.
  • The ability to express myself in any format longer than about two sentences (or the equivalent of a long status-update) is entirely gone from me. I even find myself thinking, "What would be a funny status update to post?" and then realize that I don't have FB anymore, and then realize what a waste of mental energy/what an odd habit that slowly crept into my life/our culture over the past 5 years! This is also frustrating as composing this blog post will likely take me an hour!
  • Since giving up FB I have talked to people one on one I haven't spoken with in months!
  • Taking pictures this weekend I discovered that my motivation for taking pictures was to share them on Facebook as I took the picture, and wondered how I would share it now I was without FB. Didn't we used to take pictures to remember things? It seems there is a level of narcissism or assumed popularity associated with the entire thing that is kinda weird.
  • Time wasted on the internet has decreased. This is a gimmie, but the list is incomplete without it.
That's it for this post! I have to say my goal is to be able to compose longer posts often enough that I break the afore mentioned expressive limitations and be able to compose something entertaining (else would you wanna read this right??) and true to what I really think (else why would I write it) right out of a stream of consciousness, rather than taking hours to compose.

A parting thought: How do you think your daily routine/our culture has transformed over the past 6 years? Do you think we're better off? Do you think its making us dumber? As I've used technology more and more, and as it's my full-time job, I don't even have a computer at home (unless you count my shiny new iPhone...) is that extreme? Appropriate? Gimmie a shout!

Stephen Rolfe Nielsen is off to go cliff jumping.


  1. I'm the first to comment!!! JYES!

  2. Man! It's great to have hyper-link references to your comments. Now your mannerisms are starting to have some validity to them...for now.

  3. Nice. You still managed to stick in a status update....your habit is not yet broken my friend! But I am delighted that you joined the blogging world...and I do hope that you will still decide to share your pictures here too!

  4. Well spoken. I agree with you, and yet... am unable (mmm... maybe more just unwilling) to give up the facebook world. I applaud you (mentally). It is interesting to think about whether our world is better off now or not though, eh? I think we have way more overall contact with people and less QUALITY contact. There are definitely trade-offs!

    In other news, I'm way excited that you have your blog now!

  5. After reading the first entry, I only have this to say: Your Ipad counts as a computer.

  6. Thanks for the comments guys! Michelle, I feel like mental applause is the best I could EVER ask for, and yes Dallin, if all my actions had footnotes I would always make much more sense. I think 100% of my life is context dependent and maybe that's another blog entry...

    And Rob, as far as the iPad counting as a computer, I have to respectfully disagree in terms of what I use a computer for, its not even capable of being a computer, but for what most people use one for, yes its a very capable device, and you should check one out if you're considering a netbook, the iPad is way better. <-- and THAT was a run-on sentence :-)

  7. Oh sad. I failed at posting the lengthy comment I prepared yesterday. But basically, it said you're right and I admire your courage to cut ties with facebook. That's all I have energy to type right now.

  8. Stephen, You are such an awesome person!

  9. Interesting experiment. I wonder if Facebook will die the same death as MySpace over time. I like the idea where you let people choose to read, rather than have it shoved into their view.