This was the best 5 minutes of my day so far

On September 11, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

What I have to Offer from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

Charlie Kaufman’s full lecture can be found here.

I saw something the other day that basically asked, why are you giving your life to Facebook? You’re filling a site that’s not your own with your stories, when they belong on your own domain. Facebook is making millions off your content, so consider what you’re giving up for the opportunity to have a few dozen people give you a digital thumbs up.

This really resonated with me, especially after I posted the above video on Facebook this morning and only one person said HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING and shared it on her own page. It could be that I’ve neglected this site long enough that I only get a couple hundred people to read it anyway, down from a peak of about 4,000 a day way back when. People say Twitter killed blogging, and it certainly drained some of the energy out of it, but Facebook has made blogging seem old-fashioned and quaint, almost hand-made. In 2001 I had to read a Webmonkey tutorial to learn how to make a hyperlink; building my own domain was an accomplishment akin to learning how to make sushi. And not everybody wanted (or had the time and resources) to do that before Facebook, so I can see how democratizing Facebook is, it gives anyone over the age of 13 a place to post nuanced political rants and cat photos in less than 60 seconds.

But I’m cranky enough to want to take my Internet life back to its original platform. It could be this feeling will pass — God knows I’ve had some mood swings lately, tomorrow I may be running for office (I had a dream last night that Barack Obama hugged me). But I’ve been feeling a lack of meaning in my life for a couple of years now, and it’s become so acute that keeping it inside is no longer an option. Sorry, Internet. I’m back.



51 Responses to “This was the best 5 minutes of my day so far”

  • Awesome.

    (I was at a conference last year and I mentioned during a social media breakout session that by using Facebook, Twitter, etc to promote our business that we were doing so in “rented” space. And while using those services is all well and good, everything should point back to the real estate (our website) we own. People looked at me like I had three heads.)

    Thank you.

  • but where’s the like button?

  • yay!

  • Oh Sweet Mother of Gumby, this makes me very, very happy.

  • I had the strangest (stomach flu driven) dream the other night and woke myself up talking about Facebook evil trees (six of them, specifically). Wish I knew what I had been thinking about, but it left a bad facebook feeling with me. Good for you– own your content! (And I love reading fussy)

  • I haven’t had a chance to see this video or read your post until now, but HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING and I teared up and was moved and overjoyed and saddened. I think those of us who treated our blogs like a precious, perfectly wrapped package at any point have struggled with how to DEAL with…I don’t know…things. I hope we are all able to find our gifts again and share them with one another.

  • I am physically giving my monitor a thumbs-up in lieu of “liking” this on Facebook. I like this in realtime.

  • Brilliant. Yes. Oh, this gives me hope. Art is shared on Facebook all the time, but art is absent there, or at best, lost in the ticker tape.

  • Amazing. It’s so true about Facebook. I hate to say it, but it’s so true. Where’s the fine line where it goes from good tool to share and reconnect, up and over to the dark side? I took the month of August off from Facebook, more to cut down on brain clutter, but what I didn’t expect was that life unboxed from Facebook would be so much richer that I’d notice. The idea that Facebook had robbed me of that before bothered me. (It reminds me of Zadie Smith’s essay on The Social Network. That’s brilliant too, though longer than five minutes.) Thanks for this.

  • Praise be to Jeebus!

  • I started a personal blog in 1999. Then it was called an online journal. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how things are different on the internet now and one of the biggest differences is that I might read posts that I really love, but I rarely comment on them. You know, because I read blogs through a reader now and commenting means clicking through and then scrolling and typing and well, I simply don’t have time of that! I’m going to stop being such an asshole and go back to commenting and I might even go back to sharing my personal stories on my very own blog. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Welcome back. You’ve been missed!

  • hooray!

  • I feel like some of us old folks are coming to the same place at the same time. I like it.

    • I was thinking that same thing, too. I’ve had to “justify” facebook to myself a few more times than I’d like to admit. “It’s a scrapbook!” “It’s keeping in touch!” “It’s a bulletin board!” But there is always something missing… and I can’t quite rationalize it forever.

  • I agree with you so hard about Facebook, and I’m so happy that you’re back!

  • I would be very happy if you would write more. I got tired of several voices, especially as blogging got to be more of an echo chamber, but never yours.

  • Oh YEAH!

    I embrace this wholeheartedly. I quit Facebook. Twitter I’m addicted to and I think there’s no hope for me there.

    Still, I refuse to quit blogging even though absolutely no one NO ONE is going to read my blog. Well, my future self will read it.

    But it’s art, man. It’s like a zine I leave on the steps of the library only to be picked up by the wino to hide his bottle.

    I don’t care. Whatever small speck of cleverness lies within me, I don’t want to waste it on Facebook. Twitter’s another story. Sort of. I hate Twitter too but I am helplessly under its spell.

    One thing about blogging is that it did used to be the only social media in town besides message boards–which were fun and freaky back in the day. I don’t even know what they are up to now.

    I’m not sure what happened there with the social aspect of blogging. I can’t get it off the ground anymore.

    (Small problem is I blog anonymously so if I want to put out content to the world of living people who know me bodily that is now over since I deleted my real world Facebook account–in some fit of anti-corporate pique. I cannot blog without revealing some of inner self to the world so I can’t let the real world in on my blog. (10 years running now I’ve been blogging and not a single person besides my husband has a clue.) I have some trust issues apparently. So I’ll just have to be a mystery to all–anonymous on the internet, social-media free in real life. However, most people aren’t crazy like I am so I don’t expect advice here.)

  • Oh thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. I keep pulling myself back to my blog, away from the book of faces–it feels hard, and lonely, and good. And I want to share this on, you know, facebook, but that feels wrong. And right at the same time.

  • I’m glad you’re back, and I think you’ve inspired a lot of people to dig in to their blog again. Don’t feel bad about the reaction on facebook, (Hey, look, I’m telling you how to feel! How magnanimous of me! You know I really mean “This is an introductory clause which precedes an anecdote.”) the other day I posted a woman with a Dorthy Hamill haircut, swathed in dry ice, playing the theramin, and I got nutin. Like throwing spaghetti against the wall, some sticks, some doesn’t. Though your video was a lot more profound than mine.

  • Yay! So good to hear!

  • I will give up my facebook and twitter before I’ll ever give up my blog. I had a panic this week when my blog went down. Chris took care of all things internet related. He built my blog. He took care of maintenance for my blog and several of our friends’ blogs. This week, I learned that I actually have to pay the hosting bill. But in those moments of not knowing what to do and thinking that I’d killed my blog were moments of shear terror. My blog is my space, my home, the place where you see me. Every one of Kauffman’s words in that lecture wrapped around my chest and squeezed.

    I’m glad you’re here.

  • I love that video but I love what you wrote even more. LET’S DO THIS.

  • Awesome: both your facebook comments and the video message. Loved: “We are not the passive audience to this messed-up power play”. I have been increasingly trying to distract myself of late – anything to keep from actually getting to the work of sorting out myself, digging deeper. This was the blog I needed to read today.
    Thanks – Now I’m getting on it!
    And I will read you forever.

  • Well it’s about time……

  • Yahoo! I have been checking every week or so hoping for a new posts – thank you for sharing bits of yourself and your life.

  • HOLY SHIT THAT WAS AMAZING. Seriously. That changed my whole outlook on the day.

    I am glad you’re back. I think you’re wonderful.

  • yay! i had the same thought about the “like button” and i don’t even bother w/facebook most of the time. fuck, what has become of us? in any case, yay for being back!

  • Thank you. That was amazing, indeed.

    I quit Facebook a few months ago. Sometimes I feel lonely because of it, but I no longer feel cheap or used.

    • I deactivated my account over the weekend. Missed it for about five minutes. Since I’d already unsubscribed from about 93% of my friends/family feeds, I just didn’t see the point anymore.

      And YAY!! Mrs. Kennedy is writing again!

  • I hate facebook/I love facebook. Same with Twitter
    I like seeing how seriously other people takes things on there, and then being able to disengage and walk away, and go live my life. I basically only use it because I have family that won’t check my blog, but wants to see pics of my kid.

    I love Blogs. Love them. I call them my vice, but I have picked the ones that nourish me, make me better, and lift me up. So that’s doesn’t fit the definition of vice, I guess. Indulgence, maybe? But witnessing is always secondary to participating, in my book. We need experiences to attach new information to, and we’re not getting those experiences vicariously, as much as we would lay claim to.

    Anyway, keep writing here – you are one of the nourishing ones.

  • THANK YOU. I needed to hear this. Now on to acting on it.

  • Thanks for that video and your thoughts on this blog.
    Your blog is read and loved.

  • Thank you for this post. The video was *brilliant* and I’ve already sent it on to two other people.

    I have friends who keep trying to get me on facebook. Every time I’m about to cave, I read or hear something like this.

    Fussy was the very first blog I started reading regularly. I still do. So glad you’re back.

  • I am always delighted when you write, as you are my favorite thing on the internet.

    I wish I could now cite the source where I read that, re: FB, “if you are not paying for something, you’re not the consumer, you’re the product.”

    I still FB but I know that all my ‘likes’ are being tallied, my comments crunched, so I can be better packaged and served up to companies who want to sell to me. Boo.

    I eagerly look forward to your next blog update.

  • Thank you for sharing that video; you alter my brain in a good way and I am grateful every time I get to read your words.

  • Glad you are back.

    Charlie Kaufmann pulls brilliance out of his ass.

    Facebook is great when you move 3000 miles away and all those people who used to be a part of your everyday life can still keep track of you with no extra effort on your part.

  • I logged out of Facebook on my phone a few weeks ago, and have looked at it only a handful of times since then. I don’t miss it. In fact, I’ve found myself doing more and more of the things that I’ve “never had time” to do: packing healthy lunches, working out, writing handwritten (!) letters, sorting through my piles and piles of paper.

    I’m not sure what was cause and what was effect, but I like to think that, because I’ve stopped cramming my free moments with the best version of everyone else’s life, I’ve given myself headspace to live my own, however imperfect it may be.

  • Yay!

    I’ve been forcing myself to post at least twice a week, because I refuse to give up the medium that I love the most.

  • Oh good! I found your blog not too long ago and loved it, but you posted so infrequently that I stopped checking in because I hated the disappointment of seeing nothing new. You have a way with the written word. Engaging would be a good word to describe it. Kind of like when I read a David Sedaris book. I just want more, more, more. Don’t leave us begging!

  • I needed that. The previous post’s yoga pose and the video link.

    I favor blogging over other social media, because it allows more potential for being present. I like it when you post.

  • Wow. “Facebook is making millions off your content, so consider what you’re giving up for the opportunity to have a few dozen people give you a digital thumbs up”. This was a HUGE wake-up call. Perfectly timed, the way wake-up calls usually are. I have been spiraling down the FB toilet for some time now, obsessing about baby pictures and food pictures and the like, compulsively checking my phone minute after minute… and all to the exclusion of real-time events. Thanks for pulling my head out of my ass. I echo all the comments above: I’m glad you’re back (I love your writing). You’ve opened my eyes to how I treat my own writing. I’ll never look at FB without thinking “content vampire” ever again. Thank you thank you thank you. And keep blogging, please. Your insight is invaluable.

  • Terrific!

  • WELCOME back. I’ve always enjoyed your writing. Keep up the good shit!

  • I’ve missed your regular posting :)

  • That was paradigm-shattering. Nice to hear it so eloquently described, that feeling in my gut that FB is evil. I have an account that I never check and have found it to be helpful exactly once over the past few years. A childhood friend of mine passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, and it was truly comforting to connect with the “old gang” of people that I grew up with. We reminisced about our friend and of all the people in the world, we were the ones to know what it was like. She had friends from high school, college, and adult life mourning her, but we were missing that tough little girl with the swagger and the heart of gold. But mostly FB does more harm than good.

    Looking forward to the re-blooming of the blog!

  • Thanks for sharing that. It’s amazing.

  • For every time you have made me laugh, thank you. For every time you have made me cry, thank you. For every time you have made me stop and think, thank you. For this post, in particular, thank you very much.

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