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Published January 28 2012

Swift: Facefast not as easy as I had hoped

So I quit Facebook.

It was the longest five minutes of my life.

About a week ago, my friend “Lois” and I promised we would mutually go on a Facefast.

We bemoaned how this all-powerful social networking site had wasted days of our lives. We hated how it turned us into attention-mongers and instant-gratification fiends. (“Someone didn’t immediately ‘like’ my hilarious comment about ‘A-TACO-lypse Now?’ I am outraged!”)

We also disliked how much mental energy we funneled into this virtual world. Was it really healthy to walk around all day composing status updates in our heads? Was the human brain really meant to splurt out clever thoughts in two-sentence bursts?

Would we someday wind up in a nursing home, wandering down a hall and muttering: “OMG. Can’t believe I just drove over my Jitterbug with my Rascal.” Or: “New prune-flavored Denturecream EPIC FAIL!!!” Or: “Tick-tock, Eunice! It’s oatmeal night!!” Or even: “Woohoo! Staying up past 5 to watch ‘Matlock’ Monday! LOLZZZZ.”

To make matters worse, we loathed how it seemed to turn life into an interminable stint in the junior-high lunchroom.

Why didn’t Tori “like” my statuses anymore? Why is Brianne always pictured hanging out with Chloe and Zoe? Couldn’t they invite me? And what did Arianna mean when she wrote, ‘Oh, you’re NEVER paranoid!!!!’ after my last status update? Did all those uppercase letters and exclamation marks mean she was being sarcastic?”

Even worse were the Facebook-come-latelys who kept sending us all those virtual sheep for Farmville. Why didn’t they just join Friendster?

So we disabled our accounts. And, just to be safe, we pinky swore on it. (Or, at least, we texted ‘pnky swr’ to each other.)

I did OK the first couple of days. But by Day 3, I felt an overwhelming urge to rejoin.

Like any good addict, I soon found myself justifying reasons to rejoin the Facemass. “Really, I actually do need Facebook for work,” I told myself. “What if my Mom thinks I’ve defriended her? And if I’m not on Facebook, who else will be there to ‘like’ puppies?”

It was weird, and a bit disconcerting, on how cut off I felt from the world. I waxed nostalgic about it. Remember that time I posted that photo of my cat eating cantaloupe? That was hilarious. Or how about that time I asked everyone how to make a Norwegian waffle and then added: “Ask him to give you an opinion!”

Forty-three people had liked that comment. Forty-three! Oh, what a wacky, magical, mixed-up crazy time that was with all those people I barely knew.

By Wednesday, I completely caved. I snuck back on for a few minutes, like an 11-year-old who doesn’t want Dad to know he snuck a cigarette. I figured I could “stealth-book” for a few days, and no one would be the wiser.

That didn’t work either. Someone posted an entertaining anecdote about me, and I just had to respond.

And so there I was, with egg on my Facebook.


Tammy’s Facebook fast EPIC FAIL!!!!

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525 or tswift@forumcomm.com.