"What's On Your Mind?" (Frances Louis)

There are a host of things that prevent me from actually engaging in the craft of writing. Laundry, kids, my bevy of exchange student placements and LIFE in general, all compete for the precious 2.5 hours of solitude I carve out every weekday afternoon. But the crutch I struggle with the most, the largest demon that continues to seduce me with its promise of easy entertainment, is by far and large, social media, especially Facebook.
It has become a routine, a daily ingrained habit that I must adhere to, lest I be left out of someone's gossip or another's vacation pictures. Of their own accord, my fingers automatically type out the website address and I find myself scanning the status updates of people I haven't seen since my days in high school, which, without divulging my age, was a long time ago.
I don't need to know silly things like what people ate for lunch, or what grade their kids made on the latest spelling test, especially from people I haven't seen in 10+ years, but I can't help myself. I am hopelessly lulled to the website and to the senseless and easy entertainment it provides in my otherwise quiet and rather lonely day.
I'd like to blame Mark Zuckerburg for inventing one of the biggest time suckers known to man, but it isn't Mark that sits at my laptop, chatting with my friends, or updating my status on Facebook. It's me, myself, and I that wile away precious writing time knowing full well the consequences of such behavior.
I can conjure a slew of excuses as to why I NEED to participate and engage myself in the world of social media. But the real reason I immerse myself into other's business and why I blab about my day for the entire world to see, is because, simply put, I'm lonely.
Writing is a solitary and sedentary career. I am the only one that can write my story. I am the only one that can sit at the laptop for hours at a time creating the world that I see in my head. While I find myself a rather social and amiable sort, being alone for hours at a time gets dull, boring, and rather lonesome. The idea that someone, even a virtual someone, is only a status update away, is more than alluring. It's downright comforting.
Which is why I suppose, I will always have to fight the demons and focus on not what everyone else is doing, but what I am (or am not) creating.


Rox Delaney said...

Fran, I had a similar problem early on after I joined Facebook. It can be easily addictive, and some of us are more prone to that type of activity. But don't feel bad. Back in the mid-90s, long before Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and all the rest, chat rooms were the big thing. Yes, even before ICQ and Messenger. I spent most of my day and evening chatting with other writers in an obviously now defunct romance writers chat. While I wasted a whole lot of time, I also made a few lasting friendships that I might not have had I not taken the leap to join the chat.

Even bad habits can reap good things. :)

Reese Mobley said...

I resisted doing Facebook for a long time. It wasn't until my daughter wanted me to see a picture of all the tattoo's an old friend of hers had gotten. Seems silly now. Even though I rarely post, I do enjoy skimming the others. :-)

Joan Vincent said...

Finally one reason to be glad I'm not into "social media." I've not joined facebook yet but will probably have to surrender sooner rather than later. You know if it isn't one thing eating our time it is another--for me free cell and spider solitaire are deadly monster time eating distractions

Rox Delaney said...

Joan, I'll second you on the spider solitaire, but I've so far been immune to free cell. A good thing, because the lure of Big Fish's hidden object games has me firmly in their clutches. The one good thing is that the games must be purchased for download and unlimited play, and although I do own a few, they've been acquired over several years. There's one drawback. Any of the games can be played free one time for an hour.

There's a sucker born every minute.
--P.T. Barnum and others

Penny Rader said...

{{{Hugs}}} on being lonely, Fran. We're here for you.

Melissa Robbins said...

That's why I love WARA. Being part of a writing group is so important. Fellow writers know what struggles other writers go through.