Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Facebook Suicide Phase 1: The comment wall

In a strange turn of events, this entire semester of Ceramics has been devoted to my decision of deleting my existence out of the social network of this generation. It began in a sort of "protest to the masses" and has now been boiled down to a refinement of the ideas that get lost in such a technology.

Or, rather, face-to-face relationships and everything that exists within them; emotions, body language, eye-contact, inflection, time, etc.

So came the idea to elaborate on the part of me that enjoys making things for others and gifting something that has a personal tie to our friendship. Whether it be a heartfelt message on how much I miss them, care about them, need them or I will explode or an inside joke or phrase that reminds me terribly of conversations we've had in the past and most likely future.

Tiles, in the shape of the comment icon on Facebook were made with an extruder die and a pug machine. (Kind of like Plah-doh). Each were covered in 2 layers of underglaze and were carved into to reveal the bottom-most color.

In a wonderful observation of this process, my hand-writing was retained in the text despite carving.

Some were set to find or given in person. I will be recording my experiences around these as I continue to give them away.

And some are being mailed. Funny, I sent a text to those I needed addresses for and was bombarded within 15 minutes with all but one of those addresses along with sentiments of "Miss you" "Hope all is well" and "I was thinking of you, glad you texted!" Huh, funny what a little thought can do re-attach you with others.

More reactions to follow. Also, a second phase.

Coming soon...
Facebook Suicide Phase 2: The "Like" Button

Links I've stumbled upon or been given in the development of this project:

Losing interest in Facebook
Psychiatrist Fears for Facebook Generation
Why Technology is so Addictive and How You Can Avoid It
Adbusters: Facebook Suicide

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I committed Facebook Suicide

and I've been free for a whole week.

I find it terribly interesting that the thing I consistently spent so much time on is now conveniently missing from my life. Remnants of it still remain in the way I think and seeing the incessant logo on the top tabs of my friends' internet browsers. I'm on the edge of a revolution of my entire lifestyle, and I've never felt so lucky to have won the battle of technological self-control.

Well, minus my phone and this here blog. But the blog, I think, allows me to actually take care in what I'm writing for the world to see. And, quite frankly, it's not that many people anyway.

The idea of Facebook Suicide has been infecting me for quite some time. I read about it a lot while I was in Italy.

An article from someone else who did the same:

"I became despondent. What, then, was I? If my time was spent changing my profile picture on Facebook, thinking of a clever status update for Facebook, checking my profile again to see if anyone had commented on my page, Is this what I am? A person who re-visits her own thoughts and images for hours each day? And so what do I amount to? An egotist? A voyeur?"

Also, it's nice not to be completely bombarded with the ill-feelings of others, the constant invites to events and applications and groups, and dare I say, being anonymous.

It's also interesting how those that do want to get in contact with me have managed to do so regardless of my online status. I'm forcing my friends to come into contact with me directly. SUCK IT.

I think I'll have more observations about this new environment later on as well. This is mostly a jumble of things I've realized since I cut the cords. There's been a little bit of withdrawal, but mostly a healthy pride in myself for being able to do it when I knew it was no longer healthy for me.

Now, onto more real-life adventures. Arrivederci!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


There have been quite a few moments since my return to the states where I have had the opportunity to truly think about what the whole experience meant in my life. I will adhere to the idea that everything that happens in my life has a reason. You can tell me that that's a selfish thought, but I think it gives reason to live.

Perhaps I can start the ball rolling by explaining my state before I left.

Worst episode of stress-induced depression featuring a new friend of the bipolar variety

Or, more plainly, I was a wreck.
I was clinging so tightly to the things that I thought would make me happy. Creature-comforts that were unreliable and the idea that I had to be everybody's everything in order to be a necessary and successful element of society.

Italy told me "no".

Italian culture is a little, yes, selfish. Nobody is their for your convenience. However, I don't believe that that is such a bad thing anymore.

I would, after making that above statement, like to caution the meaning to this madness with the idea that I believe I am a very giving person. Never would I want to put out those around me if I knew I could assist them with impact. But my impact went missing when I started giving more than I had and stopped taking care of myself.

The trip allowed me to understand what made me tick. How a certain lifestyle could fill up my day with meaningful acts and, yet, leave me a lot less susceptible to self-deprecation. I won't say that I didn't struggle while I was there. Of course I did- and I will until I'm able to undo the ties that bind me in this tightly woven web of mental dysfunction and the idea that "sad" is a personality trait. It's not, by the way.

So leads me to the challenge that a dear friend placed before me last week.
In a few words or a statement, summarize the meaning of your trip
It may be a little long...

An experiment in language and social isolation with the introduction of new social norms and interesting, challenging individuals.
A shake-up of what day-to-day existence means to me.
A step in the right direction; or how to feel productive, active, and calm.

I forgot to freak out about my checked luggage taking a week to get to me, or the fact that I almost ran out of money completely, or couldn't get onto my computer from the residence, or effectively talk to the locals.

Rather, I enjoyed the luxury of not carrying my giant suitcase onto and off of the bus. I spent my money on things I wanted to and saved for trips. I learned to share with my roommate and asked for things I wanted assistance with. I learned to boil down my conversations to very few words without replies. I learned how to learn something new everyday instead of living the stagnation of making it through the day.

One grain of thought passed through my neurons on one fine day as I was walking past the pizza shop that seemed to turn into a backyard trance party on infrequent nights of the week.

"Things probably won't go the way you'd hoped when you get back, but it'll be okay because you've had this experience and you're better than you were. Good things will come in time."

And it was one of the clearest, most sentimental thoughts I had had regarding myself in a long, long time.