October 16, 2010
I’ve done something socially abhorrent: I’ve quit Facebook and without telling most of my ‘friends’. I can hear you asking me why so I’ll do the decent thing and answer.
There’s a point where my resilience to people, their dumb-ass attitudes, bigotry and constant negation of my feelings stops, even though I try to remain mindful that compassion extends to all. Including those who resemble parasites under the skin.
I doubt that there are many individuals (asides from the raging masochist but I reckon even they would get sick of it after a while) who would continue to expose themselves to a constant barrage of negativity and ill-will. Perhaps some of you would recommend that I stop taking it so seriously? I’d say that’s rather apathetic and completely against the spirit of community.
Social networking is great for smiling and connecting with friends and sharing the good times with hilarious photos, even for raising awareness; until people start bashing their views into cyber-space like they’re the only one with a valid opinion, photos you don’t want on public view start cropping up and friends constantly fail at the ‘friend’ part despite being able to fulfil it for their other 3,864 mates.
(Disclosure: I have to admit that I’m a little sad to know that I’m going to lose touch with some people but then if either of us truly cared, we’d make the effort and email one another.)
I could have simply removed all of the individuals who have made me lose faith in the human species for the billionth time but I’d not be able to remove the ads and the constant demand that I connect with people I don’t know. See previous rant.
Again there’s only so much resilience I have when being force-fed crap I don’t want to know about, look at, participate in, connect with or listen to. Go away and let me discover things for myself; let me make my own decisions; all is mind-control.
Facebook is a fine example which aptly illustrates my belief that humans aren’t social creatures. On a large-scale anyway. Pocket communities that are interconnected but remain independent of an enormous whole, fine; massive social movements en masse? Not cool. A lot gets done but a lot also goes terribly wrong.
Can you blame me for having had enough?
In other news, I’m constantly thinking about the PhD in The Contemporary Novel offered by the University of Kent. The odds of me getting funding are so slim that if Chance and Luck were physically manifested as deities, they’d be suffering from intestinal parasites and instantly landed with modelling contracts.
I’m relatively optimistic. Note the relative part.
Asides from dreaming up my research area and slowly teasing an idea for the novel out of the fog that is my imagination, I’ve been contemplating the notion of there being a genuine opportunity for me to get the cash I’d need to do this.
Would a charity fund me? I would have thought that being a disabled student might open some supportive doors for me but I’m yet to find anything. Research councils, public bodies, employment grants, university grants. They’re my options.
But there is a problem: the Guvmint is running around with a giant switch-blade (which are illegal, ironically…) which means that getting funding in this atmosphere has just become highly fashionable.
Even if there was a charity out there willing to support someone who lives openly with mental health problems and are committed to dispelling the ignorance currently choking any chances of mental health being understood, I would have to be something very, very special indeed. My writing would have to be a revelation.
Whilst I have no doubts that I could bring my writings to a decent standard with a bit of elbow grease, I’m ever-the-cynic when it comes to believing that I’m special, gifted, talented – whatever. That’s not self-depreciation by the way, I just don’t think I’m that fabulous. I’m good but not cut out for celebrity.
The same concern arises when I think about being accepted onto the PhD itself; am I good enough? Are my ideas, even in their infancy, original? Can they be developed tightly? Is the research I’d produce unique and would it create new pathways for the academic world? Would the novel be engaging? Would it open eyes and encourage independent, rebellious thought – something I think we really need at the moment.
If I can answer ‘yes’ to even half of those questions and survive the dozens of other swimming around in my head, maybe I could survive a PhD.
I desire it greatly. Not for the extra letters added to my name, not for the money from the funding, not even for the fact that I’d be staying on in my favourite institution.
I desire it for the knowledge. To have free reign over what I’d research, to be able to dream and create on this level would be devouring. And I’d not only write my already forming ideas, I’d practice them too.
I’ve already started doing it…
July 19, 2007
Today I hoped that I’d be able to get my wage slip from work. To my utter horror (and nagging paranoia about the flimsy slip sitting in it’s metal box with all the other flimsy slips in the cash office), I discovered that the wage slips hadn’t been delivered.
This one small hiccup in my day has brought about a rather delicious dose of insomnia. And the opportunity to get a few things off my chest…
Facebook. We all love it. I find myself loving it. Its something to waste my time on when I know I should be wasting it on something else. Like staring at the dust on my monitor and thinking ‘I should clean that’.
I can cope with the obsessive need to update my ‘virtual’ status as soon as my actual status changes, even if I do have to be psychotically third person to do so. I can cope with the need to see the state my friends are in, and spy on their ‘wall-to-wall’ just so that I can understand their conversation, half plastered across the screen in disjointed blurbs that tease with a very sexy ‘…’ when they’ve gone on for too long.
That I can deal with.
Friends requests. I’ve had a few now (amazingly), most of which I’ve accepted because I obviously like them. But don’t you feel dirty when you click ‘Ignore’?
I feel repulsive. And for good reason.
I click ‘Ignore’ because I don’t want to know them. Now, or ever. So why do they then ask again? There is one very effective way Facebook could remedy this.
Invent a ‘Sod off’ button.
I’m still thinking about that wage slip…