Category: self-help

Note: this is an update to my previous post explaining why I left Facebook.

Would most of the people on your Facebook friend list really go out of their way to come help decorate your birthday party?  Probably not.

More than likely, they will prolly proffer elaborate excuses as to why they can’t: their cat has the flu, their back is out, they drank too much last night, they have work in the morning.

Granted, but perhaps they are on your friend list to share ideas, to discuss ways to transform your negative feelings and thoughts into productive happy ones? Again, probably not.

South Park computer lab

Which then leads me to wonder – is Facebook the ultimate pr0n for exhibitionists – because essentially, you are giving people permission to peek into your personal life, relationships, associations, news clips, or read your microblog.

Facebook preys on your need to be important – to be relevant. To be desired. To not be alone. To “figure.”  It preys on your Status Anxiety.

One might argue that it’s a good way to keep in touch with people you haven’t seen in a long time. Isn’t there a reason you haven’t maintained contact with those people from long ago?

One might argue that it’s a good way to manage your contacts – business and otherwise.  Nothing more.

Consider using LinkedIn for that. Or your Blackberry. Or a daytimer.  Or your memory.

If you argue that it’s the new phone, a way to communicate with family who you can’t see as often as you’d like – phone’s didn’t track what you purchased today, what age group you were talking to ten minutes ago and whether or not you like broccoli.  And no Nielsen polls aren’t the same thing.

One might argue that I am a Luddite, Amish, purist, fundamentalist.  I prefer, as grass-farmer Joel Salatin would like to call it – “post-Big Organic.”

MySpace has become the 80’s roadside billboard: Blast the message and hope to grab some of the collateral damage.  Facebook, on the other hand is an insidious, micro-targeted “resource;” every personal detail, choice, preference you submit leaves you open to highly-focused targeting.  It’s quite brilliant and something that any small or large company would be naive to overlook as a tool for hawking their wares. 

But what does it do for you?  Does it enlighten you?  Does it advise you?  Does it challenge you?  One might consider that exposure to these many personalities and their interests would, but in fact I find the results utterly homogenizing.  Recall that you are being targetted and thus your choices thus far are merely being reinforced as they are pandered to.

If it’s 140 character Haiku you are into, consider Twitter.  No – I don’t have it out for Facebook, but let’s call it like it is – an obsessive compulsion to have people whom you keep at arms’ length know about your neuroses.  Come back to life.  There is a lot of room and it’s yours to discover.

Is not a shortcut.

Is not a short walk.

Is not a movie.

You, who wield creation, are you comfortable with your power? Are you able to rely on it to get you from point birth to point demise? Do you play to win or to continue the play?

Is your self comfortable with abundance and thus are you able to truly give without taking the hit, and responsibly guide your charge through the darkness, or are you surviving, thus rendering your power a means to an end?

Have you taken care of yourself? When you see an abandoned child, a hungry homeless person, a sickly grandparent, an uncontrollable addict, can you see yourself?

Can you afford the same compassion to yourself?

That is your charge. It is your only charge.

Are you pragmatic and realistic? With all your dreams, aspiration and visions intact, can you attend to the here and now and supplant desperation, misery, loneliness, sadness, fear, regret, disappointment and rejection, actively and immediately with an actual objective towards self-perpetuation, soundness of mind and body and do so actively and begin immediately.

Are you comfortable with holding your own hand, stroking your own hair, feeding yourself first, putting on your oxygen mask before the person next to you?

Can you walk through the unknown, in the face of the status quo and maintain certainty towards your aim?

Are you self-sufficient with love or do you panhandle for it in the form of attention, acknowledgment, acceptance, a one night stand, a response?

Can you listen, just listen without inserting your own mark in the flow of events?

Can you surrender to the flow? Can you you dive into the rapids?

Can you persist?

Can you feed yourself?

Can you handle the way you are if you drop the bullshit? Can you accept that you don’t know? Moreover, can you accept that you do?

Can you live without having to find yourself, and accept that if you did, your understanding would already be obsolete?

Can you walk meet the Devil at the gate before the bridge and say I need no further assistance. I am complete in my walk and will not waiver, and yet I am malleable enough to not break should I be diverted or obstructed or even hit.

Can you sit in the fire? Or do you thrive on distraction and avoidance to reconcile yourself with truth.

Can you remember anything at all, before the Distraction World took hold of your fevered and impressionable mind?

Do you remember not wondering if you look fat or skinny, or smart or stupid? Do you remember not classifying anyone else that way?

Can you make an impartial judgment?

Where is you courage coming from? Does vindication drive you?

Do you think you can get rich if you just believe it hard enough, because it really sucks not to have what your neighbor does?

Can you empathize with your enemies and detractors?

Can you take the smaller piece? Can you take the larger one?

Do you believe in destiny or do you believe in reaping what you sow?

Is affluence the end to the means or the means to an end?

Are you accountable? Can you communicate yourself simply or are you cryptic? Can you admit as much?

Are you able to simply observe your anger, jealousy, and fear with curiosity, as a student might a dissected frog? Or do you rush to cover it or release it, lest you be discovered, lest you see that your are a balance of light and darkness?

Are you able to apply reason to opinion – if the public promotion of your identity is true are you able to acknowledge its validity, and if it is incorrect or driven by other motives, can you simply disregard it with confidence?

There is no easy answer. The secret is not in a word or a sentence or a set of goals. The secret is you, its solution is the application of your power. Your accountability to that power. You are living the result of your mind’s work.

Do you have the courage to face change?