A new friend, who blogs at Freeze-Dried Moments, has invited me to participate in a February blogathon, which involves posting something of relative substance every day for the month of February. Her invitation happened to catch me in the act of reconsidering my use and management of online time, which is to say hating myself for losing so much time scrolling through Facebook and Twitter feeds with little to no actual cognitive engagement. For several weeks, I have been making deliberate efforts not to check Facebook merely to pass the time, and yet, like Freud in the red-light district of some provincial Italian town, I keep finding myself there. This, you will recall, is the kind of compulsory repetition Freud associated with an “uncanny feeling, which, furthermore, recalls the sense of helplessness experienced in some dream-states”:
As I was walking, one hot summer afternoon, through the deserted streets of a provincial town in Italy which was unknown to me, I found myself in a quarter of whose character I could not long remain in doubt. Nothing but painted women were to be seen at the windows of the small houses, and I hastened to leave the narrow street at the next turning. But after having wandered about for a time without enquiring my way, I suddenly found myself back in the same street, where my presence was now beginning to excite attention. I hurried away once more, only to arrive by another detour at the same place yet a third time. Now, however, a feeling overcame me which I can only describe as uncanny….
So, I suppose I was already wondering about the possibility of more mindful and less creepy ways of using the internet, and thinking back to when this blog was my only outlet for “status updates,” and how those updates more often than not consisted of actual sentences and paragraphs, and not always quipping or complaining about something, and this made the idea of posting something daily for a month (hopefully in lieu of weird loitering in social media spaces) seem like a pretty good idea.
That, then, is the plan.