Maybe it’s a bad sign that the day I deactivated my facebook account, I started listening to Pet Sounds nonstop. Was Mark Zuckerberg sending me a telepathic message to grow a beard, wear a bathrobe all day, and spend a few years in bed like Brian Wilson, excommunicated from the human race for giving the ‘book the finger? Not sure. I do know that I was spending way too much time on the thing, compulsively checking to see if anyone had commented on my witty posts or requests for flash mobs and such, and taking their silence as a personal affront. This was silly, very silly. Jean Renoir famously said that “the real hell of life is that everyone has his reasons. ” Now everyone is just too busy. So facebook was supposed to give us an easy way to “keep in touch” in the midst of our complicated, overscheduled modern lives. But where exactly was the majority of my life being lived?  It felt like more and more it was spent staring at a screen, something I don’t think human beings evolved to do. (Check out Chris Van Allsberg’s book The Wretched Stone for more on this.) Now it’s summertime in Maine, and I can’t say that in the depths of the dark frozen January that is sure to come I won’t swallow my electronic pride and re-up, but right now I’m going for a walk or a swim, or maybe I’ll make some art, or read to my kids, or go on a date with my wife, finish Grapes of Wrath or do some yoga. At least right now, I can’t live online and off at the same time. Me and Brian will see you in the woods.



  1. Socialpaws

    hey Henry! Facebook is the most irritatingly useless necessity anyone ever invented. Isn’t it just our gossip tendencies turning to a screen rather than old fashioned phone/neighbourly communication?

    It does feel as though we living out our lives staring at the screen, I feel pretty sad when I think about it. What are we getting out of this virtual world that we can’t get out of the world around us? Maybe it’s the fact when we finally get off our butts into the real world, we can’t chat for long because everyone is rushing back home/work to check their Facebook! Bingo! A catch 22 !
    Well, have a good weekend.

    • henry

      Well said. Thanks for reading. And have a nice weekend yourself. Maybe go for a walk in the woods 🙂

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