A couple nights ago, I was curled up on my couch, reading a John Cheever short story. Sadly, every few passages, I would lay down the book, pick up my phone and check my Facebook and more importantly, the stats page on my blog, this blog, easilycrestfallen.com. I thoroughly enjoyed the story about a midwestern writer with some delusions about his writing talents. It rang true because here I was reading a Cheever masterpiece and I kept setting it aside to see what people on the internet might be saying about, well, you know where this is headed.
So yesterday, I was talking to my friend Eboni about how I feel like I’m slipping into a rabbit hole and I don’t know how to get out. She suggested I take a one week break from Facebook, Twitter and most importantly, checking the stats page on my blog, this blog easilycrestfallen.com. When she suggested it, I told her she was cruel to even suggest it, it would be like 7 days without a heartbeat, it would kill me. “Do you know how much LIVING goes on on Facebook in a week’s time?” I might have said. I countered with, “24 hours”, she guffawed. I whispered, “Forty eight hours?” She told me I was going to do whatever I wanted anyway. So, we and by we, I mean I decided that I would take a 48 hour break from Facebook, Twitter and checking those damn stats. She did say I could continue to post to my blog. Actually, that’s the point. Unlike every other time I post something, I won’t be able to immediately run to my stats page or see how many “likes” I’ve received on Facebook. In fact, it will be 48 hours (well, 39 hours and 28 minutes now: I started my sabbatical last night) before I know how my little offering will be received by the masses. I feel like an old-time writer again, like John Cheever even. And don’t be too judgemental about me. Trust me when I say that Cheever was even more of a narcissist than I am.
I think if John Cheever and Norman Mailer and Charles Bukowski had Facebook and WordPress stats, they would’ve been addicts just like us. They had it harder– they had to wait for reviews and updates from publishers. No wonder they drank so much! And I wouldn’t call you a narcissistic. I would call you pleasantly self-attuned!