Posted by: scintillatingspeck | September 2, 2014

Time, Facebook, connection, and the System.

There’s much to do.  It will be important for me to put some limits on the time I spend on Facebook, I’m realizing.  I’m not sure how to approach this… how much time would be the right amount?  How often?  Will I go through withdrawal?  Will I feel isolated and deprived?  Such dilemmas never existed, not so long ago, before the interwebs.  Or maybe they did, and they were just some other variety of addiction.  I need to remind myself that if using social media is addiction, it seems a lot like food addiction.  With food, you can’t give it up entirely.  Of course, Facebook as a medium could be given up entirely, but not the element it most strongly represents to me: the need for human connection.

It pains me that much of the work I need to do in the coming weeks and months will be done alone.  This degree of aloneness is not what I want.  I feel like the System, if it could speak, would say, “Just capitulate.  Just fall in line and you’ll get your needs met.  You’ll get to see people.  You’ll get to plug into the pre-fab mechanisms and not think so hard.  You’ll get instant, pop-up ‘communities.’  You’ll get to jump through hoops that you’ve studied and mostly mastered.  Why try to do things so differently?  Why do you do this to yourself?”

It’s all paternalistic, destructive lies, that’s why.  Because I want Lily and I to be free and happy to the largest degree possible.  Because I want to concentrate on what matters most.  Because I want to unlearn everything I was told about “how the world works” and my place in it, and listen instead to natural rhythms and my own heart.  Because I believe the System is killing us every single day, and I want us to live.  Because in every act of sanity and supposed “defiance” there are seeds of example sown, for my child and anyone else to reap.

Lily does not go to school.  I do not work for an employer.   If we did have such “authorities” to respond to, they would be the defining elements of our daily lives.  They would dictate our movements and our time.  They would dictate our understanding of safety/risk and what is normal/acceptable/real.  They would insist, in ways both crude and subtle, that the only way to be fed, physically, emotionally, intellectually, would be to submit.  Instead, we are independent, self-employed learners, charting our own course.  Add on top of this the fact that we do not have a conventional nuclear-family arrangement.

Why is this what comes up when I think more deliberately about limiting Facebook time?  Not submitting to the entrenched System makes things harder, in very real ways.  Not just figuring out all our activities on a curtailed budget; not just the huge time management issues that loom large in my awareness, figuring out how to simultaneously homeschool and write a book and develop my own independent, individualized “life research” business, let alone doing all the cooking and laundry.  I still need to connect with people, and I have found that Facebook can play a role in that, sometimes circumventing certain limitations of time, geography, and presence.  It’s not a replacement, by any stretch, for in-person connection, but it can ease the spaces in between.  It seems especially important in the wake of our epic, cross-country pilgrimage, when opportunities for in-person connection were the norm rather than the exception.

Insights?  Suggestions?  I’m listening, loves.

Lily and Jen



  1. Related to everything you said here. My partner and I are vagabonds with two young boys in tow. I feel I need to be apologetic to my family about it because they think we are so “crazy” the way we move around so much. Just got back from Southeast Asia and are now in Seattle. Seattle is pretty but do not want to stay in a big city for any length of time. Just discovered your blog and like it it so far! All the best on your journey.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nokomis, and for being “crazy.” Journey well!

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