Standing at a precipice

biking on suspension bridge

I have the terrible habit of standing at the precipice for far too long. One might attribute this to sitzfleisch or a sort of paralysis that builds up the longer I wait to make my move. Sometimes you have to hurl yourself over the chasm, sometimes you have to ask for help in the leaping.

In my yoga class, we are working on handstands. For two months. That means that twice a week I get to practice hurling my body upside down. I am not at the point where I can do it without support. On Monday, I needed extra support, but I knew I needed to push myself over the hump and get past the psychological block that was holding me back. Today, I was able to go up more gracefully, with less support. But I know if I hadn’t literally hurled myself into the pose on Monday, I would still be hopping and not getting my feet over my head today.

And something interesting happened that I don’t think I’ve ever noticed before. Once I was upside down, my teacher told me to look forward of my hands. I thought I was, but apparently not FAR ENOUGH. When I did look farther forward, I felt my upper back relax and my arms and shoulders could better support me. It doesn’t seem like it should work, and yet, it did.


In the interim, yesterday morning as is my habit, I checked Facebook after I got up. But within an hour, I had to log back in and then was told my account might not be “real” and I had to verify who I was. I’ve had to do this before, so I identified the 5 people and then got to a new step: they wanted a phone number to text a confirmation code to. I gave them one, and never received the code. If I want to proceed with recovering/reactivating my account, I’m now required to give them a government-issued ID. UH, FUCK NO. Apparently this has happened to a bunch of Instagram users, which as we know, Facebook bought several months ago.

I have no idea why my account got flagged, but I have felt ambivalent about Facebook for a long time. While I mourn the lost connections (primarily the people I met overseas and that was the only way to maintain contact), for the most part, I will not miss it. Facebook had devolved into a stale echo chamber, with most of my friends reposting things they thought were funny or moving or whatever. I did like the minutia of daily life and just hearing what people were doing, but those kinds of updates were becoming fewer and fewer in between. It may have just been that the Facebook algorithm suppressed them, so I wasn’t seeing them at all.

My point here is, just like the handstand, I needed a push. Whether it came from within or without, it was the right thing for me. I spent A LOT of time on Facebook, perhaps to the detriment of other things I want to focus on – like this blog! For now, I want to spend my energy on creating stories I love and connecting with friends over a table, instead of the internet.

ETA: Another friend pointed out this piece: 7 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft Before Facebook Gets Hacked, which just adds fuel to the fire for me in staying off of Facebook. One of the reasons I’ve always felt uneasy was the degree to which they require and/or collect personal information.

I’d be curious to hear what precipices you are standing on, where you feel you need a push and where you want to push yourself.

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16 thoughts on “Standing at a precipice

  1. Drew

    Great piece, Jill.

    I have a fantasy where some wonderfully impish hacker shuts down Facebook for a full week. The apocalyptic freakout would be entertainment enough to justify it. But better yet, there would be literally millions who never went back… and a whole lot more than that who would think twice before posting their horoscope.

    Come on internet, we can do this.

    1. slowbloom Post author

      Thanks, Drew! I found it easy to get sucked into the banality of it all, but I’m finding it relatively easy to walk away, too.

  2. yix

    Yay! I finally got you in my RSS reader. I will miss you on FB, but am so happy to see someone active leave…gives me hope.

    1. slowbloom Post author

      Glad to hear my posts are coming through in your RSS feed. Wheee! It’s a brand new day, brave new world. It honestly wasn’t my choice to leave, but it IS my choice not to go back. Feels pretty good, if I do say so m’self ;).

    2. The Good Luck Duck

      I just read that Google will shut down Google Reader at the beginning of July.

      I do a lot of blog networking through Facebook, which I would hate to see go away, but some things shouldn’t be thwarted, I guess.

      1. slowbloom Post author

        I’ve seen a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth around Google Reader going away, but I just use LJ/DW for my RSS feeders, so I’m not feeling it.

        Facebook has its utility, and I may end up going back some day, but I won’t use it the same way if I do.

  3. ranger

    I will miss you on FB, but I may get flagged as unreal one day. I refuse to give my “real” name, birthdate, etc. Just got a notice that google reader is also going byebye, so I am going to have to shop around for another feed reader. Not a good tech day for me.

    1. slowbloom Post author

      And why should you have to give those pieces of information? There are other RSS readers available, though …

  4. Dave

    Well, I will miss your FB presence, but I totally understand your departure after reading this. We have other ways of staying in touch.

  5. The Good Luck Duck

    I’m on a precipice, too, only I’ve been feeling it as seismic tremors. I’m not ready to talk about it, since I might just stop wobbling and nothing much will change, but that doesn’t make it of less value, does it?

      1. The Good Luck Duck

        Ha! Well, I sort of got one.

        I got it into my head to contact an old FB friend to ask her a random question. It turns out she was exactly the right person to be talking to at that moment, and she shoved me while I wasn’t looking.

        1. slowbloom Post author

          Glad to hear it! But wait! Does that mean you won’t be on FB anymore? I’m thinking not, since you just posted there this morning. I’m so confused!

  6. Roseann

    Jill, I wonder if we have all become to dependent on fb to keep us connected. I have so liked seeing you daily. How in the hell do I get notification to my email that you post here.
    I don’t want to be push from your insights to all that goes on around you and the world.
    Love you.

    1. slowbloom Post author

      Ro, I’m pretty sure there’s a way to subscribe to the blog via email, but I have no idea how to do it. I’ll see if I can figure it out and get back to you! Definitely agree about the problem of being dependent on FB to stay connected. Thinking about how redundancy and overlaps are good and we shouldn’t rely on a single point of contact. LOVE YOU! xox

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