Hey guys! How’ve you all been the past 2.5 months? I’ve been fabulous – just getting myself back into the swing of school, making friends, kicking ass, taking names, writing about porn.
Yep, I’ve spent the semester (and past 9 months, really) writing about porn – but in the least sexy way possible. My law journal note is on steps that can be taken to amend the federal cyberstalking statute to encompass behavior typical of those who disseminate nonconsensual pornography…also known as revenge porn. It’s been a crazy process of writing and researching, but I finally finished it. As a result, I allowed myself to get back on Facebook. I honestly never thought either of those two things would actually happen, but lo and behold, here we are today.
Here’s what I learned in my two months of accumulating the most questionable browser history in Central New York and living the life of a social media hermit.
- NEVER SEND NUDE PICTURES. EVER. Seriously, nothing on the Internet is sacred and you don’t know who’s looking at your stuff and PEOPLE HACK PRIVATE PHOTO ALBUMS TO PUT THEM ON WEBSITES and oh my god I’m stopping this fear-mongering now because I know I’m going to get a ton of negative backlash about it. Basically though, keep your nudie pics to yourselves. It’s not that hard, kids.
- Not having Facebook makes some people look at you differently. One of the weird things about distancing yourself from one of the most ubiquitous social networks is that when a small segment of the population finds out you don’t have one, they immediately assume it’s because you think you’re better than them. Clearly, this isn’t the case, given that I have come crawling back to the Internet after less than a quarter of a year. Sorry that I’m weak.
- Eliminating Facebook means that you need to talk to people IN REAL LIFE! PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE ARE AWESOME, GUYS. Actually needing to text my friends to hang out means that the onus of making plans is on me, and then the plans actually happen. Whoa! Not being able to simply creep on someone’s profile page means that I need to pick up the phone and call them to hear about their life. It RULES!
- Deactivating my Facebook account did not make me more productive. I did not save the world during my Internet vacation. If nothing else, I simply found more ways to distract myself. Instead of reading whatever articles popped up on my Newsfeed, I spent time trolling RSS feeds, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed to get my fix. I also now have the most wonderful accumulation of items that I will never purchase in an Anthropologie online shopping basket. Procrastination can, and always will, find ways to manifest itself – even without Facebook.
- JSwipe requires that you have a Facebook profile. My mom tried to download this for me over break. Sorry, mom. I’m still not downloading it now that I have Facebook back though, nyah nyah.
- You don’t feel distant from your social circles. Maybe it’s because I had a couple of other things going on in my life when I deactivated, but I found myself being more outgoing and social once I got off the ‘Book. By not being constantly tethered to peoples’ status updates and posts, I was able to focus on my own immediate circle of friends, and I appreciated my interactions with them much more, and at a much deeper level.
- Only sixteen states have statutes that protect victims from revenge pornography. New York isn’t one of them, and the case law on the books doesn’t favor victims. THIS STUFF IS SCARY, PLEASE BE CAREFUL MY FRIENDS.
So, what did I learn from all this? That less is more, especially with digital profiles. If nothing else, I highly recommend deleting your Facebook for a month simply to get back in the habit of real-life conversations with old friends. It’s fantastic, and it gives you a deep intrinsic satisfaction that simply playing catch-up via chat can’t satisfy.
Also, for the love of god, don’t photograph your junk.