I remember a time before cell phones and Facebook when I had great ideas and projects and could focus on them without distractions.

I initially and somewhat reluctantly obtained by first cell phone primarily because my partner was ill, and I wanted to be available if needed while away at work. Later on, I became even more attached to that device as my mom, in her final years, depended on me constantly, and so I was never without it. I soon developed a continuous craving for digital human connection; I would check my phone constantly, wondering who needed me.

Both my partner and mother have passed and I have, on occasion, actually left the house without my phone, but I've felt a strange, naked feeling in doing so. As a result of this obsession I have, to a degree, lost my ability to focus on much for anything for any length of time. It became a distraction.

But perhaps the most insidious of distractions has been the slow and stealthy intrusion of Facebook into my routine. On the surface, Facebook is an easy and convenient way to find and connect with friends and, as a performer and artist, with fans and followers. But it can also be a major distraction from the things one needs to do.

As a merchant in the physical realm, one's best business is performed in an actual store - a space that represents the business, its values, and quality. In a store, one can create and maintain the desired ambiance and the owner's job is to lure and entice customers into their world of unique offerings.

In the virtual world, a custom web page that is dedicated to oneself or business serves a similar purpose: to represent and direct the visitor to what the proprietor feels important at that time. In the case of the musician/artist - their website is their "store" where they present their musical and artistic wares to the public.

Facebook has made it easy to create a "business" page and to update it at any moment. But a business on Facebook is like taking one's wares to a bustling public swap-meet. While one may sell their wares there and even attract a new costumer or two, that business is also subject to the comments of each and every passerby, interested or not, the unsolicited advice of so called "experts", and the ramblings of the mentally unhinged and their followers. It can be distracting.

This is no way to run a business and meanwhile, this remote business presence has slowly but surely sucked all the energy and time that used to be invested in the main storefront; dusting off cobwebs, physical or virtual, and maintaining the ambiance that best reflected the storekeep's initial vision. What started out as a supplemental excursion to bring back some customers became the business itself. The real store; the real business - lay abandoned and neglected. At least, that is how it has been for me. I see that is the case for many others as well.

And so I realize that Facebook is no longer serving me in any way but to distract and infuriate me each time I wander down its bustling avenues. Too temping are its carnival barkers, hustlers, and dark alleys where, at any moment, a fight might break out at the slightest provocation.

With a strong will and self control, one can visit the hustle and bustle of the Facebook Bazaar and come back unscathed, but not I. My time is best spent in the store, minding my wares - creating that which I see and hear, and presenting it to you in the best way I can imagine. 

I am currently cutting the ties that bind me and quitting the Facebook habit.