As I thought about what I wanted to include on this week’s Small-Bite Sundays installment, I knew that I was having trouble sourcing content to share, but I wasn’t sure why. Yesterday, I figured it out: It’s because I rarely use Facebook anymore. I deactivated my account late last year in an attempt to break myself of the scroll-through-my-feed-whenever-I’m-bored habit, and it worked. After about three weeks totally off the ‘book, I no longer found myself compulsively clicking Command-T to open a new tab, then typing an F and letting auto-fill do the rest. (I’d also deleted the Facebook app from my phone ages ago, which certainly helped.) So now, although I still do technically have a Facebook account, I rarely use it. I scroll through my organization’s employee page every day or so, and if someone tags me I’ll usually check it out, but I spend probably 15 minutes total on the site over the course of a week.
I’m glad I made the change. The catalyst for my original deactivation (besides just wanting to waste less time there) was a misogynist post by an acquaintance that sent me into a rage spiral. I realized that I would never change his mind just by getting into a Facebook fight, and that seeing posts like that were more harmful to my mental health than anything else. So now, rather than spending hours scrolling through hundreds of ill-informed opinions and idiotic comments and barely-read shared articles, I can pick and choose the news I want to read and not have to deal with commentary that only makes my blood boil.
But there’s a downside. The converse to not seeing all those dumb, super partisan “news” stories is that I’m also not seeing the informed, well-written think pieces that don’t get traction on major news sites. I’m not seeing what my thoughtful, plugged-in, social-justice-minded Facebook friends are sharing. And I do miss that. Instagram has become my social media break of choice these days; I’m appreciating the focus on imagery and enjoying finding new ethical brands and companies. But there’s really no good sharing component. I also use Twitter more frequently, and that medium is definitely more sharing-oriented, but I also find it a bit anxiety-inducing and cluttered.
So I think I need some kind of happy medium in my Facebooking. Maybe I just need to curate my friends list more closely, or just unfollow folks whose posts I have no interest in seeing. If you have a strategy for using Facebook in a productive and positive manner, I’d love to hear it!
A prime example of something I would’ve missed entirely had I not spent about three minutes scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday: This piece on the way “bro culture” harms the animal protection movement. It is, of course, applicable to many other movements and organizations, but as someone who has now worked in animal protection for nearly five years, it hit home. I’ve often wished I could throw out a casual “Hey, man” in the hallway, but… it would be weird. This is a well-written, straightforward, non-confrontational (sigh) explanation of why this kind of language needs to go if we want to build a truly inclusive movement.
Switching topics entirely, check out this article about airplane toilets! No, really! As a somewhat-closeted aviation geek and a similarly closeted fan of poo talk, I enjoyed this light read. I was especially surprised to learn that the modern airplane vacuum toilet has only been in use since 1982!
If you haven’t read Geraldine’s gut-punchingly good account of making the pizza cinnamon rolls from Mario Batali’s misguided “apology” letter, do so now. Then read her follow-up, detailing how her Twitter account was hacked after the original post went viral. Then silently scream about how horrible internet men are. Then give a virtual nod to all your internet sisters in solidarity. Then maybe make some better cinnamon rolls and eat them with one big middle finger pointed at Mario Batali and his ilk.
This Serious Eats piece on the alchemy of novelty potato chip flavors made me smile. Although I can’t say I’m particularly tempted to try, say, taco-flavored chips, I enjoyed the underlying theme: that sometimes perfection (i.e., the exact replica of a taco’s flavor) isn’t as satisfying as a simulacrum. The latter is emotionally and sensorily evocative in the way an exact replica never can be.
Do you follow Goats of Anarchy on Instagram? If not, give the page a look. GOA is a sanctuary for special-needs goats, and it is exactly as cute as it sounds. This throwback video of Poppy and Frankie boppin’ around on the couch made me melt.
A veganized version of this creamy mapletini has been my go-to cocktail of choice over the past few weeks. You could easily sub in a thinned-out homemade cashew cream for the half-and-half, but I used Ripple’s unsweetened plant milk with great success. Steven (who knows me far too well) gave me a bottle of this amaaazing bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup for Christmas, so I’ve enjoyed letting it shine in a cocktail. If you are similarly maple-inclined, you too will revel in the possibility of literally drinking maple syrup.
Joey’s vegan oatcakes look mighty simple and mighty versatile. I try to incorporate zero-waste habits when possible, so I appreciate recipes that negate the purchase of plastic-wrapped snacks. Plus, that photo at the top of the post makes me salivate every time I see it.
Thanks for reading, and send your Facebook strategies my way!
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