In my estimation, problems with food—compulsively eating food that’s bad for you—this is more of a “drug” problem than anything else. I was originally tempted to say it was primarily a psychological problem, in which food and drink are strategically (in a subconscious way) used to manage stress, depression, energy levels, etc. But even taking that into account, it is, in the end, a matter of chemicals and how they operate on the brain.
For example, I remember the time I impulsively purchased a donut with blue glaze and orange sprinkles from my local convenience store conglomerate. It tasted like disappointment. Later, when I found out they were made in the colors of the New York Mets, I understood my reaction better.
Regardless of the winning or losing streak of said Mets, a donut from your local convenience store conglomerate is probably not going to be the best thing for your body, especially if you are not a spry and active eight-year-old circa 1970s or so.
HOWEVER, my brain felt amazeballs after eating this amazing confection: not only did my mood (hovering somewhere between casual existential apathy and “meh”) IMMEDIATELY IMPROVE as the copious amount of sugars flooded my bloodstream, but I found the wherewithal to delete another 400 people from my Facebook.
I have the distinction of being from the first wave of people to make a living managing social media for others—karma I am still currently working off by having the blue donut of disappointment work its way slowly through my bowels, the masticated pieces of which may never be fully liberated from my system until my first high-colonic in 2018.
(OK. Here’s a story. It’s completely true. I’m passing by one of those tarot reader storefronts in St. Marks…this must have been in 2005 or so…and for some reason I get the impulse to go in and have my fortune read. And the lady reading my palm—she must have been like 19 but looked an attractive 45—she told me that I was a semi-obscure expressionist German painter in a previous life, and that I would get my first high-colonic in 2018. And…I just couldn’t believe it, because when you added up all the numbers you got Walt Disney’s birthdate. Incredible. Changed my life.)
Anyway, the key to social media marketing back then was to indiscriminately friend as many people as humanly possible on as many platforms as possible. And so on my Facebook I ended up with over 2K “friends.” Which is actually on the low-end of the spectrum…big rollers go for the 5K limit on their personal accounts, at which point they reach bodhisattva-hood and can heal people via brief but meaningful hugs.
So, right off the bat, I realized I didn’t really “know” about 1K of my friends on FB. Skimmed right off the top. Didn’t know these people.
I started to believe that either Facebook automatically added these peeps to boost their registration numbers or perhaps simply gaslight me as part of some nefarious surveillance plot—or, third option, maybe I was just a complete social media whore. I’m sticking to all three conclusions, but only half-seriously (the other half of me just can’t be bothered).
So I began to pare down my online “buds.” Some, as I said, I completely never heard of. Some literally only showed up on my FB feed during comic book convention season to sell their wares. Some had blank avatars because they started new accounts and/or got so discouraged trying to close their existing one (I’ve tried this, it’s a very neat little circle of hell) that they abandoned them completely and took down their photo.
As of this writing, I’m down to about 350 FB friends. Was it a mistake to be so choosy? Who am I going to sell my whip-smart ebooks on social media marketing to now?
I might have messed it all up. I’m not sure.
But for one, brief, shining moment: I had that blue donut. And I still have some of it.