How Facebook has turned you into Gollum

Preface by me, Barry: Eons ago (er, say 2008), I realized Facebook was an untainted digital place to… what I often refer as S.A.T. (to Share, Ask, Tell – see #2 here); basically a level-playing field to offer up thought and resources to your own pre-selected community of followers and acolytes. Then, when the social justice warriors and empowerment-porn sanctimonious souls found out about its power, its reach, all narcissistic hell started to break loose. 

From entitlement-minded poormeitis-thinking Cry Wolf types, to Chicken Little prognosticators, to those addicted to their next dopamine hit… those are the TYPES who should perma-delete their FB accounts; as they’re not utilizing it for any other purpose than an “avenue for showcasing superiority, exhibitionism, exploitativeness, vanity and entitlement.” (as I wrote about in 2017 in this short blustering expose about #SelfieNation:). It in, I propose a 100-day Selfie Detox.

But, I digress and instead hand this over to fellow Oregonian and self-professed Mad genius, Ben Settle:

I once saw someone write about how she was re-reading the Lord of the Rings books, only to realize the One Ring is her smartphone, with this passage from Bilbo:

“…it would be a relief in a way not to be bothered with [The Ring] any more. It has been growing on my mind lately. Sometimes I have felt it was like an eye looking at me. And I am always wanting to put it on and disappear, don’t you know; or wondering if it is safe, and pulling it out to make sure. I tried locking it up, but I found I couldn’t rest without it in my pocket. I don’t know why. And I don’t seem able to make up my mind.”

In many ways, I believe the above applies even more to Flakebook.


Well, this is admittedly purely anecdotal but, the second I deleted my Facebook account (and I have a witness for this, should you need one…) over a year ago… just like Bilbo Baggins’ countenance and peace of mind changed the second he left the Ring at home and walked out the door… so it was with elBenbo Baggins.

I wasn’t even on there all that much, after closing my groups down.

But, even so, my productivity went up that same hour (literally — and I have a witness to this). And, the level of output over the past year since has been insane compared to years prior, including:

– Bought & paid off a house, and sold my former house

– Wrote & launched 9 high-ticket books, with a 10th being launched next month — including writing all the email campaigns & sales letters, etc for said book launches

– Wrote an 8th novel for my Enoch Wars series, which will be a bonus novel inside the upcoming “Omega Edition” i.e. all 7 original books of the series plus this new 8th in one big book

– Bought into 3 different software companies

– Plowed through more biographies & autobiographies than I can remember

– Spent more time walking the beach with my aging (15 year old) long-suffering dog in the past 7 months than probably the entire year before that combined

– Invested in a movie (details forthcoming in an upcoming “Email Players” issue)

– And probably a few more ticky-tack things I’m not even thinking of

Maybe that doesn’t sound like all that much to some.

But, for me, that is nearly 10 times more output than I ever did in prior years.

And while I suspect being on a travel & speaking moratorium has also contributed a little bit to it, I have no doubt the biggest factor was tossing Facebook — as well as Twitter — into the fires of Mount Doom. And again, I was not on there all that much compared to most people I know. So I can only imagine how much it holds back those who haunt their Facebook app, checking it 15+ times per day, and spending more time debating, giving away free tips for the likes & attention, and virtue signaling about whatever their token social justice cause is than getting real work done.


Like Samwise Gamgee observing Frodo and Smeagol lusting after the Ring… I now clearly see just how Gollum-like other people are when I observe them on Facebook, interacting on Faceboook, and incessantly checking their Facebook on their phones (at restaurants, in the company of friends & family, even when talking one-on-one with someone) to make sure their Facebook still is where they left it… to constantly open it up and “disappear” into the posts and drama… wondering if their ego is safe by seeing how many people liked their posts and comments… getting depressed when they get less signaling than the post before (a very real phenomenon that affects every single person on there according to neurologists, even if they don’t realize it)… and pulling it up to always know it’s safe.

And, like Gollum — who, when he had the Ring, sometimes had to put it away since it galled his body — people try to lock their accounts up by deactivating it, knowing it’s galling their minds.

Even going on Facebook and social media “fasts.”

But they don’t find rest without the app on their phone & checking messenger.

Of course, like Boromir, they don’t think they are enslaved to the app.

And it’s especially amusing watching people cook up all kinds of excuses of why they “have” to be there, even as they know it’s galling their brains, savaging their hormone levels, sucking up their time, and controlling their reactions. It’s like something I read on Vox Day’s blog today:

“Man is not a rational creature, he is a rationalizing one.”

I know, I know — this does not apply to YOU, Boromir.

You, of course, are different.

And probably completely immune to the wiles of Facebook — which is designed to work on your dopamine production, designed to keep you dependent to being “connected”, and designed to keep you thinking you have to have it, or your life, your business, and your network will die on the vine.

Thus, I won’t bother waste your time or mine trying to persuade you to cast the One Ring into the cracks of Mount Doom.

What would be the point?

This email is mostly only for the 1% reading this who know what I speaketh is true on some level, are looking for some encouragement, and are ready to do the deed.

For them?

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the benefits of ejecting Facebook:

* More privacy (this reason, alone, should be enough, especially if you are naive enough to put pics of your kids on Facebook…)

* Less accessibility (the law of supply and demand didn’t cease to exist with social media, it got amplified by it… what’s scarce is always more valuable than what’s easily obtained — and reclusive Pai Mei’s trainings are infinitely more valuable and sought-after than a storefront karate sensei at the local strip mall or YMCA…)

* No longer feeding, nourishing, and strengthening ideological enemies (Facebook, iTunes, Twitter… still working on liberating myself from Google, admittedly, but all in due course…)

* So many new ideas I am implementing, so fast… it actually annoys me trying to keep up with them (if anything, I am perpetually running the risk of burnout, which presents its own set of irritations…)

* More optimistic (it’s astounding how much the negativity of social media can affect the mind… in fact, I have since learned Twitter was specifically designed for negativity, and it’s no accident so many anonymous and mindless haters drive-by comment on there — something I did not fully realize until doing an “Irish good-bye” on the platforms I was on…)

* Less overall frustration (no longer seeing everyone’s stupid political views, rants, and virtue signaling — I not only don’t know what Trump, Pelosi, the media, etc are up to in many cases, I don’t care, either, and barely even look at the Drudge Report anymore other than the headlines…)

* More time to read about & study great people (I find it far more interesting and preferable to read the minds of great men, authors, military commanders, leaders, entrepreneurs etc via biographies and autobiographies, than to read the minds of marketing proles & new product junkies on social media…)

Those are just a few benefits.

And the drawbacks?

After an entire year… zero. I cannot think of a single thing I am missing out on that matters not being on those sites.

Am I saying I would never return to a social media platform?

Well, I never to say never.

But, if I do, it will almost certainly be a social media platform I own & control — such as the the product made by the software company I just bought into this morning can be easily converted to, should I choose. More details on this forthcoming in an “Email Players” issue soon.

But for now?

Daddy kinda likes his life, and doesn’t want to waste time on social…

Anyway, like I said:

This email is for the 1% of people on my list who know I speaketh the truth about this, and needed a Gandalf-like nudge to give up the One Ring.

And for them, I have a 29-day challenge.

A challenge I believe will take anyone to whatever goals they have much faster.

Including in ways they never thought possible.

Here is the challenge:

1) Delete your social media — Not just deactivate, delete, for 29 days. That gives you a 24-hour period to get back on Facebook or Twitter. I believe they give you a 30-day grace period after deletion to get back on — or at least they did last year — should you not be able to resist the lust of the One Ring. If you really miss it that much after 29 days, and find yourself further screwing up your circadian rhythm by caressing your phone’s Facebook app at midnight while talking to yourself like Gollum did… and you can’t let it go and must get back back on, well, you can.

And, without missing a beat, too.

(All your friends, lists, etc still in tact.)

2) Spend all the time you would have spent doing social media’ing working on your business — especially building and mailing your email list.

3) Subscribe to “Email Players” and learn how to start taking all that social media time and doing “for real” business, and not fake business hanging out with other people who don’t do any real business, but just talk about it on social media.

Again, this email applies to maybe 1% of my list.

And, no, I don’t expect most of those few people who do the above will stay off social media.

But for that 1% of that 1% of who do?

I predict their businesses will explode.

Their sales will explode.

And, yes, their profits will explode.

Not just in those 29 days, but forever after.

Whatever the case, if you are ready to detox, go here:

Ben Settle

P.S. If you read this, and think you would love to leave sites like Facebook, etc, but can’t, because your business and income really do depend on one or more of those sites, then that should be a huge red flag for you in and of itself to change your wicked ways.

Relying on one platform you don’t control in the first place is dangerous.

Especially with all the incessant de-platforming, thought-policing, and algorithm-adjusting going on with practically all social media.

Even I agree social media can potentially make certain people lots of sales.

But, it’s a shaky foundation to solely build an entire business on.

And, like everything in life, it only works until it doesn’t…

Share this post / page here:
Scroll to Top