I didn’t reach this conclusion as a result of prayer. Or Oprah. Or some newly found, turning 35-induced sense of maturity and restraint. No, I decided to leave FB because things (my timeline) were about to get really ratchet (uncouth). After a Christmas with a feverish, painful and miserable 11yo, my nerves were
a bit completely fried. A situation that might have gotten a “tsk tsk” on most other days had me literally crawling out of my skin to rip someone a new asshole via social media. The urge was too much to resist. So I hit delete.
Oh, so you’re just taking a break from Facebook to cool down.
I guess that you could put it that way. Or call it an early and extended Lenten abstinence. Or an abbreviated New Year’s resolution. Whatever you call it, I will not allow myself to read or participate on FB until July 1. After that, who knows? But I suspect that my separation from FB will be permanent, much like when I removed trash reality TV from my life as part of Lent in 2011. Once the clutter is cleared out, why bring it back in?
Do you really think you can do this? Aren’t you going to miss a lot of people/events/opportunities?
Now I’m only 2 days in, but yes, I think that this is doable. Even for a social butterfly like me.
And yes, there is the possibility that I will miss some things. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that the things I appreciate most about FB exist outside of FB. The family and friends that I love, who love me, and who are sharing my life, exist without FB. The intellectuals and academics and activists that I admire and learn from, exist without FB. And Buzzfeed has an app.
Events are a bit more challenging. I think that 99% of the invitations I received in 2014 were via FB. And yes, I sent quite a few myself. In 2015, inviting me to an event is going to require an email, text or phone call, an extra step that many might not be willing to take. And that’s ok. My desperation to make it to all the events at all the places to see all the people is something I can leave in 2014 without regret.
What’s with the asterisk? Is this a joke/chain letter/mass prayer request?
Good heavens, no! The asterisk indicates that I am leaving my personal FB page, but not my professional social media duties. I will still be posting for my org(s), reading posts that relate to our work, and requesting your support of our events/causes. I probably won’t see your status update calling me a really short person who wears glasses, but there is a chance that it could happen.
And you’re telling us all this because…
Because there are some people with whom I have developed, continued, or restarted relationships via FB. It is our primary form of communication. Wouldn’t it be rude to communicate with someone via a channel, remove that channel of communication from your life, and never give them a heads up? In most instances, I want that communication to continue because it was valuable, it brought me joy and it helped me grow.
And I guess that’s why I stayed on FB as long as I did. In the midst of the junk mail that bombarded my timeline each day were little snippets of joy that I would cling to in the midst of sadness. Moments of like-mindedness, fighting off a sense of loneliness and isolation. Inspiration in the face of self-doubt. For all of that, I thank you.
What FB could not, and will never, give me, however, is joy and inspiration from within. In the last two days I’ve found that I often: 1. decide to do something, 2: come up with a cute little caption for what I plan to do, 3: plan to update FB with said caption, and 4: forecast the number of likes/comments the FB update will receive. (Admittedly a little pathetic.) With FB out of the equation, my routine was thrown off. I was going to NOT tell people all of the cool things I was doing? What then, was the point of doing the cool things?!
Oh, right — because they are cool, or fun, or done with someone I love. And if someone happens to call or text and ask me how my day went, I can tell them. That’s ok. And if no one calls to ask, well, that’s ok too.
So, if the feeling hits you, text me to ask about my latest sewing project. Call me to request new photos of Mars. Or email me to invite me to your birthday shindig. If you blog, let me know where. I will likely blog more often in 2015 and would love to have you as a reader. Let’s stay connected, just not in that way.
Wishing you a 2015 filled with joy, success and peace.