Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship. I find Facebook more irritating than anything else, but I keep going back to it. It’s a bad habit and it needs to be broken. I’ve decided to give up Facebook for Lent, and I must confess, I hope I find myself so much more content without it that I don’t reactivate my account. Yes, I realize I am not Catholic, but I do see the point in sacrificing something important to you. Also, I think it’s a little sad how Facebook is that important to me. I’d like to say it’s not, but I find myself clicking on my Facebook app on my phone & scrolling through my News Feed numerous times a day out of sheer habit. I can deny all I want, but the amount of time I spend on Facebook tells the reality of the situation.
What keeps me on Facebook? I think it’s mostly just keeping up with friends. I like seeing cute pictures of my friends’ kids and seeing exciting things happening in their lives. I like following Louisiana Boxer Rescue. I like the friends I have met along the way whom I communicate with via Facebook. But I keep going back to how more often than not, I find this whole social network irritating. It’s impersonal. Tonight I wrote an email to a friend – a friend who has admirably removed herself from Facebook and is happy with that decision – and it actually felt really nice to just send a personal email to one friend instead of a status update to hundreds of friends/acquaintances. Janie, you’re next. 🙂 I guess I hope I still get to hear from my friends on occasion without being on a big impersonal list of hundreds. I have a phone number and an email address that both work perfectly well! I will welcome those cute photos of their kids being delivered to me via text message. I know it’s hard to break habits, especially when they are just so convenient, but I want my friendships to return to a more simple, genuine, personal manner, even if it means I am going in a different direction than the majority.
I’m also hopeful that abstaining from Facebook will get me back into the habit of blogging. (I will always hate the word “blogging”, but I like the actual activity!) Before diary-x crashed, I would post regular blogs – several per week. This time period was during college, and I wrote about so many fun things I did with my friends. I even created scrapbooks for two of my friends when they graduated that were full of stories/blog entries pertaining to fun memories with them. I think part of the problem with Facebook is that it has made everyone condense their thoughts into two or three sentences and broadcast a variety of those thoughts throughout the day. Nothing goes deeper than a few sentences, and there are no details … other than details nobody really wants to know. (You all know what I mean. We all have the TMI-type friends who talk about their toddler’s bathroom habits or the list of places they threw up today, since they’re pregnant and are always sick to their stomach.) I miss blogging, but I don’t make time for it. Maybe a Facebook hiatus will bring me back to it. Because, truly, in ten years from now, I’d much rather backtrack on a blog and read about an extra fun family night or a game night with friends in detail than shuffle through tons of clutter to maybe see a two sentence status update about it. This is a better way to preserve memories, and I make a lot of good ones.
By Ash Wednesday, my account will be deactivated. It may be deactivated before then, but I want to give myself some time to make sure to exchange email addresses with some friends I’d like to keep up with. Truthfully, I’m really looking forward to this. I think it’ll be a good thing. So, goodbye Facebook, for at least six weeks. And if it feels as liberating as I hope it will, maybe goodbye for good.