A few weeks ago, I made the decision to deactivate my Facebook account.
This isn't anything earth-shattering or monumental, but for a stay-at-home Mom like me who referred to Facebook at one time as her "lifeline", it was a bit of a big deal.
After I gave birth to our son and found myself removed from the working world to being sequestered to my home with an infant, all in a matter of days, Facebook provided a link to the outside, a tool in which I could connect. It served that purpose for years. In fact, it continued to serve that purpose until the day I closed my account. But I realized that that initial purpose had waned significantly. Facebook was becoming a bit of a time waster, an absent-minded scrolling of my News Feed, reading things that did not necessarily have anything to do with my reality. Some things did, but not most.
And my circumstances changed. I'm no longer snuggled in my bed with a sleeping newborn, checking my phone in the peace and quiet. My life is a whirlwind of activity with three little birds who are old enough to not only request my attention, but to see where I place it. I realized that I was spending most of any down time I had on my phone, mostly to check Facebook. Thusly, I was teaching my kids that when you have a moment of peace? Get on a device and zone out!
Naturally, it did not require a deactivation of my account to spend less time on my phone. I could have just spent less time on my phone. Right? But for whatever reason, after making that a goal and giving it a good honest try to keep it, I would find myself slowly falling back into the habit of checking it. No matter how many times I deleted the app from my phone.
There I would be again, going down the rabbit trails that Facebook provides--reading articles I wouldn't necessarily care about, reading the answers to some arbitrary test that someone found online, or commenting on a thread to a conversation that really didn't matter. And sometimes my attempts at sarcasm or wit would be misconstrued, and that's never fun. And those things would get to me. They would bother me.
They would bother me. And they aren't a part of my reality!
I mean, they are real. On the other end of those articles and tests and posts is a real person, yes. But the circumstance in which we were communicating was not one we would encounter face-to-face. And those I do encounter face-to-face were missing out on attention from me.
Now that I'm a few weeks into my Facebook absence, I can tell you, it's been great and it's been tough. It's been great because it's been what I hoped it would be: QUIET. My brain is much less noisy (and I have a brain that never stops). I'm not on my phone nearly as much. I'm focusing more on the real, live relationships in my life and investing in them. It's funny how it almost felt awkward to send a text rather than post on someone's FB wall, or to send them a message. As though I'm being intrusive.
And being of off Facebook has, in some ways, been inconvenient. I am an extrovert, and I find myself missing some of the conversation. There are precious people in my life who I miss keeping up with. And I know I am missing out on things because I'm not there.
I haven't given up Facebook forever. I have a plan formulating in my mind, that perhaps I will do a major clean-out of my "friends" list--I mean, MAJOR--and pare it down to only a few family and actual friends, and to make Facebook what it used to be to me: A place to share information and pictures with people I love. Not a place to debate, waste time, etc. But who knows if that will happen.
In the mean time, I'm enjoying the quiet.
I want to get back into this thing, too. I love blogging, but it has taken a backseat in my life, and I hope to revive it a bit.
And Thanksgiving is coming up! For us, that will mean time with family from near and far, and lots of food. Amen.
Have a lovely day, friends.