i've lost track now how long it's been since i quit facebook. i'm guessing a month, maybe more. i used to count the minutes, then the hours. it took me a solid week to stop picking up my phone again and again and again to check my newsfeed. it took me longer than that to stop wondering what's going on out there in the world of status updates. in fact, i even texted a friend at one point to ask her what was happening on facebook. her response: just the usual woes and brags.
apparently, i wasn't missing much but it sure felt like i was.
i legitimately like facebook. i grew up in iowa and my family is still there. i lived in oklahoma for ten years and have dear friends there. facebook is a fabulous way to connect and share life with those near and far! but what kills me about facebook is when "friends" use it to announce things that should really be done in person or over the phone or, god help us all, at the very least through a text message. when you find out your brother got engaged by reading about it on facebook that kinda sucks. when you discover your favorite aunt's cancer has returned and is terminal on facebook that kinda sucks even more.
i deactivated because i got tired of facebook being more important than the people on facebook.
the truth is i'd been considering dropping off social media for a long while before i actually pulled the trigger. it was more than a year ago that my therapist mentioned studies which determined facebook can lead to depression. i've read, and been fascinated by, essays about people's breaks from social media or the internet altogether. they suffered withdrawal symptoms but ended up living a fuller life offline; most began using technology again after a predetermined timeframe but they felt more purposeful in doing so. then i stumbled upon a ny times article about how one viral tweet caused a woman to be fired from her job and forced her to leave the country to avoid the media frenzy that followed. i must admit, too, that the more and more common cyberattacks have made me wary of the internet in general. (yes i understand the irony of that statement given that i'm about to publish this on my personal webpage). ultimately, though, i disconnected longing to decrease the white noise that infiltrated my daily life and, more so, to connect with people in a real-er way.
so what can i tell you about life since saying byebye to facebook? surely i use my time more wisely now that i don't have my nose in a newsfeed multiple times a day but i couldn't exactly tell you how. it's safe to say i've been reading books more, the house has been a bit tidier, i've paid more attention to the boys, i've said "just a minute" to them less, my phone has been plugged into the wall more and by my side less. i have certainly made more phone calls or sent more texts instead of relying on facebook to tell me how my friends are doing. all incremental changes. all good ones.
but i do miss the ability to connect with people who mean a lot to me. i want to see photos of new babies. i want a reminder notification when it's a friend's birthday. i wish i could post a quick status update to get recommendations for a local cleaning service. i want to know about the progress a friend is making with her family's venture to start a farm...it's all that stuff but mostly i just honestly, sincerely miss all the plain old woes and brags.
so, who knows, maybe i'll join facebook land again one day. until then i'll just keep posting my own woes and brags right here.
here are some articles about social media you may find interesting...
going null on social media by john saddington
how one stupid tweet ruined justine saccos life at the ny times
too much facebook leads to envy and depression at cnn money
technology is destroying my family #help at mommyish.com