For Lent, I have given up Facebook, reading blogs, and looking at Instagram accounts (I don’t actually have my own Instagram account, so I mostly just creep on others’). The following are some stream of consciousness notes on the experience thus far.
-I am such a rule follower that I honestly have not been tempted to cheat yet. Noteworthy: I do not have a smart phone.
This post needed pictures, so baby Zoe will be helping me out.
-I didn’t realize how much pressure social media created for me to “respond” and “be up to date.” Within two days, I realized, “hey! This is pretty amazing…the only people I am conversing with are people who actually seek me out or whom I intentionally put effort into initiating conversations with.” It’s like an introvert’s dream.
As I reflected on this, I realized that in between my roles as professor, consultant, friend, and family member, I already have two email addresses, one online learning system, and a phone to stay on top of.
Facebook and blogs initially felt like my “fun escape,” but removing them from my life made me realize that they still add that pressure to “stay on top” of something.
-I didn’t realize how much I used Facebook messaging to communicate. As soon as I de-activated my Facebook account, I realized that I had made plans with a relatively new friend this week via Facebook message. I am still trying to figure out how to get her number or email address to confirm our plans. Oops!
-I also realized that there are a few friends who don’t actually have my number or e-mail because we just use Facebook messaging to communicate and plan, and that a lot of my mom friends use “group message” on Facebook to plan play dates. In all honesty, some of these friends may not chase me down if it’s not as easy as just adding my name to a message, and that’s okay. In between sleep training, giving up my stroller workout class (which is during Riley’s naptime now), and giving up Facebook, I think I am basically bowing out from some social scenes…which actually gives me more space to focus on those close friends who wouldn’t let me bow out.
I LOVE making new friends, but sometimes feel a tension between my love of making new friends and maintaining those really life-giving relationships with my closest friends. Giving up social media is making some of this tension go away.
-Without social media, I focus a LOT better. Sometime along the way, my “starting work” ritual had become, “sit down, make work plan, check e-mail, check Facebook, THEN get to work.” Now, I skip steps 3 and 4, get right to work, and stay focused the whole time. This right here would be reason enough not to go back.
-My e-mails are so boring. Seriously. I do NOT get the dopamine hit from my e-mails that I got from Facebook.
-For a while now, I have relied on social media and blog reading as one of (if not the) main tool for my “relaxation,” but I haven’t felt like it was very successful.
Since Lent began, I have read one book in its entirety. I found time to go on our library’s website and place a bunch of book requests. I have watched two episodes of Gilmore Girls. I have also had more nighttime conversations with my husband (who gave up espn.com for Lent). All of these activities have successfully helped me relax, and have made me feel more peaceful and better able to focus on my purpose.
Peace trumps relaxation.
-I don’t know why (Satan testing me?!! JK) but ALL THE FUNNY THINGS have happened since I quit Facebook. Apparently I am supposed to just muffle the hilarity instead of broadcasting it to a wider audience?! Oh wait. I still have a blog. So you all get to hear that:
- in the last two weeks, I joined Jazzercise, wrote my last will and testament and advanced medical directives, and bought a minivan. I doesn’t even need a closing quip to make this funny.
- today, one of my daughters had a hysterical fit because she didn’t want to share a book with her sister. The book? Sharing Time.
There were others, but I respect your time (and am thankful you didn’t give up reading blogs for Lent).
Okay, email subscribers and those who access this blog by typing the URL of this blog into your navigation bar instead of lazily waiting for me to put this on Facebook…it’s been real. Thank you for spending your time with me!