Tuesday, May 6

Thoughts about Facebook

I am on the verge of... quitting Facebook.  I've been a member since it came out in 2005, and have taken occasional breaks but I am really feeling called to just throw in the towel all together.  So often it leads to stress or feeling down about myself, and is usually such a huge distraction that I can't see that the benefits outweigh the negatives.

There are certainly lots of benefits- I have made friends (real and online friends) whose friendships have blessed me!  I would miss that.  But another part of me thinks that I need to nourish the friendships I have and get out of my comfort zone to make new friendships... And as nice as online friendships are, they are not a replacement for a flesh-and-blood-sitting-across-the-table-from-me sort of friend.

Ahh, but what about the professional aspect of it... I used to maintain a business page for my doula business, but since I've been pregnant and on "maternity leave" I've neglected it...And I don't miss it!  I would miss a bit of community amongst other doulas in my area- but again, that's something I would need to maintain offline.

I don't tend to get caught up in "mommy wars," but I do feel weighed down sometimes.  And I will openly admit that I am desperate for close friendships.  Only recently have I realized that my introversion has left me in a sometimes very lonely place.  And I think the solution to that is not in Facebook, but in having to step out and just do something about it. I never kept count of "friends" on Facebook; I am actually pretty consistent about keeping my friend list limited to people I would actually be willing to hang out with in real life.  But making friends intimidates me- I get nervous just thinking about it- but another part of me thinks "LET'S DO THIS!"  I think perhaps I'm hiding a little bit.  Behind the security of Facebook.

Just the other day I decided to take the first step to ditching Facebook and I removed the app from my phone.  You know what?  I held my phone a lot less that day, and every day since then. And that's a major goal of mine- to not be staring at a screen, distracted and pulled away by someone else who isn't even actually in the room with me!  And lately all I can think about is the example I'm setting for my children in the way I speak, dress, and in what I do.

I know it's not all bad!  There are certainly things I would miss.  For example, if a major sporting event happened, I could usually get enough information about it to impress Ryan when he got home from work. ;-)  Since we don't have cable and I don't follow major new networks, I would definitely miss breaking news announcements.  Pregnancy announcements from friends, other big life events... And now I'm leaning toward not quitting!

You're probably thinking I should just keep it up in moderation, right?  That's just so hard for me! I have very little self-control!

I do know that my goals are to not hold my phone as much (I do have to keep it with me constantly when I'm on call, but at least I don't have to be handling it), to be less distracted by less-important things, and to make new friends and reach out more to the ones I have. 

I absolutely hate the feeling of reading something that affects my mood for several hours. I also hate a false sense of belonging.

So I have lots of things to consider and pray about.  I'd like to know if anyone has quit Facebook and never looked back?  


2 comments:

Blair said...

I haven't quit but have also considered deleting it from my phone the past few weeks. It tells me it will erase all my information, but I'm assuming since it's all on the computer I wouldn't lose anything. There are often days when I don't get on the computer at all, so I think only using FB there would be good for me. Instagram helps connect with friends too but not in such a time consuming way. It's a constant battle for balance!

Anonymous said...

Stephie,

As someone who's never been on facebook and wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot clown pole, I will be politically incorrect and go a step further than you... it is a complete waste of time. Complete waste of time.

You are absolutely correct, the friendships and interactions you have with "real people" in "real life" are what matters, not the pretend subculture that goes on in your telephone (for Pete's sake, how did we come to this??) or your computer.

I hope you make the leap and free yourself from it. It will strengthen you and make you a better human.

Separate note... in your case "introversion" is actually something else entirely. I think I have it figured out :)

 
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