Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 1 Without Facebook

 I got up this morning with Pain. He is so supportive. I couldn't find a better man than Pain. He wakes me up and he stays with me all day, holding my hands, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, and neck, and even rubbing my feet now and then. I feel him running his hands up and down my spine even now.

To be fair, this morning he was a little inattentive. He hung around only about an hour and now, he just wants to  hold my hands. I told him I have things to do and he seems to have backed off a bit, but I see him over in the corner just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Yes, my Pain is faithful and I can count on him being there every moment of my day. We read together, crochet together, write together. He's really pushy when we do yard work. Jumps right in. There is nothing he won't do with me. I can't remember life without him.

I've had my coffee and actually worked on some laundry. I'm up later than usual. Sarah is still at her other grandparents and I slept in. I have done that for a couple of days. With Sarah off from school, it is easier to fall into that habit. 

Today is my first day staying away from Facebook. I elected to take June off and not log on, check messages, or post other than blog posts that go up. I don't have to go to Facebook to post those. I suspect no one will really notice. I get a few blog readers here and there. 

To be honest, my instinct was to sit down with my coffee and check my mail as usual. Then, I usually go onto FB and surf the stream and check the group page, maybe play a game. When I first got on FB, that was it. After Jerry died, things changed.

I read a lot of the articles. Much of them are news related, oddities, anything science. That sort of thing. The problem lies in after that. I get caught up in some of the memes, and although I only play one gave on FB, there are those quizzes, which are really just games. So, I end up with hours a day on Facebook and nothing to show for it. 

Since Jerry died, I don't really hear from anyone anymore outside of Evansville except my aunt and uncle. I might get a family call every few months from one person. But I have a very large family. So, I told myself it was so I could keep in touch with my family. When I began to loose so much time "staying in touch" I realized how stupid that is. 

Why would it be necessary to spend time on Facebook wading through hundreds of posts about nothing to hear from people who could just as easily pick up the phone and talk to you for five minutes? Or who could try and visit you once in a while? 

Why would any family think that posting about their trip to Wal-mart was "staying in touch"? Posting "I'm at McDonald's" is not sharing yourself with people who love you. Telling the world you're at Starbucks having a latte is not relating to anyone. It does pretty much tell us you're silly extravagant but its your money.

That's not friendship. That's not love. That's not a relationship. 

Someone posted an article by a  young woman who withdrew from Facebook. She explained how it was robbing her of a relationship with God. She was so young, newly  married. And she woke up. And she woke me up. I realized that I have no desire to live my life checking my phone to get the latest on FB. It is why I don't use that app. I'm not living in Facebook. 

Here I was sitting, doing nothing, waiting for a piece of someone's life to be "shared" with me. For hours, days, weeks, months, years. I was foregoing life. I didn't go anywhere. I stopped calling folks. I stopped reading much. I wasn't getting any writing done. I wasn't praying enough. I wasn't reading my Bible enough. Real life was slowing, coming to a screeching halt. For Facebook. No, thank you. 

I love my family. I  have some new family members I've gotten closer to because I could text to them and interact with them on Facebook. It is totally unsatisfying. I have some new nephews I so wish I could meet and hold and love. They look so adorable.

Facebook doesn't build family relationships. They do not know me. May never know me. Other than a photo on Facebook. There will be no real sadness if some of us dies. We don't know each other.  I miss being so far from family and never seeing or hearing from them. I had a great family. We used to plan get-togethers and arrange reunions. 

That is not who I am. That is not who I want to be. It is time to focus on real people rather than photos online.

It was hard for about 30 minutes this morning to not get my fix. I suspect I'll have moments when I want to see photos, read about someone's happiness, and "talk" to someone. But I used to do that every day of my life without Facebook. 

I truly love the connections I have there. I've met lots of new people who I wouldn't expect to be involved in their every moment under normal circumstances. I like reading some of the things that happen in their lives. I like sharing things with them. I like seeing the photos. If I could travel where they are I am certain we could have lunch together.

But at the end of the day, Facebook is just a newspaper. It is not relationships. A smiley face isn't human. There is something about a smiling human face that gives such comfort. There is something about real hugs that soothe the soul. There is something about hearing "I love you" rather than a heart symbol, that makes life much more bearable. 

Where is life? I have a group of great friends I get to see about twice a month. I have a couple of family members I see regularly. When we're together we have the best time laughing and talking and sometimes we go places together. I get to sit across the table and listen to the writers carry on and do you know that is just the best feeling. Listening to other people laugh is so amazingly relaxing. I watch Sarah running in the yard and it is unleashed joy and hearing her giggle is like wine. 

Will I go back to Facebook at the end of the month? Will I be so socially deprived that I have to log back into a false life? I hope not. 

I hope that there will be more read books, completely written stories, good times with my girl pals and writers' group and giggles with Sarah. NaNoWriMo is coming and I'll have time to plan better. The yard needs things done and Pain and I will be able to get out there a bit. I can start walking regularly and more. I can reestablish uninterrupted devotional time.

Life is waiting, but it won't wait forever. I hope that by the end of June, real life will have reasserted itself and filled the vacancies.


  1. I was similarly dependent on FB for much the same reasons. I do check twice a day for specific posts - and have checked more during our rains. I have used it as an escape mechanism while waiting at doctor/hospital visits. Hopefully those will slow down a bit for the next few months. It does make a difference getting out of the house with others. After vacation, I've done that at least once a week. Scheduling ahead helps as long as I keep my commitments. Once made, they are harder to break than just saying "We'll get together some time." Thanks for your update and viewpoint.

  2. This pain guy, think I know his brother, and you're right, they really don't know when to back off and give you a bit of space, but humour helps put it all in perspective :-)

  3. I love my Facebook fasts twice a year. I won't be doing that soon because I love seeing all the graduation pictures. Love them so much. And I'm keeping in touch with my family whose child is very very sick.

    I have not blogged in months or written anything. The anxiety is horrendous. Anyway, I say good for you. Keep in touch, when you can. <3

  4. So sorry about your pain. I will ask Coralie to pray that he goes away or at least leaves you in peace for a while. I will miss you on FB but will catch up with you elsewhere. You have a very valid viewpoint , but right now I am enjoying FB so I shall stay.

  5. This. This post, more than any of your others so far, is tantalizing to me. I have a wonderful social group on friends over there are mostly ones who've been with me since around 2002, and they've seen me through the worst tiems of my life. Many have visited me, some more than once or even more than three or four times, often for periods of one to three weeks. It takes a lot less time to read my flist there than I spend on FB, even when things are busy, and without the like and share buttons, interactions are meaningful. You have to either scroll on by or actually take the time to write a comment, and my only friends there - well, most of them truly are close friends. We share each others' lives and frustrations.

    FB, though...I meet w/my coauthor there, and it's very useful for that. But I'm guilty of not just browsing during those hours a week that he's there. Sometimes I like to wait around to see whether he pops by if I'm just fiddling with something fun writingwise and not trying to tackle serious ofic writing. And it's how my British bestie and I chat on Wednesdays, usually for several hours, the only time we ever get to talk these days. It's our bonding time.

    But I suspect that if I monitored all the time I spend on FB at times when neither of them are likely to be on, just scrolling and skimming and liking and sharing...yeah, it would probably total more time per week than I'd feel I could afford to keep giving up.

    I can't totally get off FB. But I'm wondering about limiting it. I've tried setting a time limit before and that doesn't work. I'm thinking I might just need to stay off it altogether except during those windows. I'm wondering whether I'd see some of the same benefits as you're seeing.... You've set me to thinking.


  6. There is a Chrome extension, I've downloaded it but have not used it yet, that allows you to block specific sites at specific times of the day for specific days. It is called Stay Focused. I am waiting until I'm done with my month and if I go back to Facebook, and I probably will, I want it to be extremely limited. I'm going to try the extension after the month is up.