Monday, April 02, 2018

My Month Away From Facebook

On February 25th, I logged on to Facebook and posted the following:
Dear Friends - I just can't take it anymore. I'm staying off of Facebook for the entire month of March. It's doing nothing but infuriating me on a daily basis and causing me to rethink connections with some friends and certain family members. 
Facebook has become too polarizing for me and I don't like how i feel when I am on it. You can still reach me through Messenger (sending a message to me through Facebook), but I won't be posting or reading your posts for a while.

I actually started my month hiatus early.  The posting on the 25th of February was the last time I logged in to Facebook (except for a hot second on March 16th to promote a blog I had written for work) until Sunday, April 1st, when I posted the following:  

I'm ba-aack, but not for long. This is the first time in 5 weeks I have logged in to Facebook and I can tell you I haven't missed it one bit. I actually feel less stress. Over the course of the next week or so, I will be whittling my Friends List down to about 50 people. Those not on the list will still be able to send me messages through the Messenger App, email or of course by text. 
So for most of you, this is the last you'll be seeing of me on FB. Out of sight will not mean out of mind, quite the opposite. Now that I won't be seeing where you're going, what you're doing or even what you are about to eat, I hope it will spur me to reach out and actually speak to you. And vice versa. 
I am now reminded of a song about friendship: 
I guess this is good-bye old pal, you've been a perfect friend,
Don't want to see us part old pal, someday I'll buy you back
I'll see you soon again
I hope that when I do.
It won't be on a plate.

That last part is from the Stephen Sondheim musical, "Into The Woods".  It's sung by Jack, from the beanstalk fame.  He's singing it to his best friend whom he just sold for some magic beans.  The best friend was a cow.

To say that 34 days off of Facebook allowed me to be more productive would be a half-truth.  I am certain there is truth in that statement, but I have nothing to measure it against.  I was able to get a lot done both at home and at work, but I didn't have anything to compare it to.  So even through I say I was MORE productive, I have no proof of that.

I also can't say that I felt less stress in that month because both work and home life had their fair share of stressful situations.  Between being still new in my job and Kevin and I selling our old loft condo, not to mention the normal day-to-day demands on our time and energy, I have not necessarily felt less stressed out.  However I can say that I have felt less stress when it comes to our president and the current state of our Union - mostly because I am ignorant to what is going on in the world beyond my front door.  

In past days, I would wonder why someone would choose to be ignorant and irresponsible by not knowing what was going on in the world.  But today, I completely understand the NEED or DESIRE to be less in-the-know.

That all said, I still find Facebook a valuable way for me to stay in touch with a few close friends and my immediate family.  So while I have not missed spending hours on the site, I have missed being updated on what they are doing, as well as being unable to be contacted by them. So I will remain on Facebook, for now, but with a much-limited list of friends or contacts.  It will be less about who I like most, and more about who I share memories and pictures with most often.  THOSE folks will be the ones who remain.

And fortunately because I am staying on Facebook, even in a limited capacity, I am still accessible through Facebook Messenger (through the site directly and the app), so everyone else can still reach me that way too.  Again - nothing personal folks.  My decision will be based on who I share with regularly.

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