Why No Facebook

Journal / Thursday, March 8th, 2018

In the early days of Lent, I found myself needing to take a break from Facebook for “a few days,” I said. Then, somehow, I concluded my break needed to last for all of Lent. Here are some reasons why.

  • Because I’ve realized I am entirely too enamored of my own cleverness, and having other people approve of it.
  • Because I was starting to feel like I needed to take care of everyone whose posts I read.
  • Because I felt terribly guilty every time I read about some political action I didn’t really have the bandwidth to take on.
  • Because when everyone I knew was agonizing about a certain issue, like gun control, I felt I needed to read All The Articles so I could singlehandedly solve the problem for the whole country. (After all, I’m smart, right?)
  • Because one of the ways I show love is to listen. And so I would seek out the hardest stories, just to listen and affirm, and after a while it wore me out.
  • Because writing a little at a time made me feel like I was accomplishing something when I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted to be.
  • Because I was looking for answers to life’s biggest questions in a place that’s typically pretty superficial (even when you try hard to make it less superficial).
  • Because I was spending more time and attention on my virtual friends than on the family and friends in front of my face.
  • Because my son was becoming a distraction in my life instead of a focus in my life.
  • Because I was using my son to get likes instead of being present to him.

At some point I do want to go back to Facebook. I want to use it in moderation, if such a thing is possible. What would that look like?

  • Can I, should I, still post little clever things? Are they harmful, or just silly fun? I don’t know yet.
  • I think it’s time to admit to myself that this is not the time in my life when I will be politically active. It’s not my priority. Perhaps a reasonable goal is to do one political thing a month, instead of one thing a day (!).
  • Is posting articles really helping anyone, or am I just shouting into the wind? I wanted to heal the whole world, get Democrats and Republicans to talk to each other and love each other and agree on some things, and I just can’t take on the responsibility of an entire country. I don’t think the articles were doing me any good.
  • Reading (and reposting) good essays, on the other hand, still feels right to me.
  • It’s time to ask my book what it needs from me. That could be something on Facebook, or something not on Facebook.
  • I don’t think the GF DF recipes news group is really all that helpful. Time to stop taking care of them, too.
  • I can leave Binders Full of Rejects alone until I’m ready to submit, and I’m not ready yet.
  • I’ve realized my life is plenty busy without trying to add to it. I can embrace the fact that I truly am a stay-at-home mom and not try to negate it by banging the writer drum all the time, or by thinking I need to be doing some other outside job. It’s ironic that stepping away from Facebook feels like it’s taken me out of my own head more, which is exactly what I needed.
  • I can go to Motherless Daughters to get support, not just to give it. Maybe it’s time to experiment with less time-intensive support/comments.
  • My soul is crying out for more time to listen and less time to talk. Writing in my journal is listening. (Isn’t that funny?)

One Reply to “Why No Facebook”

  1. Waving hello from a virtual buddy. 🙂 Glad to see this up and running! 🙂

    Facebook is tricky isn’t it? I tend not to post too much -but I do use it to find out art related information because living in a relatively remote area makes it hard to find information on every obscure art form I decide to try. Even with that ‘limited use’ — I still think I’m on it too much.

    But it’s lovely to hear from people all over the world – I like that part.

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