Oh Facebook. I love you and I hate you.
I love you because you allow me to see pictures of my friends and their kids and their goofy pet snapshots. I love you because I am able to keep in touch with cousins that I don’t often see. I love you because I get to see photos of my adorable nephews that live far away. I love you because I get to share photos of my child, who in my eyes is the most beautiful child that ever was, with family and friends that aren’t able to see him grow up in real life. I love you because I get to find out about events that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about or even learn about interesting current events.
But, I dislike you more than I like you. I don’t like that I have to see upsetting pictures and posts from people that have no filter. I don’t like that general etiquette has flown the coop. I don’t like how it has changed how we interact with those we care about.
I take breaks and then I’m drawn back in. We, as humans, like to share the good things going on in our lives. Facebook has given us the ultimate way to do this with massive amounts of people at once.
Today, I got to open my newest Real Simple. I loved the bit about how “emerald” is apparently the newest great color for clothing. I loved the picture of linguini with summer vegetables on the cover. I loved looking at the different sofa styles because I despise my own sofa. I also loved the reality check that was given to all of us; the readers that find tidbits of inspiration in each issue.
The number of times a day the average person looks at her cell phone, according to research in The Distraction Addiction…
I use my phone for a lot of things each day: waking up in the morning with the alarm, taking pictures, adding fun pictures into Instagram, tracking my calories, tracking my mileage when I run, and…Facebook.
I do not want to ever look at my cell phone 34 times a day.
I’ve been so good at avoiding my phone at night. It is a brief window of family time and I don’t want to be distracted by text messages or phone calls when I’m trying to be present with the people in the room with me. I don’t want to look at Facebook when I’m waiting in line or sitting on the sofa or while my child is right there with me in the room. I’ve let it creep in, like we all do as a society.
So, I deleted Facebook from my phone. It isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but it is something important to me. I didn’t close my account because I do want to see pictures of people I miss and funny updates from funny people and new babies and all of the great things on there. I want to interact, but sparingly. At least now, I can only do this at very limited times and certainly not everyday.
I feel liberated. I feel a great weight has been lifted. I feel less stressed. I feel more focused on real life.
I will go on Facebook and upload some pictures from a recent wedding tomorrow and I will truly love interacting with the people I got to spend time with at this fantastic event by tagging them and laughing together. I may not be able to comment on a ton of other things, but if I catch something meaningful, I will “like” it. If I think my friend looks pretty/handsome, I will tell them and not expect a thank-you back. If I see a photo of someone’s new baby, I will gush and congratulate and I will do it sincerely because that’s what it should be all about. But, I’m putting my foot down and I’m drawing a line for my own sanity. I will savor moments and I will not feel the need to share ALL of them with everyone I’ve known since high school. If I find myself getting upset over something I see, I will delete that person as a contact without feeling badly about it . I will allow myself only a little time each week on this crazy, consuming site. I’d rather spend more time writing here. This is my social media promise to myself, all made so clear to me because of one brief note in Real Simple.