Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Facebook Fast

I have been off of Facebook for a week now.  I did spend a bit of time on Facebook on Sunday (which is totally legal, for those unfamiliar with the rules of Lent), and this morning I cheated a tiny, tiny bit.  I read two posts, and then I quit.  I am calling it OK to post links to blog entries, and I also got on Facebook on Saturday to post a "welcome baby" status message for the homebirth I had just doula-ed for (which was just so wonderful that I HAD to tell the world).  So I haven't followed my "no Facebook rule" exactly, but I also decided I wasn't going to be all legalistic about it.  I think I will choose to err on the side of grace.  :) 

My Facebook Fast has been going OK, except that today I actually "craved" Facebook.  I wasn't exactly sitting in a corner rocking back and forth and gnawing on my fingers, but I was close.  Have there been any studies done comparing withdrawal symptoms in crack addicts and Facebook addicts?  As a coping stragety, I just spent a very long time checking out the St. Patrick's Day parade route and the location of my church (where I will park tomorrow) on Google maps.  I think I was being so studious because what I REALLY wanted to do was get on Facebook.  So far, so good.  Now I am writing here.  More coping. 

I have definitely been learning some things about myself this past week, but I'm not ready to share them yet.  Honestly, it's not because they are terribly deep thoughts, but I really want to talk about the shallow stuff tonight.  So here goes:

The funniest thing I have noticed about myself on the Facebook Fast is that sometimes I think in status messages.  I don't know if I normally do this, but I think I might.  I would only post once a day at most, but I would (and still do) think about witty little things to say over Facebook much more than that.  What a pitiful thing to admit!!!  I have wanted to tell my Facebook friends so many things, many of which were most likely quite inane. 

Let's see--(I wish I would have kept a running list of all my phantom Facebook status messages.)--on Friday night I wanted to tell you that Matt and I had an evening to ourselves and we were spending half of it CLEANING.  Yes, cleaning.  That's the sad part.  The great part is that I kept hopping out of the kitchen and he kept escaping the bathroom so we could tell each other something very, very important.  We were, perhaps, being a bit avoidant, but we were also enjoying the rare luxury of uninterrupted conversation, and we tend to like each other's company quite a lot, so even in the midst of cleaning together we were enjoying our time. 

At about 9:30 that same night I wanted to post a status message that we had spontaneously decided to go find a music store and look for a couple of CDs, because I suddenly decided that I needed to spend birthday money on Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers.  The amazing thing about that would-have-been status message is that we had no kids at home, so we could just decide to leave!  It was amazing!  I thought that anyone hanging out on FB on Friday night might have wanted to know that little detail. 

At 3:45 on Saturday morning I wanted to post that I was headed to a birth, although I wouldn't have done that anyway since I wanted my client to be the first to share the news. 
I did share about the baby's birth, because, as I mentioned above, such an event was totally worth a bit of a Lenten cheat.

On Saturday night I wanted to tell you that there was a placenta being encapsulated in my kitchen.

And then on Sunday, when I could have posted a status message, I had nothing to say!

This week I wanted to share that my kids had snotty noses and coughs.
I wanted to announce that I was going to Science City today.
I wanted to complain that Amélie had tummy issues tonight which kept us away from Wednesday Blend.
I wanted to state my intent to brave the crazy crowds tomorrow and go to the parade.
But do you really care to know any of that? 

Here's what I have realized, however.  I do miss knowing what is going on in people's lives.  I feel out of the loop.  I like to feel connected to people.  And perhaps the sad thing is that I feel more connected to you if I can "like" the fact that your kid just pooped on the potty or that you got a new puppy or that you just did your first cartwheel in 20 years.  I might even do more than "like" your status, and I might actually comment on the poop or the puppy or the cartwheel! 

Don't get me wrong.  I like to "like" people's statuses, and I like to comment on people's statuses, and I really, really, really like it if you "like" my status or leave me a comment.  But if I am constantly thinking in status messages and "liking" and commenting, then I have a hard time thinking thoughts that are longer and deeper than 420 characters, and I may not remember to follow up on the sometimes heartbreaking things people post that I skim past in my obsessive reading. 
Will I go back to Facebook after Lent is over?  Absolutely. 
But I do hope that I am not as addicted.
Is that possible?

And would someone please hack into my Facebook account and post that Matt just dyed our puppy green?


  1. So I couldn't hack in....but I tagged a status update about the green puppy. Happy FB fast!

    Denise Estes

  2. Have a great Lent Jill!- ph

  3. SO FUNNY, I have been doing a similar fast, with quite similar results! I cannot believe how much I think in FB status-es. I'm glad to hear yout updates here, because I crave them too. :)

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