It’s been a week since I quit facebook and I have done pretty well over all. I still find myself on automatic pilot as I reach for my phone, i-pad, or computer. The minute I touch any one of them, my finger immediately plunges toward the facebook icon and I am greeted by the “please sign in” screen. Immediately again, I move on…to my email, which is a virtual techie ghost town and then on to google where I check for recent news updates.
I am a word junkie. My entire life I have loved to read, so my comfort zone is to read something…anything….and when I discovered facebook, it became a giant vacuum because it sucked up much of my time. A long time into this, even after I became bored with the same content facing me from day to day, out of habit I would continue to peruse the site first thing in the morning and then again before I went to bed at night as well as several times in between. I found myself so engrossed with this new social media site that I began to let my magazines and books stack up and collect dust because I was too busy reading everyone’s updates on their lives and I was so engrossed in writing my own updates that I failed to read my beloved books. Oh yes, I had the addiction and I had it bad. Worse yet, I didn’t realize I did!
Eventually, I became aware of how much time I was spending on this site, so there were a couple of times where I tried to wean myself away, and as an incentive to actually take my leave, I would announce that I was going to do this, and deactivate. I wasn’t fully committed, so I would go back on site here and there to have a peek and before long I was posting and sharing and writing all over again. When I announced I was leaving, even this last time, my purpose wasn’t to get attention. What I was really trying to do was to politely let people know that if I didn’t respond to one of their posts, it wasn’t because I was ignoring them, rather it was because I wasn’t even there to see the posts in the first place. Naturally, there were those who wanted me to know they would miss me and stated as such. There were those who were kind enough to tell me that fb wouldn’t be the same without me. So, I made a point of giving out my email address and the name of my WordPress account. I did receive a few sweet responses but it was a very tiny percentage of the “friends” I had listed on my account. I took a deep breathe and then took the plunge away from my cyber family and back into the real world….the world of real friends who I could see, hug, and share a laugh..
It has been somewhat disconcerting to live without my Facebook crutch because the real world isn’t exactly the same as it was before the advent of Facebook. I might be ready to leave Face Book, but many, maybe even most of my friends are still hanging out there somewhat, and they don’t even realize my absence. Worse yet, if they do, they don’t even mind it.
So, in the aftermath of my leave, I have now started reading a book that I have been trying to read for at least 2 years, but could not find focus due to my subconscious commitment to my cyber world. The book is very good and I find myself enjoying getting lost in a good story with a good plot line. I like the experience of sitting in my chair reading a good book, not far from my husband who is in his chair, reading his own good book.
Gone are the religious and political rants, gone are the pictures of perfect families in perfect lives having perfect fun at everything they do. Gone are the threats “we know who will share this and who won’t”…or…..”if you love God you will share this” which I thought of as bully posts. However, in addition to the absence of these, so too are gone the sweet reinforcing comments about my writings and my poems and my pictures. Sadly, right along with all the annoying things also went the lovely things. I guess you can’t have one without the other.
I miss it! I do! But, after a week, I feel calmer, more peaceful and more mindful of my life. I definitely have more time to do things I thought I didn’t have time to do before. I am back to being involved in the world that surrounds me and I am enjoying it very much. I am certainly not cured of my facebook obsession. It’s there, lurking in the back of my mind every time I pick up an tech device, but it gets easier, day by day, to stay away.
One big truth has been reinforced to me in this past week and certainly not for the first time! I am not as important to the scheme of things as I would like to think I am. It is good to remember that our importance is just a fleeting thing depending on who we are with and what we are doing. Everything is fleeting!
In Ecclesiastes I, verse 11, there is a man who says something to the effect,
“No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them”.
And so it goes…the sun rises and sets, the earth spins, people are born, then live, and then die. So, perhaps we need to remember to focus on our own breath of life. Breathe in, breathe out. We need to focus on our own life and not be so focused on what everybody else is doing. What does it matter what other people are doing anyway? There is a silly old country song wherein a verse says, “you should mind your own business, because then you won’t be minding mine!” Ha! So true!
If we mind our own business and stay out of other people’s lives, if we focus on OUR life, then valuable time will open up for us to live and enjoy in our own very precious, very time limited life, the end of which is unknown to us.