It’s not a big deal at all, but it kinda was. I left my personal Facebook for lent. I had to keep up my Ratna GetCluedIn profile but only because I have an automatic post to Get Clued In! on Facebook. It has been two weeks since I last posted and I have to go until at least April 5th. The hardest day was a snow day we had here in Denver. I so wanted to post all the snowy goodness that had covered our city, but could not. But, so far it is so refreshing and nice to be off of Facebook. At a minimum, I am glad the app is off my phone – deleted/uninstalled. It is NOT coming back even if I come back to the desktop version in 35 days. Here are some things I have learned through this experiment so far and I will do an after-action post when this is all said and done.
1. First, it’s amazing how much people rely on Facebook for their social life. It is a sort of alter-social life. No need to meet in person or call, just check Facebook. Done. It is nice to be in touch with good friends during this time, but they had to pick up the phone and call me, text me, or oh the horror, E-mail me. It is nice to get E-mails from friends that I used to just direct message on Facebook. Oh, the latest is that family members and friends are trying to friend me on my facebook account for my blog- Ratna Get Clued In. I am not checking that site though either and apparently they are all messaging me there. I have no idea why people can’t just email or call – oh the humanity!
2. Other than grandparents, most everyone missed my daughter’s birthday. I think because they are so used to relying on my posts sharing too much information all the time, they just expected to see it as a reminder. Of course, the converse is true too. I missed many of my friends’ birthdays too. Hmmm… here is a thought in spite of Facebook, if we were real friends, why would I need a reminder. Shouldn’t I remember such things? I really wanted to wish my dad a Happy 70th Birthday on Facebook because the phone calls, card and planned cruise in three weeks are simply not enough. It didn’t happen if it isn’t on Facebook, right? My birthday falls in the next 2 weeks too, and my page is deactivated, so it will be interesting to see who remembers. My guess is just close family. It’s okay. It’s really no big deal.
3. We have become so dependent on social media that we do not even want to see people in person anymore or call. A friend of mine who never saw my post that I was leaving Facebook for lent texted me and asked why we are not friends, and why I cannot be found anymore. It is distressing I suspect for all those who did not see my farewell post before deactivatng. I mean no harm – I come in peace. No, I did not “unfriend” you, I just need a break from all the stuff and information overload. Frankly, I grow weary of over sharing my information too. I am sure I am not even missed.
4. But I do have friends who still call, E-mail, and text and we stay in touch. This is slowly but surely teaching me that IF I return to Facebook, I will be scaling back. It’s not that I do not like you, but I like myself more. I respect myself enough that if I do not remember you, I will not let you into my every thought. So, yes, it is okay to “unfriend.” When did that become a word anyway? How can I “unfriend” you if I do not even remember you nor remember the last time you called me or spent time with me, or what you meant to me 25+ years ago, right? A good friend has a rule for FB and I think I like it, “if I do not hear from you (phone/email/text) or see you in person at least once every few years, I am not going to allow you to see my life on Facebook. I like it! Why do we hold on to the past through social media if we do not do it in real life?
5. Finally, what I have found so far is that I am not curious at all. I really do not feel that I am missing out on Facebook, other than for my blog and my blogging mom friends who may post exciting local events. Other than that, I really do not feel I am missing anything. Maybe all the over sharing just did me in and I think as 2016 approaches, it may prove to be a good idea to be off of social media altogether anyway. Politics – sheesh!
I am so glad I gave up Facebook for Lent. Stay tuned…