Three weeks without Facebook. And as far as I can tell, I am no worse for the wear.

It’s been a little more than three weeks since I’ve checked my Facebook Wall for news of family and friends. Though it’s been a harrowing and difficult experience (extreme exaggeration here), I’m happy to report my suffering has not been as bad as I imagined it might be.

In fact, in the beginning, I felt relieved not to have to play catch-up each day. Ignorance is bliss, right? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going through posts and updates, but it seriously stresses me out to make time to read through everything, especially when people post links to articles that look interesting.

I usually end up clicking on the links to the articles I deem worthwhile, and then I store them on my phone in a queue in Safari for a time to be read later. This means I sometimes have as many as fifteen windows open at once. And they all sit there throughout the week, as a constant reminder that there is always more to be consumed. 

I’ve taken much needed breaks from Facebook before. I find it’s a good practice for me that encourages mindfulness and time spent doing more productive things. Usually, what gets me is the fact that I’ve got the phone out and on in front of the kids too much. Not exactly the kind of behavior I want to model for them. 

Or, I read in succession one too many heartbreaking stories of parents who’ve lost children to a variety of illnesses or accidents. It matters not that these folks are strangers. I internalize and imagine their pain, shed genuine tears, and then of course begin to be consumed with worry that our family will be next to experience tragedy like theirs. This is obviously no good for someone with my anxieties. As a side note, one would think I’d know better than to go read about these things, but I don’t. So the break from these kinds of posts has been welcome too.

Still, I’ve felt myself itching lately to be connected again. When I get home from work and put my feet up on the couch. When I’m nursing the youngest to sleep. When I’m awake with pregnancy-induced insomnia in the middle of the night. These are all times in the past when I’d have pulled out the trusty phone to waste time and indulge in the details of others’ lives. 

The past few days I’ve found myself wondering, well dreading actually: What have I done? What have I missed?! And then I like to remind myself that we didn’t have Facebook years and years ago and we managed to keep in touch and maintain friendships all the same. 

It’s kind of like my cousin Brian quipped on Instagram a month or so ago:

Remember the good old days before Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? When you would take a picture of your dinner on a disposable camera, go and get the photos developed, then go round to all your friends’ houses and show them the photos? No? Me neither. Stop it.

Very funny. We once survived well enough without daily glimpses into the intimate details of each others’ lives. I try to keep things in perspective and not get too overwhelmed by the fact that I’ll essentially be missing out on forty days’ worth of news and updates from all of my best peeps. 

But, I am looking forward to the day when I can jump back in again, with good balance of course, and preferably not when I should be minding and or playing with the children, and be smack in the loop of the current events of the times and the lives of my favorite people.

See you soon!

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