Facebook: A Love/Hate Tale

There’s an old Chicago tune that sings the sentiment “You’re a hard habit to break,” and to dear old Facebook, I sing this sentiment to you.

Let me set the stage for you. I’m not addicted to Facebook, but it was a constant unconscious habit deep in my soul. It was a simple click-by-click habit. Check email, than check Facebook to see what’s going on. It didn’t take up much of my time. It didn’t steal me away from real life interactions. It was just the order in which I passed my time. I treated it like almost like a comfort, or a completion of a task. Quite frankly, I could have been the poster child for why I think Facebook can be a positive and powerful good part of your life.

But then, a few unsettling things happened, and suddenly I felt Facebook sick. I was so nauseated I longed to delete my account. Much to my disdain though, I found that I relied desperately on the social media site to schedule and keep in contact with essential groups in my life. So, giving Facebook up in its entirely was impossible, or at least very inconvenient. I took a more feasible self-imposed challenge instead, and for six weeks I decided to abstain from viewing my newsfeed. Facebook-Banned-Logo-300x193

I’m two weeks into this personal experiment of restraint, and honestly I don’t know what to think. Starting the break was easy. The weird thing was I felt obligated to warn people I wouldn’t be “on” and up-to-date with their lives. But I HATE when other people do that. Posting a status update that notifies people of your upcoming Facebook absence seems so self-righteous to me. So I just didn’t do it. Ironically, by writing this article, I am essentially doing exactly what I hate. Go figure.

During this restriction, I wanted my absence to be unnoticeable, so I’ve continued to post occasional photos simply by clicking share through iPhoto. The problem is, I’m a cheerleader. No, I don’t wear a short pleated skirt, but I love to “like” people’s posts. I love to encourage others and adore their cute kids. I’m freaking out thinking my friends will probably notice that I haven’t “liked” their babies or their kid’s high school graduation photos. I’ve even missed out knowing a family member was in the hospital, and I’ve felt guilty for not being able to have posted that they were in my prayers.

I have so many conflicting thoughts this far in as to if this fast from the newsfeed is good or bad. I feel like I’m a clock pendulum. One day I’m psyched to tell a friend in person my crazy tooth story, knowing that the whole world doesn’t actually already know it. But moments later I’ll be bummed wondering how my distant friends are handling life. This challenge has led me to call, text, email and have more personal interactions, but I’m wondering if I’m actually ending up missing out on thinking more about others and serving others through the weird faux connection that Facebook allows.

I’ve got four more weeks to deluge the expanse of my emotions in this competition of self-control. A relational war is waging, and I think I will survive. Pray that I will. Just don’t post any encouragement on my Facebook wall because I won’t see it.

Heidi Morris, Rochester Hills Mom and Facebook Poster Child (Not)

 

 

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at heidikmorris@yahoo.com

Comments

  1. Ann Ehlert says:

    What a great experiment! I’m excited to hear more. My husband doesn’t use Facebook and all his friends know he never has so he receives texts as status updates.

    I, too, love how our world expands on Facebook. I get to see your kids! At the same time I wonder if it makes our lives too big so that its harder to be intentional with a few. I think about people who have a hard time reaching out and how this enables them to feel like they gave community.

    Can’t wait to hear more!

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