Monday, April 18, 2011

How I'm living without Facebook

It's been since Ash Wednesday that I gave up Facebook for Lent.  If you aren't sure why we Catholics bother to find something to "give up" during these days preceding Easter, check here for a thorough explanation.  Me?  I find it strengthening to challenge myself to abstain from something in my life that I feel is bringing me down...that seems to suck the time from my day (or brain cells from my head) with really nothing to offer me in return.

(The Lenten season is made up of the 40 days before Easter. I've read and heard a few places that Sundays during this time are not considered part of Lent, and therefore you're not required to abstain from whatever you're giving up on these days.  I finally looked it up and found this explanation, which is very convincing.)

Why was Facebook my target this year?  I found I was spending a couple of hours a day reading things like "nice day today...I think I'll take a walk" and "is it Monday already?"  I don't think these types of inane comments would normally bother me, but seeing them every day was mind-numbing.  Once I realized my friends' and family were having an okay day or their kids were super cute the day before, I would wander off to someone's photo albums and waste some more time viewing, ultimately, photos I'd already seen.

Then there was Bejeweled Blitz.  It's an Facebook video game where...oh, suffice it to say it was not time well spent.  In addition to a couple of hours on Facebook reading statuses and viewing photos and whatnot, I'd skip over to BB where I could play one-minute games for 40 minutes or more.  And this would happen three or four times a day.

So in an effort to use my time more wisely I gave it all up.  For several days I went cold turkey: didn't even log on to Facebook one time.

Then I started sneaking out there every once in a while.  I do have some family members I like to keep up with...and my sister got married for heaven's sake.  I had to view photos!

I can tell you, however, it's nothing like it was before.  I scroll down once, maybe twice, to see if there's anything I've missed.  Then I'm done!  There's no aimless wandering!  Once or twice I've cringed at a status here or there, and then I know it's time to shut it down.  And I do it with ease instead of trying to find something worthwhile.  And recently when tornado weather passed through the area, I watched TV with glee and thought about the five or six or twenty media-types I follow, and how they'd be saying the same ol' thing over and over and over.  (Could be a clue I need to de-friend some folks...)

I like Facebook, I really do.  But tempering my use of it these last few weeks has been good for my soul.  I've learned I can say no to myself once in a while.  I'll probably start updating my status a little after Easter, but it feels like the end of getting up from my computer wondering why I wasted so much time there.

christine sig


Lori Hill said...

Great to hear from you. I love your blog post - it's so true how we can easily, mindlessly wander thru hours of reading not much online. I am stressed at times with all the things I need to do around the house or with the boys' homework, but yet I find time to play on the computer.

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