I’m off Facebook. It’s the right choice for me, but maybe for you too.
It started in January by deleting the app, so if I wanted to look at Facebook I had to go through a web browser and login every time.
However, I realized in no time at all that much time was more than I wanted to be on Facebook.
Here are three revelations I’ve had since logging off Facebook.
1. Genuine Surprise
It was a Sunday morning and a church member told me, “You probably already heard (because it is on Facebook), but my daughter had her baby, it’s a boy!”
I had not heard and I was so happy for him and for his family. Wonderful news! Genuine surprise. I think I caught him off guard with how happy I was and yet it was an experience that confirmed early on I liked my decision.
Now when someone tells me some news or asks did I see something, I can say no and with genuine interest learn from someone and begin a conversation face to face.
2. People Noticed
After awhile, I started to get emails and messages asking if everything was OK. “Haven’t see you post anything in awhile? Are you OK?”
Like Descartes said, “I post, therefore I am.”
I appreciated the concern, but it was also a reminder that if I was going to stop playing by the rules that a person could reach out to me or be a part of my life through Facebook, I should probably let people know. That’s a work in progress.
The bottom line is we want to be connected to each other, Facebook for a time was a convenient way to connect.
3. I Wasn’t Missing Out
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.” Annie Dillard, “The Writing Life.”
I wasn’t missing out by being off Facebook, I was missing out by being on it.
I use to tell myself that I was on Facebook to stay connected to friends and family. But the truth I’ve learned of the past few months is that I’m not more connected to them, in fact I’m probably less connected when I know what is going on in their lives through Facebook because I don’t need to reach out or expect to be told by them what is going on.
For my personality, going down a rabbit hole of links and ideas the best. It’s the same reason my office is piles of projects, papers, and books.
What I’ve found since being off is I can still go down a rabbit hold of ideas, I don’t need Facebook’s help.
Finally, I don’t think we have anything more valuable than our attention. Too often my phone and/or Facebook takes my attention from the people who deserve it most like my family. Or it occupies my attention that I would rather give to things I’m truly interested in.
As one of my favorite authors says, “You’re not the user, you’re the product. Hang up, log off, and tune in to a different way to be in the world.”
I’m a work in progress, but I don’t think you’ll find me on Facebook any time soon. You know, except to post this blog on the MPC Facebook page. The cruel irony!