The Week that Facebook Went

Ladies & Gentlemen, the results are in!

For those of you who don’t know what the hell that even means, let me explain.  After very little thought (it wasn’t rocket science, people) I decided to take a mini vacay from everyone’s favorite love to hate Social Media outlet, Facebook.

In my opinion, Facebook can be one of two things;  (1) A haven where you can connect with family, keep in contact with old friends and brag about your beautiful children & hilarious pets,  or (2) it can be a place where you go to gossip, “creep” on people, be bullied or bully others either directly or indirectly.  But let’s be honest, most of us use it for both.  One week ago I decided that I have become too dependent on Facebook and that I needed a break; and I expected big things from my hiatus!  I really did!  So are you curious?  If so, keep on reading..

This Blog is by far the hardest one I have written to date.  I can usually pick a topic and type until I can’t type anymore (I get the gift of gab from my mom).  I can get my point across and also throw in a few funny gestures.  It’s just not the case for this one.  It’s taking me a lot of time to gather all of my thoughts (and trust me, there are a TON) on this topic and type them out very carefully so that I get exactly what I am feeling down in the right way.

Let’s Get Started:

A day in my Facebook world was waking up in the morning and flipping through my NewsFeed before using the damn bathroom.  It was almost being late for work because I was refreshing the screen to get in that last bit of possible gossip to hold me over for the day.  It was getting home from work, sitting at the supper table with my family AND my IPad.  And it was putting my daughter to bed and laying on the couch next to my husband with my face lit up by my screen because I was paying more attention to Facebook than to my surroundings.  It sounds horrible, but I bet it sounds familiar, too.  And it’s reality in today’s society.

What I Expected:

As a person who is completely dependent on Facebook, I thought this would be like trying to cut back to a pack a day from 5.  I felt like, when my week was up, I was going to sign in and produce a status that resembled: “It was like I never left!”

I expected to miss Facebook every minute of every day and to be texting my friends daily harassing them to tell me what I might have been missing.  I knew I would miss posting pictures.  I expected to be lost without talking to everyone and thought I would lose all connection with them for those seven drawn out, agonizing days.

My Reality:

My first day was weird.  I woke up in the morning and almost didn’t know what to do with my time.  My daughter was still in bed so instead of scrolling through old faithful, I got her clothes and lunch ready for the day and I got ready for work in record time!  I totally could have caught a few extra Z’s.  When I got home from work and sat down at the table, I actually had a conversation with my family instead of giving my husband the update on who was saying what on Facebook.  It felt pretty cool.  I admit, I was still thinking about what I was missing, though.  After Lux went to bed, my husband and I put Netflix on (The Fosters, our current hella good series that we are obsessed with!) had some ice cream and had a chat.  A CHAT!  People still do that!

By mid-week, my new routine was on point and I was down right enjoying my days!  I let go of an anxiety I didn’t even know I had!  I quickly realized that I wasn’t losing my friends for the week.  The people who are truly a part of my daily circle were a phone call or text message away, and we chatted from time to time, made tentative lunch plans and kept updated on each other’s lives.  So business as usual!  (shout out to Lisha, Delta, Christine, Mom, Melissa & Wanda!!) 🙂

By the end of my week I was totally ready to kick Facebook to the curb.  I felt like a brand new woman who had a mission and a purpose in life!  (I know, I know.  I sound like a GD ad in some woman’s magazine)

When I signed in for the first time again.. I felt.. anxious. I didn’t like it at ALL.  And it was at that exact moment that I had a lot of questions floating around in my head.

Why do people feel good about posting mean statuses about other people?  Why do people think it is okay to post those damn “quote photos” and let other people think it might be about them?  And screw the ever popular “well, if the shoe fits“!  Stop it!  Just stop it!  Nobody likes to feel bad about themselves so why in the WORLD would you ever want to be the person to make somebody else anxious, unsure or sad?!

Conclusion:

You are somebody’s parent.  You are somebody’s child, friend, family member“.  This is what I am going to tell myself before any future post I make on Facebook.  I will be more mindful of other people’s feelings.  I challenge you to do the same.  I am not going to stop going on Facebook, but I will sure as hell be making some big changes.  I will no longer be effected by a choice somebody else makes on Facebook.  I will use Facebook for good, always.  When I put my daughter to bed in the evening and my husband is home, Facebook will not be signed in.

If there is one thing I can take away from “The Week that Facebook Went“, it is (surprisingly) this:

Facebook is not the enemy here. It is the person behind it.  This could be somebody else.  This could be you.

Moving forward, I am asking all of you to simply use your Facebook powers for good.  You hold more power at your fingertips than you realize.  This was a great learning experience for me and although I cannot promise you that I will never look at someone’s post and hope that it is not about me, or send someone an inbox and wonder why they didn’t message me back, I will always be prepared to take as much time away from Facebook as needed in order to gain control of my own feelings back.

So here I am, in all of my glory, after a week away from Facebook.  I didn’t even have to Photoshop the bags away from under my eyes!!  Try #TheWeekThatFacebookWent and let me know how it goes!

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