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Friday, March 1, 2013

40 Days Without Facebook, Day One

Today, is the first day of my quest to find life outside of facebook.
The other day I read an article about facebook addiction. The truth is that we spending hours a day on social media.  I know that social media has it's benefits, but so much our mindless scrolling is fruitless.
We are given a false sense of security and the belief that we have friends, when, in actually, we are being less than that for which we were created.

Today marks day one without facebook. When I initially decided to distance myself from the social medium, I have to admit, I felt lost. I even cried. For a brief moment, I felt a disconnect from the rest of the world.
I felt as if my family were somehow on the other end of a keyboard, and, by not logging on to a computer, then they would be gone. I imagined that they would forget about me, and I have to admit, I realized just how much I would miss them.

I thought of my cousin Holly and how much I would miss her kind comments on my posts. I thought of how I would miss everyone's thoughts.

I will not, however, miss any political rants or rails against Christianity. I won't miss the tacky memes or the hate speech that comes with elections or gun laws or anything else.

A sea of faces keep running through my mind. Friends I have known and people that I love. They are my family, regardless of how little we may interact or how little we actually see one another.

I realized that these people aren't gone from my life, and I was meant to reach out to others in a deeper and more tangible way. I imagined myself writing letters to Holly and Niki. I realized that Jennifer, Kane, and Evelyn are merely a phone call away. Seth and Ashely live hours away,but, now that my time and my mind aren't tied to a screen, I am free to drive to their house for a visit.

Suddenly, I felt free. I realized that, like with any addiction, there is a freedom in the release.

The other day, I read a story about a mother who said that she learned of her son's death through facebook. I started wondering why anyone would dare notify a mother of such devasting news in such an impersonal manner. It seemed callous and cold.
But as soon as I asked the question, I realized the answer.
Facebook provides us with a quick and easy way of getting a message across.
Quick and easy.
In our society, we have been dumbed down by quick and easy.
Take fast food, for instance. Our quick and easy solution to eating are rendering us with unprecedented health issues. We are sicker and heavier than we have ever been, and it is, in part, because we accept "quick and easy" as a way of life.
We have become too busy to enjoy anything, including one another.
meals aren't celebrated. People aren't celebrated.
Even marriages are quick and easy. When we become disillusioned, we opt out. We hit the delete button, and expel others out of our lives.
It's a mentality that we have accepted. We have become so self oriented, that we do what pleases us, regardless of who we may hurt.

One more thing that I realized. Social media can seem empty, but so much depends upon our expectations. If we are expecting to have our social needs met through something like facebook, then we will be left wanting. A virtual hug will never compare with the warmth of real arms, and a virtual up of coffee will never compare to laughing and crying over a real cup of Java.

The truth is that I don't have many friends. I realized that I had become secure with facebook. It gives the illusion that we are there for people when, in fact, we aren't...and, likewise, it gives us the illusion that others are there for us..
but words on a screen will never hold a candle to a hand on a shoulder or a walk through the park.

I once read that babies who lacked touch didn't develop as well as babies who were cared for and loved. There was a study done years ago, and it was scientifically proven that babies who weren't touched, were stunted in their growth.
As adults, we are full grown, but the concept remains the same. We were made to love one another. Facebook is a slap in the face to real friendship. We all need love. We all need to occasionally feel a hand on our shoulder. And, not to sound cheesy, we all need an occasional hug.
And that is why I am giving up facebook. To prove to the world that life will be fuller without it. To show that we were meant for more, and that relationships were designed to be greater than anything we could experience on facebook.

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