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Embarking on a Facebook Sabbatical…

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Dear Facebook: It's not you, it's me! I think we need some time
apart. See you in 30 days!

The Facebook Frenzy. 
Every so often I start feeling it. 
It starts to build slowly & seemingly out of nowhere, as I go from my “normal” FB interactions, to
“abnormal” check-ins countless times in a day.  It starts to bubble more & more each
day….a frenzy of posts, updates, check-ins, photo sharing….and suddenly, I
can’t stop it, I’m in FB addict mode. 
The more I update, the more I need to update.  Eventually, I do catch myself in the act, and I calm it down.  But it seems I only have the power to tame the posts for about 7 consecutive days in a row in total.  And even then I've noticed that I'll continue to incessantly check
for others’ updates, even if I'm not posting my own.  This week will pass, my desire or need
to share will diminish to almost nothing, and then out of nowhere again, it begins again! It’s a vicious
cycle that I love & hate. I hate it for sucking up my time and pulling
me into trivial nonsense, yet I also love it and enjoy it and have lots of fun in the process too.  I just need to remember an important
phrase:  

Παν μέτρον άριστον___“Pan metron ariston”: Everything
in moderation”

So, in an effort to break free of the frenzy, last night I
announced on Facebook that I’d be taking a break. I decided it was time to step
away from it all.  I didn’t have to
formally “announce” this, but I felt compelled to let the world know.  I guess it was partly because I wanted to be
held accountable to my FB challenge.  But
the truth?  I guess I was craving just a
few more “Likes” or “Comments” before heading out.  How fun it would be to get just a few more
red alert bubbles with the numbers of notifications!  A last FB hurrah! 

As I embark on my Facebook Sabbatical, I must admit that I’m
a bit worried.  I’m worried I’m going
miss out on all the good updates, photos, quotes, interesting articles,
breaking news, parties.  I'm even worried about missing the bad updates that I won’t be there to scoff
at & judge & gossip about.  I worry that I won’t be able to
share my own photos and thoughts and updates. 
I worry that some funny or witty comment I think of will be lost forever, without a chance to ever spark a fun chain of comments.  Maybe in the end, I worry that if I’m not
there, life will cease to exist.

The pull of FB is just that ridiculously strong.  Will I cease to exist?  I think I worry about that too.  Because who ISN’T on FB these days?  If you’re not it’s like you’re dead, buried,
invisible.  So, I’ve decided that my
profile remains up during my Sabbatical. 
I will not de-activate for fear of being FB dead.  I refuse to not exist on FB, because
ultimately, I know I will be back.

Until then,  I’ll run
on the fumes of my last FB scroll, where I carefully combed through each &
every item in my newsfeed making sure I’d seen it all.  What is this obsession with not missing a
thing?  And what is it we’re missing when
we’re not there, really?  For the next 30
days, I will find out.  Or maybe I
won’t.  Because if I’m not there, then I
won’t know what I’m missing, right? 

Has anyone tried this at home recently?  Has anyone found that FB somehow finds a way
to take over your life?  Do you worry
about the effects of excessive FB use? 
Do you try to curb it?  How do you
keep it in check?  Or do you at all?

 

2 Responses to “Embarking on a Facebook Sabbatical…”

  1. Julie Luek says:

    I’ve seen similar posts to this about Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest– whatever can suck time and emotional energy from our purpose and goals in life. It’s so easy to get into this numbing addictive feeding.
    I find, every now and again, I have to step back, mentally, and remember that all this is platform-building and part of my “job” as a writer and remember to disengage emotionally a bit, and treat it as part of my work day. Enjoy your break.

  2. NYmuse says:

    Yes, that’s exactly what it is: a numbing addictive feeling. It’s something we may be aware of but often can’t/won’t/refuse to really acknowledge and move on from. There are so many areas in life where this sort of thing takes over us, not just on Facebook. For me, it’s important that I keep trying to not only notice when I’m being sucked in, but to also take action once I’ve noticed it.

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