Living (mostly) without Facebook

Perhaps it is a sign of maturity.  Not chronological maturity; rather, a sign of emotional maturity.  You reach a point where Facebook seems less necessary in your life.  I’m hesitant to say that I will ever completely remove Facebook from my life.  It helps me by providing a visual connection to my friends and family outside of Virginia.  I love it when my friends post pictures – all pictures!  

  • A picture of a delicious meal is proof that you are well fed and financially secure enough to enjoy a night out.  
  • A picture of furry pets tells me that you have unconditional love and companionship in your life.  
  • Pictures documenting engagements, weddings, and baby announcements helps me feel connected to your growing life/family.  
  • Your political memes tell me that you are passionate about something – even if we disagree.  
  • Your pictures of your children give me something to smile about and something to look forward to during our next visit.

But there are parts of Facebook that give me pause.  It has less to do with the actual application and more to do with how I incorporate it into my life.  I have caught myself saying “I saw on Facebook…” more times this year than I prefer.  I find out that someone is pregnant on Facebook.  I have to read about tragedies from someone’s “RIP” post.  I learn about job changes and major moves from Facebook.  And that is not inherently terrible.  I don’t expect people to take the time to call everyone in their contact list for every life change, especially when Facebook makes it easy to spread the word with just a few keystrokes.  But I’m disappointed that I have allowed Facebook to become the main way I seek information rather than taking the time to call someone or send them a note.  I’m also disappointed in myself for taking time from my personal life – time at dinner, time in the evening that I could be talking with Bradley, time in the morning when I could be preparing for my day or allowing myself extra rest – to mindlessly scroll through my feed.  It really is mind numbing.  I can only emotionally appreciate a digital post so much – it lacks human voice and touch.  My heart can only respond with so much earnest appreciation.  After a few posts, I’m simply scrolling for the sake of scrolling.

 

So I removed Facebook from my phone about two weeks ago just to see what would happen.  Here is the amazing truth:  nothing dramatic happened.  My life did not tremendously improve nor did it become more difficult.  Life continued exactly as it always does.  Some things that happened in a non-dramatic way:

  • I spend less time on my phone – which isn’t shocking.  I removed almost all of my social media and news applications.  If I want those things, I have to make a conscious effort to seek them out rather than aimlessly pulling it up on my phone.  
  • I go to sleep faster at night because I am not glued to the glowing screen of my iPhone.  
  • I have enough extra time in the morning that I’ve been able to enjoy breakfast at home before I leave for work.  
  • I don’t miss it or think about it.  Instead of making a post about what I am going to do/am currently doing, I just do it.

The changes are nice but subtle.  I don’t see myself adding the app back to my phone anytime soon.  It also created so much extra space on my phone so that I don’t get those annoying “Not enough storage” messages every time my iPhone wants to update (which feels monthly).  I try to schedule more time for phone calls or “How are things going?” texts.  And I’m still working toward bringing back the art of a handwritten note.  My goal is to send as many birthday cards as I can remember (if you want one, let me know!).  I wish I had more amazing results to report.  Given the pace of life recently, however, I am grateful that this change was mild.

WEDDING UPDATE

We went suit shopping for Bradley yesterday.  I am a sucker for that man in a nice suit.  We took the bow tie that I got him with us (the bow tie is gorgeous and original – I’ll share more about it after the wedding) and found the perfect outfit.  I took a picture of how it will look but you have to wait to see the whole thing until after the wedding.  I highly anticipate crying within seconds of laying eyes on my handsome groom.

We are in the home stretch.  My dress alterations have gone smoothly and will be done around the 12th.  Hair and makeup trials are done.  Reservations have been made.  The flowers are practically done (and not complicated enough to really care either way).  My mantra throughout this process has been:  We will be just as married either way.  If I have beautiful flowers or a bouquet of dandelions, we will be just married.  If it is 100 degrees outside or 30, we will be just as married.  If the alterations turn into a mess and I have to get a dress from the thrift store, we will be just married.  It is hard to stress about the details when you realize they don’t really matter.  No matter what happens during the next 20 days, we will be married at the end of it.

LIFE UPDATE

We had our friends, Vick and Laura, over yesterday with their two children.  As most of you know, Bradley and I love a good card game.  Their children were perfectly behaved and their youngest didn’t cry once even when Reese repeatedly licked his face.  We had a few snacks, a few beers, and played a riveting game of Phase 10 before everyone headed off to their appropriate beds.  It is always nice to have friends over, especially as we continue to make Smithfield feel more like home.  I am still adjusting to leaving my Carolina roots – having friendly faces in our home makes it easier.  

Irony is writing a blog using Facebook less and then posting said blog on Facebook…

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