I Opened Facebook for Christmas
Now I wish it was gone again
“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” — Erin Bury
In the brief few weeks I’ve been back on Facebook, I’ve noticed a change. What I can’t figure out is if I have changed or Facebook?
For a long time, I loved spending hours mindlessly scrolling through my timeline. I loved the burst I’d get when someone liked a post I’d written, or if someone left a comment. I lived for notifications. If I got one, I stopped everything I did and read it.
But all that has changed.
In the time I was away from Facebook, I learned not to live my life waiting for notifications. All notifications are turned off on my phone except for Messenger. Even email. Sometimes, I don’t look at my phone for hours. Sometimes, I even forget to bring it with me when I leave the house.
Truthfully, the only notifications I care about from Messenger. Often, my wife will send me a request for a particular food she is craving when I am out and about, and since she is sick so often, I like to make sure I get whatever she wants (she is very pregnant).
I must say that life is less stressful when you are not constantly attached to your phone. When I am writing, I focus on what I am creating. When I’m reading, I put all my effort into falling into the story and experiencing what the writer intended. When I am spending time with my family, my mind is with them 100%. Mealtime is so much different when no one is staring down at their phone.
So Why Did I Reopen Facebook?
Right before the holiday, I was missing my three boys and my parents in the States. For whatever reason, we don’t talk much (no blame-throwing). I thought If I opened Facebook and shared some pictures and the latest news (like a baby on the way), they would talk to me more.
I was wrong.
I thought we weren’t talking because I wasn’t accessible like I used to be. What I failed to remember is that no one talked to me even before I closed Facebook (jokes on me).
(I’m not going to turn this into a whining, complaining rant about my family. There are issues, but I will talk about them in another story.)
The funny thing seems to be that I have the most interaction with my wife on Facebook. We trade funny memes, and share stories we found interesting. We talk about the memories that come up daily.
It’s not that we don’t talk to each other in person; we do. We spend all our time together. But there is no one I would rather share everything with than my wife, and it gives us something to talk about.
Most of the rest of the interactions I get are from people that already live close to me in the Philippines.
I guess if I keep it open, the little time I do spend scrolling won’t hurt me.
How I Feel About Social Media
Besides Facebook, I spend a little time talking to people in the #writingcommunity on Twitter. I find a lot of value seeing into the mind of other writers. And hell, if I’m honest, it’s a lot of fun!
I don’t spend very much time on social media. I haven’t opened Instagram in so long; I failed to notice that the icon went missing from my home screen.
I have a much healthier outlook now and am not obsessed with “being in the know!” I check it when I have a few minutes and don’t get so focused on it that I lose half the day scrolling endlessly. I guess I’ve realized that my life doesn’t depend on what a friend from 20 years ago had for breakfast this morning.
I use block and unfollow much more these days. Because of that, my timeline is no longer cluttered with things that upset me or that I don’t want to see. Only the good stuff shows up now an I’m better off for it.
I’m I can maintain this attitude about Facebook and social media in general, I think I will be just fine. I don’t have any plans to close anything right now because there is no issue with anything I’m doing.
I’m happy with how things are and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”