Friday, March 6, 2015

SOLC 2015 Day 6: Two weeks without Facebook

As of this past Wednesday, I've been "dark" on Facebook for two weeks.  I made this Lenten resolution with the intention of using the time to cross items off my to-do list, meditate, get social face-to-face.

Well, some of those things have happened.  I was spending some time pre-dawn in quiet contemplation, leading up to the SOLC.  Now writing consumes most of the hour I give myself before preparations for the workday begin.  I'm okay with that, given that the act of producing a blogpost at oh-dark-thirty has a meditative quality.

I have read a bit more.  I finished The Giver by Lois Lowry in one day.  That would not have happened if I spent my breaks from the couch posting on my reading progress and getting distracted by my newsfeed.  The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, sitting half-read on my pile since last summer, got dusted off and opened from the beginning again.  I'm now farther into that book than I was when I last set it down.

But there's so much I haven't yet accomplished.  I spent fifteen minutes looking over my 2015 goal setting workbook.  That's a total of fifteen minutes over the last two weeks--not fifteen minutes a day.  I spent good money getting that printed out and bound, and I'm determined not to let it gather dust this year.

I still haven't established a workout routine in the afternoon.  I could use the wonky weather as an excuse, but the row of workout DVDs and exercise equipment tucked under the couch and chairs in the living room refute that explanation.  My decluttering goals haven't kicked in, either; seems I'm just as averse to cleaning with or without time on Facebook.

I really was worried about the state of my social skills, until I remembered this morning that my entire workday is filled with interactions as a librarian.  I am just as introverted when I come home after a busy day at work whether I'm on Facebook or not.   

And then there's the depression I felt for the first few days without Facebook.  I really missed interacting with my global network of friends.  I missed reading the interesting articles that my library professors, colleagues, and professional organizations link through their FB posts.  And yesterday, according to a text from a friend, I missed a myriad of birthday wishes on my wall.  Email notifications from FB tagging let me know that my friends miss me, too.  I'm not as depressed as I was, but I'm certainly longing for those connections again.  

There are still four weeks to go in this season of Lent.  Four weeks to tackle the clutter, lace on the sneakers, read a few more books, and write these posts.  I think I can keep this resolution going through Easter.  But it will be the last time I give up Facebook.  That connection with friends is real, and meaningful, and sorely missed.


  1. You raise a very real dilemma in terms of both the problem with and benefit of Facebook. Still, I need fewer Buzzfeed posts and quizzes!

    1. I could do with less of those too, Glenda! Maybe I'll be better at weeding out too many distractions on Facebook after my hiatus.

  2. What an interesting challenge and your post gives voice to the hopefulness and the despair all at the same time, creating an interesting contrast that captures your inner struggle beautifully. Even though you haven't marked things off your to-do list, I wonder if you are making space for something that has yet to emerge. With your open mind and enthusiastic spirit, I don't imagine this commitment will be in vain.

    1. Thank you, Morgan. I like the naming you give it, "making space". The last time I read something like that, it had to do with making your home a restful place, a suggestion to leave a blank space until you really know what you want to put in it. I really like that description, especially during this season of Lent. You have given me some peace of mind in this pursuit!

  3. Hi, Chris,
    I was really interested to read your post. I have often wondered about taking a hiatus from Facebook myself. Like you, there are lots of good things I get off of FB. My biggest issue seems to be getting "sucked in", and before I know it I've been on there WAY longer than I need to be.

    Just like so much of life, I guess this is an area where I need to learn moderation: Don't throw it out completely, but set a realistic amount of time and then GET OFF when that time is up.

    My favorite part of your writing is where you talk about how you don't seem to be any more or less interested in exercising or decluttering whether you are on FB or not. I laughed at that, because I could totally relate. In some ways, I think I'm feeling "I'm already giving up something I enjoy, and now I'm going to fill that time doing something I hate/don't love/dread/________ instead."

    Congratulations on setting a goal for yourself, sticking to it, and learning about yourself in the process. Easter is coming! :)

    1. Virginia, I'm happy my post resonated with you! My decision to give up FB for Lent was a spur-of-the-moment idea, an experiment with time more than anything else. I really didn't expect the myriad of feelings that accompanied the act. Happily, my friends are very supportive; one texted me the other day to let me know they're waiting for my return. :-) And I'm using IFTTT to post my blogs, so they know I'm still alive and kicking.