My Facebook Vacation
In my last blog post I chronicled how I was going to be taking a Facebook vacation. In my lofty goals and aspirations I thought, “I can do this” and “Its just a week”. All I have to say for myself is,
“That went well” (Sarcasm, cough, cough)
Thank goodness I didn’t go far on this vacation or pay too much for it, because it ended all too soon. As much as I hate to admit it, my vacation from Facebook ended after two short days. As for the reasons why, they seem really silly; but the lessons learned are pretty intriguing.
Without further ado, here are my reasons for ending my “vacation” early,
1.) The marriage equality facebook profile phenomenon.
In light of the cases before the Supreme Court, people made their profile pictures the logo of the Human Rights Campaign. I too, did this. My rationale was that “I needed to show my support for this measure” which really means, I wanted people to see that I supported this measure.
2.) “She’s dating who?!?!”
Obviously people’s lives change and more often than not those changes end up online, somewhere. Clearly, as a concerned friend, I need to know all about these changes. Translation: I wanted to know just as bad as the next person about who is dating who and whatnot.
3.) This just happened and this is what I think/feel/whatever,
Oh my god! this event just happened in my life! I NEED TO TELL EVERYBODY!!!! Newsflash, if it was that important, the people who would need to know, would know. I’m a bit of a status queen, but really, perhaps everybody doesn’t need to know about my day to day thoughts.
What did I learn out of this experiment? That I have a rusty iron will? Maybe. But really, in my “failure” to stay on vacation I learned a lot about myself and why I think I need Facebook. Starting with my first reason, I needed to show people that I supported marriage equality and I wanted to be recognized for it, even though I was basically doing the bare minimum to help the cause. The second reason, I needed to know what was going on in everyone else’s life, but did knowing that so and so hung out or were dating really make my life more meaningful or increase my chances to find someone? Not at all. In fact, it just made me jealous, if anything. Finally, as a self-admitted status Queen, I felt the need to tell everybody my thoughts. Why did I need to do this? To feel heard, let’s be real, with every status update, I wanted people to validate that I was either funny, or had a point. Either way it was never about my “friends” it was all about what I got out of Facebook.
So this grand experiment of mine: Here are the results, definitely far from my hypothesis. In failing to stay off Facebook, I learned that I sought three basic things from Facebook, an identity, to feel connected to people, and to feel like I was being heard. But all of these things can be found if I just stepped off-line and stopped worrying about my online life. Because while I worry about my online life, I’m wasting time in my actual life. With that, I have a new challenge for myself: To make the real world that I live in more meaningful and to move away from such a reliance on Social Media to be “social”. In the end I learned that the more I interact and act, the less I need to “update”, “like”, and “post”.
~Namaste for now~