Monday, September 12, 2011

Adieu, Facebook

My decision to deactivate my Facebook account was multifaceted, something I had been deliberating doing for some time.

But the biggest part of it was this: I am not biologically designed to have 300 best friends. It was fun to promote my art and blog via Facebook, it was fun to see my friends’ children in online albums, and it was fun to exchange witticisms with long-time friends; however, I began to wonder if all this living online takes away from the living I should actually be doing in regard to people I love the most. Maybe we are designed to let go and not constantly reconnect. I don't know.

Facebook has had surprising benefits—the best of which was reconnections of lost friendships that formed foundations of new support in difficult times.  But I did learn that I would bump into an old acquaintance, excitedly catch up, exhaust all enthusiasm, and, for the most part, lose touch again. The option of reaching out, though, was always a key stroke away. Convenient. I think I what I learned was I don’t like severed connections, but I simply can’t realistically maintain that much correspondence with that many people.

I am sure I will reactivate my account again. I use FB as a messaging service for people whose phone numbers I don’t have—more than one lunch has been scheduled that way. When I took my children to see their paternal great-grandmother, I was able to send a rare and precious photo of her to several former in-laws. It was a tender gesture that FB unwittingly hosted—something that wouldn’t have been so possible at one time. I also enjoy seeing what's happening in my step-daughters' lives. But for now, I decided just to pull out.

The timing of my closing my FB account came when I needed to reflect a bit on priorities. The last few days have been nice—no chime summoning me on my Blackberry, no faux-urgency to check the latest newsfeed. I thought I would miss it. I know my kids don't miss my being distracted by it. So far, so good.


  1. My Dear Mrs. C;

    Your withdrawal from FB is sad, but not unexpected. These days it seems that we barely have time for ourselves and the immediate family, let alone the extended realm of brothers, sisters, parents and in-laws. The complexity of your current situation no doubt has increased the number of tugs at your already time compressed life.
    The chaos that we call adulthood is difficult enough in these times, as we find ourselves in adrift in story seas. Though I would say that you have finally found a nice safe anchorage, which is no doubt well deserved. In the intervening years since we first met, I had often wondered about what paths and journeys that you undertook. It does my heart good to see how things have finally worked out.
    Facebook is really all about connections. Connections are what keep us human in the face of upheaval and isolation. They bring us together, if not in person than in cyberspace. And for an all too brief time, create an illusion of intimacy, which can comfort those separated by time and space.

  2. Hey Chiquita:
    I use FB when I can't contact someone via email. When I first got my account it was fun to play with and I was checking it constantly. Then I had to acknowledge how selfish I am because I'll never care if a "friend" couldn't find a ripe banana at Starbucks or they're stuck in rush hour traffic.

  3. I missed you. I thought you de-friended me. I asked Doc if you de-friended me but got no answer. I highly doubt I would miss many others on my list!
    For me Facebook is a place to share my media. Like any other social gathering place it can be fun and annoying all at the same time!


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