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.