Sounds crazy, right? If you love Facebook and love being in that social media scene, staying in-touch with friends and family, it'd be crazy to cut yourself off from that. And what if you're not a fan of Facebook? Still sounds crazy- like why wouldn't you go thirty days(OR MORE!) without Facebook? I'm both.
In May 2010, less than a week after we moved, my midwife called and gave us some devastating news: the baby girl growing in my womb had numerous markers for Trisomy 18. One marker is usually nothing. Two markers is usually something. More than two is almost always a sure thing, and fatal. Our girl had three. My world went into a tailspin, and I spent as much time as possible with the support of the one friend I knew in our new location, but Facebook became my lifeline to support. I had a 3-year-old, a special needs 1.5-year-old, a husband working nights, sleeping days, and somehow doing college courses full time, and I was very, very alone with this heavy burden. So I had Facebook.
Facebook was never huge for me until 2010. In April 2010 my husband got a job which took us 2 hours north of where we'd lived, loved, and grown as a family for four years. I quit my job quite happily to enjoy staying home with my children full time for the first time. I was thrilled, but that also meant leaving behind my co-workers who had become like family, a church community that I couldn't imagine living without, and my actual biological family who lived twenty minutes from us all those years. But I was happy to do it because it's what was best for my family and, after all, there was Facebook.
|Mommy needs some adult conversation|
Over the years since then, after my daughter was born miraculously whole and healthy, my son began receiving services for his special needs, we moved to a better house in a better area, my home business became more popular, my children became school age so I was homeschooling, and we had an acre of land for me to garden and landscape, I was so busy that socialization was church on Sundays and Wegmans every other Friday. And Facebook.
But Facebook has its downfalls. There's the constant notion that we're typing at computer screens rather than people so the words that leave our mouths and the conversations we have are things we wouldn't dream of saying to some one's face. Cyber-bullying is rampant, especially among grown women who are otherwise fantastic people, adoring mothers, and loving wives. There's the emotionless tone of the screen where things can be so misunderstood to mean exactly the opposite of what one actually says. And there's the drama. Just the ridiculous drivel most of us would otherwise excuse ourselves from, but instead we sit and mindlessly scroll through as we look for an opportunity to make a human connection. In the end, it's almost always a deeply unsatisfying connection, if any.
And so this brings me to my point: I'm taking some time away from Facebook. Yes, this means time away from the convenience of cyber-stalking my friends with new babies and round bellies about to give birth so I don't have to be one of the maddening voices asking if the baby has arrived yet. Yes, this means giving up the convenience of my daily group chat with my two dearest and sweetest mama-friends, where we talk, vent, encourage, love, and hold each other accountable. Yes, this means that I and my family won't be on display for others to conveniently keep tabs on and most will not likely notice, and if they do they won't care enough to call or email. And I'm okay with it. Life has had me so overwhelmed with what I need to cram into this last month of "summer" before school starts that I've been incredibly stressed. When I have gotten on Facebook during my brief moments to take a deep breath and relax for a moment, I am almost always assaulted by a feed filled with pissing matches over who has it worse or who does it right, and when I've appreciated an article, vlog, or statement enough to share it I've been attacked- both publicly and by PM- with why I'm wrong and how that makes me a worse person with a lesser intelligence, and even sworn at(yes, swearing in acronym is still swearing) by people I consider dear friends. I get that people swear. That's fine. Their choice. No offense taken at all. I probably say a couple words that others more conservative than I consider to be swearing. But when people swear AT me? That's such utter disrespect. When I post in a jovial mommy conversation about whether or not people put rash guards on their children for swimming that we put them on both our boys and girls because our modesty standards are the same for both- no one goes topless and am told I am "slut-shaming"? I'm done. When I re-post a statement encouraging women to dress more modestly and show you're more than a sexualized piece of meat and am told I am "promoting a rape culture"? I'm done. And that's just a snippet of the last 48 hours.
I could go on, but I will not. When my fleeting moments of rest get me more stressed than my non-stop life of mommy to 4, homeschooler, wife to a guy who works all night, sleeps all day, and is starting work on his Masters then it's time for a change. For thirty days, I am done with Facebook. If you're reading this from my Facebook, it's because my blog is linked to it and sends my posts there. :-) Maybe more than thirty days. I have searched my heart, my head, and my responses to things to see if I am the problem. So I'm cutting out Facebook. If in 30 days I am still overwhelmed, stressed out, and upset over the dramatics of things around me then I know it's me and I need to work on myself. In the mean time, I'm here doing life, doing what's right in front of me, and cherishing every minute. And I have a phone and an email address. And a blog. :-)