Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Done with Facebook

I just deactivated my Facebook Account, and boy does it feel good!

I jumped on the FB Bandwagon waaaaaaaay after it seemed like everybody else was on it.  At first, it was addicting, meeting up with old friends online, and seeing how everyone has changed since high school.  I even thought maybe I could heal old wounds by "friending" my old high school boyfriend that I had dumped when I met Phil.  Guess what he wrote back?  "You've got to be kidding me."  Ouch, I guess someone doesn't want to forgive me.

After the initial enthusiasm, I basically used FB as an email system.  I never checked other people's updates, because really, I don't have the time or energy to care if it's 3 am and you can't sleep.  And I didn't post anything like that because why would you care? 

Phil thinks FB is from the devil.  He thinks it's a major time-suck, it makes people live in the past instead of moving on, and it creates false friendships.  He thinks if you were friends with someone in real life, you would pick up the phone and not turn on your computer.  Would these "friends" bring you a meal after the baby is born?  Would they come to your parent's funeral?  Would they lend a hand in a difficult situation?  Or do they just want to see pictures of you and your family (sounds a bit stalkerish, right?)?  He's finally led me to see the light.

I really have a hard time finding any value in voyeurism and nosiness, even when  weighed against the opportunity to connect with friends.  FB creates idle curiosity and steals time away from doing many other productive things. 

It's not only FB that can do this....I have been becoming more and more convinced that watching tv, blogging, reading magazines can all be wasteful when used to the excess.  There is a benefit to downtime, after all God rested on the 7th day, but I think we will be judged for what we do with that free time.  If our physical bodies are properly cared for, our spiritual souls at peace, our family all looked after, the financial needs of our home being met, and our good duties done for the day, then sit and relax! 

But, until I can get the rest of my priorities in order, I will be limiting my time with all things idle (if not cutting some out completely) during Lent to help improve my sometimes nonexistent prayer life.  I need all the help I can get, and if unplugging from the computer or tv will help me get a bit closer on the path to holiness, then I would be a fool not to do it. 

"Idleness appears as desire for a quiet life; yet can rest be assured apart from the Lord?" ~St. Augustine

17 comments:

  1. I gave up FB for a whole year and I lived. lol It still is fun catching up with friends from highschool which I am grateful for since I was able to catch up with my old best friend and find out she had turned her life around. I check it once or twice a day and hardly ever on the weekends, but I agree it can get to the point of just being nosey into someone else's life you really didn't care about in the first place.

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  2. yeah I totally agree with Phil on the facebook thing. I never did it. I need to work on prayer more and have made an effort to pray more.

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  3. Social networking and the effect it has on us is one of my passions. The dangers are very real and we all need to be aware of them. That being said, I have found in my work with teens/presentations I have done on the subject...that the Church is overwhelmingly supportive of social networks when used in the correct way. As I love to remind people, this is the world we live in and it is not going away- so we must learn to evangelize and live in this world. Staying relevant, the Church has had awesome things to say about this (generally on World Communications Day)- this is the most recent message that I LOVE and have used for a framework to describe the strong advantages of Social Networking...food for thought I suppose...

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/communications/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20110124_45th-world-communications-day_en.html

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  4. I got rid of my account a while back on facebook and it was awesome :) It upset a lot of people; they took it way too personally. I set up a new account months later with more control and serving the purpose I wanted it to serve: staying in touch with my family overseas & out of state. It has been great to do it that way, though it still upsets people that I won't "friend" them.

    I laughed (and forwarded) your post to Keith because he feels almost the same about facebook as you said Phil does...and my hubby is a tech guy!!!

    Anyway, good for you. If we could all be as bold and committed to removing the many things in our lives that truly take us away from our family and growth on any level, it would do us a lot of good, especially in relation to our family life and spiritual life.

    I loved this post. Oh yeah, nice pics on your vacation too :)

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  5. i'm sure you've noticed.. but i'm blogging A WHOLE LOT LESS... and you know.. it FEELS GOOD!!!!
    facebook... i am NOT obsessive about it, i play there occasionally and think it's a cool tool to have to reconnect.... but if it went away this moment, i wouldn't care!!!

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  6. I'm giving up FB for Lent. I know it's going to be hard for me since I am totally addicted, but in some ways I'm excited. I'm looking forward to much more free time!!!

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  7. Oh, my gosh Colleen, you did exactly what I have been thinking about and I would say our experiences parallel. I am totally with Phil in that it robs people of face to face, eye contact, voice and touch. People say things they would never otherwise say. I am curious if you find blogging "friends" the same. I know you've made a really neat friend that way, but I wonder if that is few and far between? I'd like to hear your take on that. I really want to give mine up altogether but I do something on our parish fb page everyday that my pastor asked me to. I almost want to beg out but it's such a small thing and then I've read Pope Benedict's words on the Church and social media (uuhhh, in the Anchor!) and I then, I think it's still mission ground. It's a tough call, but it's Lent and...

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  8. Hi Colleen!

    I can tell it's time for Lent. I feel the same way. I gave up FB & Twitter for Lent last year and it really felt good. Sadly I went right back to FB and at the start of the year went back to Twitter. What happened?

    I totally agree with all you have said in this post. I am doing Ann Voskamp's 100 days and one of the thinngs I want to do it hit my Rule every day. So, computer time in general will have to be a minimum. Part of why I am doing the goal. :)

    You've inspired me!

    I was reading exactly what you said about relaxing and what we do with this time today. Must be providential. I do think we will be judged by what we do with our time.

    God's Blessings to you!

    Tina

    PS. I love the new picture on your header. That really says something about girls (speaking fromo having two!).

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  9. something to think about.

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  10. As much as I hate to say it, I am a facebook addict. I've given it up for lent before, and it was tough, but helped me tone it down.

    I do have to say, though, it has been a huge blessing for keeping in touch with college friends. They literally live all over the world- Facebook makes it easy for us to share kidling pics (although some have their own blogs, most don't) and share the stresses of mothering and life in general. I think you've motivated me to unfriend some people I really have no reason to be "friends" with, but I have to say, if it weren't for facebook, I'd also miss out on a lot of mommy playgroup announcements, watching old roommates' children grow and just keeping in touch with people out of town.

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  11. I always love it when you guys comment. I have been replying to some of you via email, and just thought I would write it down here as well...
    I have been thinking long and hard about FB and Blogging and tried to see the difference in the two, and what actually helps me to be a better person, and what takes away from my spiritual life. I think blogging has really been so wonderful for me in every way.

    When I was at home with the kids, I really felt disconnected from any other young Catholic moms, and I found them through blogs. They inspired me, consoled me, and taught me a lot.


    Once I began blogging, I realized how much I loved to write, and I also use it as a scrapbook for memories. Each year I create a blog book with all the posts and pictures from the year, and I think it will serve as a great keepsake. The blogs I choose to follow are of the people I respect and admire, not just some girl I used to know in junior high (like facebook).

    FB really made me live in the past, where as blogging keeps me current and gives me guidance for the future. I know so many people can use social media for good (as many of you pointed out) and that's great! But for me, FB just wasn't serving a higher purpose.

    I think we all *know* what we should do when it comes to our free time, and for me, less idle curiousity and more prayer time is definitely needed!!

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  12. got your message, facebook can def. suck up your time. way to do what you knew you had to. i started praying for 15 min. right after supper and it is working great. i am not the best morning or night prayer, and i have found the solution for me. hope you can find one too!

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  13. I agree about FB. I do not go on there much other than to respond to when people comment on my blog posts (that get posted to FB automatically) and to email people. I have also gone back and forth with should I blog or not. I have decided that yes, it is my journal now. I do not share the really personal stuff, but I do not think I would write alot of what I do down if I did not have a blog. But, I do know I spend too much time reading and commenting on other blogs. It has been great and I have learned a good deal. But,I am giving up reading other blogs for Lent as well as limiting computer time.

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  14. I enjoyed reading this post very much. I do like FB and I have been able to reconnect with several people I have cared about in my life. Controlling FB interaction is most important. I wish I could really be selective with my contacts there, but I've chosen to avoid hurting feelings. Because I am very grateful for the venue to keep in touch with my old friends (and many from my mother's side of the family whom I have not met), I have found more good than bad. All in all, FB is a good lesson in self control. Lent will, once again, help me get that back.
    Great post.
    (My blog is closed for awhile as I reconsider my purpose there. Love to write. Already miss it much.)

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  15. I am not a fan of Facebook either...especially where teenagers are concerned.

    And I can't even tell you how much I adore that header pic...too funny.

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  16. I'm with you both. I tried Facebook for about 2 weeks and found that it was a total time-sucker. I wish I could take that time back and give it to my kids. :-( ah, well. Lesson learned. In and of itself, I don't think networking is a bad thing; I just don't think we need 5 bazillion ways to do it and the pressure to think that we need to use all those ways. I figure that if someone wants to get in touch with me, they can post on my blog, email me, or give me a call. OR - snail mail - yeah, it's sort of outdated, but you can't convince me that an email has the same oomph as a letter in the mailbox! :-)

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  17. it makes people live in the past instead of moving on, and it creates false friendships.

    I agree with your husband. I especially like the part about a friend bringing you meal after a new baby.

    I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online. Please stop by and return the favor.

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