My Facebook Sabbatical

So what exactly did I learn from my week without Facebook? More than you would expect as it turns out.

First of all I went into this believing  that facebook was a huge time waster,  keeping me from doing more productive things. Turns out Facebook really isn’t that big of a culprit, most of the time if I’m playing on Facebook it’s because I’m tied down and I can’t do anything else anyway. I still have a nursing child and at times when I’m nursing, there  is nothing much else to do. I used to watch TV while she nursed but now more often than not cartoons are on the TV or we are in a room without a TV. Reading is always nice but  for some reason she’s going through a phase where she likes to slap the book out of my hands every time I pick one up while she’s nursing! So while I do get some reading done and some TV watching done, by and large I’m left with my phone for entertainment. With facebook not being an option what I found myself doing was playing games, talk about time wasters! I went from checking in with dragon city and Moshi village once a day to being on there, well, kind of a lot and also downloaded some new games!

Tell you something else about Facebook, the games are truly a time waster but Facebook isn’t. Facebook is a connection with the rest of the world. Now I imagine it could be a huge time waster if I just spent all my time on there, but what I realized is, I really don’t spend undue amounts of time facebooking per se. I check in multiple times a day but it’s usually just a couple of minutes here and there. I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to and I enjoy posting what we’re up to. If I’m on there an undue amount of time it’s because I’m reading articles that come across my feed.

Here’s what happened during the week that I was not on Facebook: we got a new puppy, my oldest daughter reunited with her best friend who wanted to tag me in things and put it on facebook, we went to a charity event called gingerbread for Humanity where you buy and decorate a gingerbread house and the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. My kids were really cute eating as much as they put on the house and getting frosting all over themselves and I really wanted to post those things and share them with the people on Facebook. Honestly, it takes me less time to post a quick status or quick picture in the moment then it did at the end of that week to go back and upload things and try to remember things and put everything out there that I wanted to share. So in conclusion, Facebook might take a little bit of time but for what I get out of it it’s completely worth it and it’s not a huge time suck. When I have a good book to read or something I want to watch on TV, I put the phone down anyway so I don’t think I needed forced sabbatical other than to help me realize the facebook is not my problem, procrastination is.

One more thing, without Facebook I managed to find substitutions anyway. I put status updates on Twitter and I put pictures on Instagram and yes I did blog a little more. But I don’t really like Instagram and Twitter that much and I prefer having my pictures and updates in one place and I have a lot more followers on Facebook and I feel like Facebook is more interactive than those other mediums. So all in all I definitely didn’t save any time since I found other ways to post anyway.

I think what I really learned is what I’ve known all along, and that is, I will get my productive time back when my baby is weaned. Until then I will continue to scroll through Facebook and click through on articles because that’s where most of my facebook time is going when I’m there, not facebooking per se, but clicking through and reading articles. And considering I read a lot of scientific articles and child development articles and things from Psychology Today, I don’t know if you’d  call it wasted time or not. Beats staring at the wall!

One last thing I did learn is that with the WordPress app and voice to text I’m actually able to blog while nursing, which I didn’t see it as an option before, so maybe it was worth the week off after all!

All Lives Matter

Can we all agree that BOTH black lives and blue lives matter?  How about ALL lives matter? Whatever happened to that?  I condemn police brutality by individual officers while still supporting police officers as a whole. I am grateful for the service of those who choose to put themselves in harms way to serve and protect while also finding it deplorable that anyone would abuse their power. I can  acknowledge that it is a dangerous job fraught with dangerous situations and sometimes you have to make split second life and death decisions. I also acknowledge that being human, mistakes can be made especially in split second life and death situations. I can understand all this and still think every person is accountable for their actions and that there will always be some who step over the line. This is not either/or in my book. The people calling for justice in the Eric Garner  case did not cause that psycho to shoot two police officers, he was a disturbed individual who had shot his girlfriend prior to shooting the officers and then killed himself. What he did was deplorable and when I see people posting that it was caused by those who question what happen in the Eric garner case it makes me ill. You can question whether justice was served or not without wishing more innocent people to be murdered. It’s not either/or. Both things are tragedies.

A week without facebook

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve gone and accepted a challenge to go facebook free for an entire week! My first thought was that moving the icon and disabling notifications may not be enough. I may have to uninstall the app from my smartphone entirely.  My very next thought was that I should post status update about my progress! It took a moment to realize the folly there, I can’t do that because I can’t post to Facebook! Then I remembered that the entire point of my original assertation that I could indeed forgo my social media addiction was to open up time for other pursuits. I used to be a pretty productive person, I’ve been known to work a 40 hour week, attend school full time and raise a house full of children, all while maintaining a small farm, keeping a blog and still managing to have some semblance of a social life. What happened to that woman? The sheer ease and convenience of technology combining social media and my smartphone is what happened. It’s insidious in how gradually it takes over your life. For me, it was a nursing baby that did me in! Being tied down in a position that makes it most uncomfortable to try to type or write,  having a child who won’t let me read because she prefers to grab and throw my book, combined with the lack of quality programming on TV these days, pretty much left me my smartphone for entertainment during those long nursing sessions. Well you can only play so much Dragon City and Mafia Wars, eventually I was forced to amuse myself on social media. Don’t judge me, it beats staring at the wall! Point is, it occurred to me that reviving my poor neglected blog would be a pretty productive use of the time regained by staying off of Facebook. Which pretty much explains what I’m doing blogging at 1 a.m. I’ve been meaning for a while to get back in the habit of writing again. No time like the present! I think everyone should take a week off Facebook and keep track of how much more stuff you get done without it then you do with it. Seriously, there should be a national stay off of Facebook week! My sister bet me a German chocolate cake that I couldn’t do it! Luckily she didn’t bet me that I couldn’t stay off of technology altogether, therefore I get to blog and tweet about my progress! Maybe we can make it a hashtag. #stayoffoffacebookweek. Why not?

See the results here