I recently (okay, like ten minutes back from when I started typing this) decided to deactivate my Facebook account.  In this post I’ll try to explain why.  Much of this will be me thinking it through for myself.  It is sure to be tangential and nonsensical at times, but hopefully will be insightful if nothing else.

I’ve already forgotten what little thing must have set me off tonight, but event #2 in the sequence was that I began to wonder if people complained as much B.F. as they we tend to do now.  It’s become nothing short of a reflex for us to entertain a negative (or simply BORING) thought and post it online for the world to see and – pleaseohpleaseohplease – “like.” Facebook, coupled with our own flawed humanity, has played a “how to boil a frog” trick on us.  Surely you’ve heard that if you drop a frog into boiling water, he’ll jump straight out – but if you drop him into a tolerable temperature and keep increasing it slowly, slowly, slowly – he’ll be dead, dead, dead.  Similarly, I feel like we have gone further and further with the importance (rather, lack thereof) of what we post until one day I’m scrolling through my news feed and thinking, “Who cares?” about the vast majority of the things I’m seeing.  If Facebook had advertised itself as “a place to complain about your life, passive-aggressively show that one person how angry you are with them, and post hateful, smart-alec pictures depicting the stupidity of people who disagree with you,” I shudder to think who would have signed up.

Yet I’m ADDICTED to it.  I was sitting on the couch tonight thinking about the fact that I was still in my scrubs, there was laundry in the dryer waiting to be folded, I needed to put our ice cream bowls into the dishwasher, and I had planned to work out – but all I could do was refresh, refresh, refresh my news feed.  Surely SOMEONE had SOMETHING to say within the past five seconds – something more important than tending to my home and taking care of my body.

When did this happen to me????

Another thing is that I fully admit that for the past few years – probably at least the entirety of my marriage, sadly – I’ve approached events in my life with an “I can’t wait to post this on Facebook” frame of mind.  Cataloging the events of a particularly bad or good day…taking photos on vacation…observing funny or otherwise interesting situations…I viewed it ALL through Facebook-colored glasses.  My intentions were all right enough: I thought, “I’m assembling a virtual scrapbook of sorts.  Any time I want, I can scroll back through this and remember this experience.”  The reality is that A) I never, ever do that and B) lately I have felt like my life is flying before my eyes without me being truly present for it.  Instead of “backing up” life on Facebook, I’ve made the huge mistake of dumping it all there INSTEAD of just being in the moment, sans the crutch of technology.  If for NO other reason, my life on Facebook has got to stop at that.

(Aside: now that I think deeper about it, I’m remembering that I signed up for Facebook during my sophomore year of college – therefore, it can be fairly said that I’ve spent my entire ADULT LIFE thus far sporting Facebook glasses.  I am sickened.  So what about these 12-year-olds who have Facebook accounts?)

When I told Ryan of my then-tentative plan to leave Facebook, he said, “I’ll miss you.”  Now, I am not at all saying this to make fun of my husband, because he clarified that he’d miss seeing the quirky little things I post throughout the day – but how sad is that?  Ryan and I are husband and wife.  We live together.  We eat together.  We sleep together.  And he’ll miss me?

So, for now, that is that.  Please know that these convictions are mine and in no way am I trying to press them onto anyone else.  High-five to all the people who are able to be on Facebook and not allow it to affect them the way it has affected this sensitive soul.  As for me, I need to go frolic through a field or something.

brittany m - August 3, 2012 - 1:15 pm

sarah, thanks for sharing. i feel the same way. i live with
my husband and kids and am finding myself more focused
on other peoples status than nuturing my childrens
dreams and life. you have inspired me to do the same
thanks for doing that.


Sergio Alain - August 3, 2012 - 2:45 pm

I totally agree with you in every sentence you just wrote, I cant believe where we are now in this Facebook World, 100% dependent from it, how people dare blaming video games on kids, when every single parent is waisting same amount of time refreshing the news feed on FB.

karen Johnson - August 3, 2012 - 2:56 pm

I love your adventures.

Mignon - August 3, 2012 - 3:20 pm

Very well said, and I completely understand. Gets a little sad when we get so internet connected that we feel real world disconnected. I think to myself I just need more self discipline. (and a life, LOL) Perhaps when it cools here, the camera and I will get out more often and I’ll work on that pro photog dream.
Enjoy life and keep writing, because you do make me smile.

Ashley - August 3, 2012 - 3:22 pm

Preach on, sister friend. A few weeks ago, I found myself at the exact same perspective. I was so very tired of reading people’s complaints, gloats, etc. And I even got my feelings hurt by people’s meaningless digital actions. So while I didn’t deactivate, I did stop posting & cleared most of information. Its been interesting to listen to reactions from family & friends – who think I’m trying to go into hiding…when in reality, I’m coming out of a cloud of Facebook! Here’s to you 😀

Phil - August 3, 2012 - 3:26 pm

Blogging is cooler anyways! :) And seriously, we were all fine without facebook years just a few years ago! :) I barely get on facebook but to check messages and my tweets forward there anyways! ha Sometimes a text feels so much better than a wall comment you know? I support ya friend!

Gabriel Hudelson - August 3, 2012 - 6:10 pm

Happy frolicking. Thanks for sharing- good thoughts.

Karen Johnson - August 6, 2012 - 6:55 pm

Love your exciting life. I wouldn’t have known you with out FB.

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