You know when you think something is really good then you get some distance and see it actually wasn’t that great? That’s what happened with me and Facebook during Lent. I thought it was just this harmless thing that I’d visit every day and it wasn’t a big deal. The truth is it was becoming my life…which sounds too dramatic for what I mean. Facebook was becoming my main form of communication. It was how I reached out to people, it was becoming my only connection, during the week at least, to my friends. The thought of calling them or texting them, never occurred to me, it was just Facebook.
Once I gave up Facebook it made me reach out to people in more real ways, like by texting or (gasp!) calling them. Now that I know this I think my whole approach to the Facebook thing is going to change. I’m not giving it up completely but I’m going to try to be more aware of when it starts to overrun my communication.
I now have three general guidelines for myself when it comes to Facebook. The first is to not visit more than once a day, unless there’s something specific I need to look at. Something specific qualifies as an event invitation, a message from someone or pictures I want to look at; things like that. The next guideline is to not go on Facebook if I’m bored. If I’m bored there’s got to be something for me to do. I’m just avoiding it by thinking there’s something important happening on Facebook. The last guideline is if I’m feeling lonely and want some company, to reach out in real ways to my friends. I have plenty of friends here, many of which are stay at home moms themselves, so it would make sense to reach out to them.
Facebook does have it’s redeeming qualities and I’m glad to not have to wait until Sunday each time I want to check it, but it also has many pitfalls that can suck a person in if you’re not careful. I’m just hoping to be more careful in the future.