Seriously friends, I have debated this longer than I debated which college to attend (although that’s not really saying much). It's facebook, not the world. I'm pretty sure that I won't fall off the face of the Earth if I deactivate my account…but it kind of feels like I might. It feels like I might lose something, and not know where to go to find it.
Panic rises in my chest when I think about deactivating my account because I’m afraid of losing you. I’m worried about missing the photos of your incredibly adorable kids and watching videos of your incredibly adorable puppies. I’m might miss that one article or that one video that was ‘going around facebook’. And don’t even get me started on the fact that I’m going to miss wishing you ‘happy birthday’. (Okay, who am I kidding—I’m terrible at acknowledging birthdays on facebook.) But I do like lurking in the facebook shadows of your beautiful homes and peeking in on the creative projects and gorgeous birthday cakes and amazing party favors that you create.
But, all this watching and looking and noticing makes me a little agitated and less okay with my own home and our own projects and our cakes and parties. Which is weird to me because for the majority of my life, I always took pride in being a little different. And while rationally, I know that all of our stuff is perfectly fine I don’t feel particularly fine. For me to feel fine, I need to notice things with my own eyes and think of things with my own brain and create things with my own hands. Copying yours and pasting to mine is not really working for me.
If you’re familiar with The Five Love Languages you’ve heard that five main love languages exist (Positive Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Kindness, Gift Giving, and Quality Time) and all people tend to speak one primary language. For me, I’m a “Postive Affirmation” kind of girl. I’m a “praises work better than raises” person. I’m still the little girl in kindergarten, trying so hard to earn that gold star, trying to be friends with everyone.
In a sad way, facebook gives me this. I have lots of “friends” (400+!). I can’t remember a time in real life when I had 400 friends. People “like” my posts (and sometimes they even comment when I make them witty) and sometimes people “like” my photos. This is connecting with my love language—I’m getting that positive affirmation. But then, just as quickly as I received it, it’s gone. Poof. All that’s left is a heartless computer screen staring back at me; no eyes, no thoughts, no connection. Just endless links and ads and articles that entice me and drag me around the internet like a parent tugging their toddler through the aisles of Target.
This spring, I want to let go of the hand that’s dragging me around. I want to get out. I don't want to log in. I want to take more deep breaths and read more Anne Lamott and Brené Brown and get the hell off the internet. I want to notice and think and create.
Maybe I'll notice more about my own adorable child, think more about the deep stuff. And maybe I’ll allow myself to think about the not-so-deep-stuff too, (like why the hell they can’t figure out how to make Elmer’s glue caps that actually work). Maybe I’ll create conversation and connect with my husband in the evenings, instead of pulling out our separate laptops and sinking into our own little cyber-worlds; worlds apart in the same living room.
The real life connections, those are the ones I’m looking to strengthen again. I’m looking to connect with my creative and thinking side, and also with my real-life-friends. I want to have more face-to-face connections, interactions, and conversations. I want to have a real life discussion, volleying live conversation and thoughts and feelings back and forth like a tennis ball. Giving and receiving, giving and receiving. Not just posting and ‘liking’ and posting and ‘liking’, asserting my presence via cyber world. My hope is to reconnect by disconnecting.
And when I feel better connected (maybe after three days or maybe after three months) I’ll log back in and cyber connect again. If you want to cyber-connect with me, keep peeking in on Sphanville via this blog or on Instagram, because for now, I’m saying toodle-oo to facebook.