Monday, October 7, 2013

Lessons from the Sabbatical--October 7, 2013

It’s been one week since I last looked at Facebook. It doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, but for someone who uses this site to connect with friends and family in multiple states, it is something like pulling the plug on 90% of contact.

The fact that I’ve just admitted that is sad. I lived without Facebook until 2007. Before that, I would have to connect with people through email, phone calls, snail mail, and (sigh!) face-to-face. Then this social networking site encouraged me to leave random status updates and check up on what others were saying. Before long, and after multiple changes to the site, I found I could spend a great amount of time just scrolling through the news feed, being treated to political rants, recipes, pictures of children I’ve never met, and 6-second videos that do not enhance my higher order thinking in any way.
Facebook isn’t all bad, but I was checking it whenever I was bored or avoiding other tasks. I had all kinds of reasons why certain things weren’t getting done in a given day, but I could find most of my precious time taken in by this collection of other peoples’ opinions and ideas.
I haven’t resorted to the shakes nor am I curled up in the fetal position over this 2-month release from Facebook, but it is revealing a lot about me. I find that I am less edgy (maybe because I haven’t just read something offensive). I have less uneasiness (because I have no idea if some “friend” has said something that is upsetting another “friend”). I’m not up on the latest gossip (let’s face it, that’s really what Facebook is all about). And, thankfully, I’m not afflicted with writer’s block trying to come up with another clever way to say “Happy Birthday” to someone I sort of know, but not really.
But most of all, I am released from responding to every little thing that comes up. If you’ve read a few of the other posts, you know that’s something I struggle with in REAL life, let alone my digital life. Most of my true friends and family know I am taking a break, and they are very respectful of that. They know that those pictures will get looked at starting December 1, but for right now, it’s just not that urgent. What is urgent is connecting with my husband and kids and reconnecting with God, Who, if I’m honest, got the most neglect.
And when I do return to the land of social networking, it will be with priorities firmly in place and with a renewed mind. For right now, I am enjoying an uncluttered mind.

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