Some of my readers may have noticed me around the blogging world a little more often recently. That’s because I quit Facebook on Saturday April 23. I initially joined two years ago just so my kids wouldn’t have to bother to send me text photos of pictures they had posted on Facebook. But it grew and grew. You know how it goes. Someone asks to be your friend, and you think of people you ought to send a friend request to, and boom you’ve got a whole bunch of Facebook friends. There were very occasional requests that I did not accept. But I still ended up with some friends that I barely knew or had never met. I’m not the kind of person to ‘unfriend’ so I’d keep getting information from them. I connected with some high school friends, and just like when I was actually in high school, there were some people I liked and others not so much. A lot of my friends were younger, Margaret’s friends, who so very kindly welcomed me. At first it was loads of fun but then it was not fun anymore. There were too many notifications and too many items in my feed. It was too busy, too quick.
I’m a sensitive soul who takes people’s troubles (and joys) to heart. I responded with words and not just a 'like' most of the time, especially when I could tell someone needed a boost. Some conversations took place via messages. It all took a lot of my time and a lot of my emotional energy. When I listen to radio news stories, I can turn them off if they are too troubling. There was no turning Facebook news off. Tom has the gift of not paying attention to sidebars or scrolling items. I don't. I read everything and my heart ached too often.
Five weeks later I feel terrific. I’m calmer, more contented, and I just plain feel easier in my life. The people I love I’ll still be in touch with, but I really can’t take daily contact with hundreds of people. It began to feel like I lived in a noisy, bustling city instead of my quiet, rural home, or that I was at a constant party with everyone talking at once.
Facebook took up so much time and thought that I didn’t have the energy to write blog posts or to read other postings very often. And I didn’t even have Facebook on my phone! I would come to my desktop and settle in a few times a day, reading and commenting on my friends’ postings. I was always bothered by the ephemeral quality of Facebook. Here for a minute and then a different post takes the place of another. And some people post several times a day. Whew! I just couldn’t keep up, and decided I really didn’t want to. If I miss something I’ll either find out about it or I won’t. Since I've left, there has been a baby born, and a death has occurred. I didn't hear about them immediately but soon enough Margaret let me know. As I said, I feel a whole lot better, and even if all the world is on Facebook, I won’t be.
I greatly prefer the focused reading of blogs. I love the blogging world for its quiet, contemplative, thoughtful postings. I love the slowness of blogging. If I don’t have time to read one day, I can catch up the next. And I don’t have any of those alerts that tell you there are 200 blog posts waiting to be read. I have a blog list on the side of my blog, in order of most recent postings. I still am not able to visit blogs, comment, and write my own as often as in Tom's pre-retirement days and in our pre-grandchildren days, but that's okay. I do my best, and am no longer split between blogging and Facebook.
I am exceedingly happy about this choice.