40 Days 40 Nights without Facebook

Computer with lock and chainChocolate. Alcohol. Cheese. Cursing. Typical things that one would give up for Lent. I’ve tried to all of them for the full forty (read: forty-six when including Sundays) for Lent. In the Christian faith, Lent is to remind us of the temptation that Jesus endured in the desert from Satan. Lent is a time for us to give up one of our vices. I’m not religious. I go to church on the “important” holidays but this year I really wanted to give Lent a valiant effort. For the first time ever, I can truthfully say I survived Lent without cheating. I gave up Facebook. When people heard I was giving up Facebook there were a lot of questions: Why not Twitter? What do you miss most? Obstacles? Will you go back? etc. I can tell you this, life was better without Facebook.

Facebook Vs. Twitter. When I posted an update that I wouldn’t be around for forty days, friends insisted I give up Twitter instead. Of course these friends aren’t on Twitter. It’s easy folks. Facebook, IMO, ruins lives. The amount of drama that runs rampant through the walls (pun intended) of Facebook is ridiculous. I don’t need to see who’s marriage is now “complicated” or go through every photo of my current crush (you know you’ve done it). What about keeping in touch? The people who I want to keep in touch with know other means of doing so. My response forty days ago to my friends was: “FB is simply for creeping out people’s photos you haven’t seen in god knows how long. Twitter is for actually communicating with others. :)”

Think about it. I realized I called people less because I didn’t need to ask them what was new in their lives. Facebook can tell me. However Twitter, on a daily basis, offers its community something that will benefit them. We read at least a dozen articles a day about our industry, news, or even something to make us laugh simply because our friend retweeted a link. Twitter allows our professional networks to grow ten fold. We’ve traveled the country to meet friends we never would have known if not for Twitter. In my opinion Twitter wins every time. Team Twitter.

Obstacles in a life without Facebook.Events, birthdays, and TJ occasionally saying, “Christina you gotta check this out on FB, oh wait ya can’t.” Events were most difficult. Just last week I had the opportunity to meet some great Twitter peeps for happy hour. Cog tweeted a link for the event but it was of course on Facebook. I joked, calling him my little Satan, but politely asked him to send me the details. Friends ran into this problem too. Reunions, birthday parties, brunch etc. It became harder to keep in touch. My closest friends would send me e-mails with subject lines: Info for non-Facebook friendly friend. I’m sure I missed out on some parties and events because of my lack of presence on FB but it didn’t bother me.

My closest friends knew how to get in touch with me to make sure I was kept in the loop. Also less people knew what I was up to so I could pick and choose where I wanted to go. The thing I missed most about Facebook were birthday reminders. I am the worst when it comes to birthdays. If I missed your birthday please forgive me. I’m scared to go back and see who I missed. Blame it on Jesus 😉 (just kidding). Honestly, after the first two weeks of giving up Facebook the obstacles seemed less difficult.

Life after Lent with Facebook.I’m writing this post the morning of Easter Sunday and I’ve already got the Facebook tab open. I’ve been on it for all of ten minutes. Uploaded a new profile picture and thats about it. I feel confused, lost, and not very excited. Reflecting on a life without Facebook reminds me of how connected our society is and our lack of face to face communication. Sure it makes it easier to see what my cousins are up to in Florida but what about my cousin that lives around the block from me? Shouldn’t I just call her and ask her to lunch to see what she’s up to?

Instead I’ll creepily stalk her ski trip photos and assume she’s having a great time on her spring break. I noticed that stalking/creeping isn’t as fun either. What’s the point of it anyway? I don’t plan on being on FB much. Perhaps to share my PRBC blog posts, talk about upcoming events, and share the once a week happy birthday wish. However I do plan on doing some spring cleaning. If I haven’t talked to you in over x months, hasta la vista baby. There’s really no point to us being FB friends.

It was nice to disconnect from the world a bit. Do you think we’re too connected? Do we have an obsession we can’t shake?

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