So here I am three weeks later and I still haven't logged on, not looked at my newsfeed, not checked in on my friends' activities, and I'm still not quite ready to log back on.
I've posted a few things I could post without actually logging on, so I haven't been completely disengaged; however, I haven't wasted time scrolling through a bunch of posts filled with half-truths and biased half-informed, or worse uninformed, opinions. I haven't been disappointed by learning someone I once respected is more interested in spreading hate and vitriol against some "other" they don't even really know than in seeking understanding and connection.
Sadly, during my time on Facebook, I've learned more about some people than I ever wanted to know. Yet, now that I've seen it, at least I know.
I was really excited when I first started using Facebook and finding person after person I thought I'd never see again. Life had taken us in different directions and, as often happens, communication withered over time. Some of those reunions have enhanced my life. Others haven't. Some have allowed for a sense of closure. Others have felt like new beginnings.
Facebook has given me an opportunity to promote my work and reach a wider audience. It's connected me with poets and authors from around the world who inspire and encourage me. It's allowed me to engage with readers of my work.
I've also joined some groups that have offered professional contacts and ways to connect over common interests. Some of these groups have helped me stay accountable to my goals. I enjoy these groups and the interaction with the members of these groups. I've been more active in some than in others. In fact, a couple of these groups have, at times, been the only reason I logged on in a day.
So my relationship with Facebook, like many other people's, is complicated. I ask myself often if it's worth the heartache and the disappointment to remain engaged. Most of the time I decide it is, but these last few weeks have really tested my mixed feelings toward Facebook.
I've been so much more productive without the pull of Facebook. I've written more. I've updated my records better. I've felt more focused. I've taken better care of myself. I've been more engaged with the moment I'm experiencing, even something as simple as taking Kit for a walk on her leash.
As my hiatus extends, I wonder how this friend or that friend is doing. I think about how there are people I will lose contact with if I leave Facebook permanently. I know there are people with whom the only relationship I will ever have is Facebook, and for some of those relationships that's enough. So I hesitate when I think about leaving Facebook.
Yet, I know how easy it is to get pulled into Facebook, mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeed looking at the same thing I saw a few minutes before, or something similar, hoping for something different. Feeling the disappointment as this person or that person pontificates about something leaving out crucial facts because they don't fit the narrative they want...
And then... there's the whole data collection and sharing thing that's been dominating the news, but that's a whole different topic.
I'm tired of this feeling of being connected and disconnected all at the same time.
So, while I'm enjoying this break from Facebook, I know I'll be back on there some time very soon... I plan to change the way I participate though, at least to some degree.