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Unfriending Facebook: Week 2

February 26th – March 2nd

This work week has been hard.

I went to the Urgent Care nearest my office. I had been having increasing pain and numbness in my leg and wanted to do the due diligence of seeing a professional. The prime suspect is a cyst behind my knee (oh boy!), but when I was being triaged, my blood pressure was abnormally, and frighteningly high.

I had to go get x-rays taken, but I could feel the blood pulsing¬†in my neck. The more I thought about my BP and the snippets of the conversation with the doctor that involved the word “stroke”, the more I stressed. It was a vicious cycle. Normally, I’d post a silly picture of me in the x-ray room, or a comment about needing to calm down. It was a passive aggressive way to seek comfort from my friends while trying to appear “totally calm and chill about stressful situations”. But I didn’t have it to fall back on. I had to learn to self-soothe.

The doc at Urgent Care said that after my x-rays, she wanted me to take the next three days off. (another huge stressor) I couldn’t possibly take that time off. Not that I didn’t have it available, but would the world fall down around me if I left?

I sat down with my boss, who was completely understanding and encouraging, but even then, I couldn’t allow myself off until Thursday. I decided, against the doctor’s orders and without any pressure from my boss, to only take the afternoon Monday and all day Tuesday off. I couldn’t even allow myself more than a little downtime for my own health.

Tuesday was also technically only a half-day off, as we said goodbye to someone in our community. He was an all-around great guy. His life was not always easy and we didn’t connect as much as we all would have liked, but the world has been a much darker place since then.

Attending his wake was filled with anxiety. There were quite a few reasons, not all just because an open-casket calling hours always seems like an incredibly daunting task. But even so, it was incredibly heartwarming to see so many people from the community come back to see him off onto his next adventure. There were people there I hadn’t seen in decades and it was a happy/sad/bittersweet reunion.

I still wanted to have conversations on FB about it with the folks I wasn’t able to catch up with.

But, Tuesday, I *did* get a long soak in the tub, got some reading done, and was able to do some painting.

The beginnings of three paintings I’m working on.

We had an old friend over Wednesday and we have some great face-time catching up with each other. I decided I need to do it more.

We used to host regular dinners with friends and I want to do it again. I want my home bustling with loved ones and filled with laughter and shared tears.

I need real-life community and connections. This week has proven that.

I’m still a junkie, but I’m starting to see the light .

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media · Unfriending Facebook

Unfriending Facebook: Days 7-10

2/22/18 – 2/25/18

I took a few days off the blogging.

I’ve been depressed. Not inordinately so, but enough to not want to try and write about it every day.

I’ve been thinking about what I spoke to my therapist about. While I’m becoming more and more glad that I’ve gotten the poison of “the network” out of my daily routine, I’ve been really thinking about what kinds of connections are important to me.

While it’s completely easy to type a few words and then send it out to the majority of the people I know…it’s not the kind of relationship that brings me the most joy. I love being in face to face conversations, and creating memories in real life. I’m struggling with the people that I love that aren’t local. I’m not sure how to keep in touch with people outside a quick visit distance.

I’ve had people reach out after the news of our old friend’s passing. And it’s meant way more than a “like” or an emoji.

So I’ve been painting again and it’s given me focus. Working on some projects around the house, and going out with the kids on errands. Spending more quality time with the family as I can.

But I started getting messages again last night via e-mail about some of the groups I belong to. Somehow, my account had been reactivated. So I had to go through and deactivate again.

For the third time.

Yes, a real screenshot of FB’s emotional blackmail.

It’s getting easier, but the picture being painted of a bad breakup is getting creepier and creepier.

I’m still a junkie.

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media · Unfriending Facebook

Unfriending Facebook: Day 6

2/21/18 – Wednesday

I woke up shaken from last night’s dresser debacle. My children and husband are still sleeping as I left for work.

The sky is dark, but there’s a faint pinkish-amber glow to the East. The sun is coming out. The sky is beautiful and I want to take a picture and share with my friends like I usually do whenever there is a beautiful morning. I remember that I’m not on “the network”. I could post to Instagram or Twitter but most of my friends don’t have accounts there.

I went to my therapist and we spoke about this change for me. I felt stupid for feeling like this is a big deal. But there’s a theory called creative adjustment. It has to do with the changes in behavior we make to thrive in the world. And while sometimes it’s small, like drinking a different kind of coffee because the one you like is more expensive. While sometimes, it’s shifting all of your social life so you can keep in touch with the majority of your friends all in the same place.

I’ve spent years shifting my events, calendars, photos, invitations, and motivational art as well as regular updates about my life on the network.

I’m feeling lost right now without it.

And the number of people that are consistently sending me messages on what I’m missing and when I come back I can filter things. But the problem is…I’d be filtering out everything…and then, what’s the point?

My therapist said that it resonates with his clients who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. That I’m trying to break myself of something that had become so ingrained in my social life, that others who likely have addictions will want me to come back because if I’m doing it, that it might make them reexamine their own use.

Later tonight, I found out an old friend suddenly died. There was no warning and there was no preparing.

I wanted to be in the community, to commiserate and be part of the group healing.

I felt sad and had no way to let it out.

I’m still a junkie.

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media

Unfriending Facebook: Day 5

2/20/18 – Tuesday

I woke up tired. I had a lot of weird dreams.

I didn’t try to mindlessly swipe to the Facebook App like I had been in days past.

It feels like a scab that I know better than to touch, but the itch is still there.

I miss my friends, especially the ones that spread support and love through Facebook.

I’m starting to think many of the friendships I have are false. But I’m also worried that it’s part of this culture now to only notice recent or popular posts…not exactly to really connect with people.

I missed my friend’s birthday. I have a terrible memory and “the network” was how I checked the week to make sure I hadn’t forgotten birthdays. I feel like a jerk.

I’m still obsessively looking for that post the friend asked me for a few days ago. I’m trying to fight the urge to try and reactivate just to find it. I think that’s a bad idea.

Events scheduled and rescheduled now require direct contact if I’m going to hear about it. I suspect I’m not going to be reached out to anymore. The network has now become an integral part of my social circles.

I’m going to get left behind.

There was an accident at our house and my daughter pulled down a dresser. She was completely safe and didn’t even have a scratch. But I was freaked out and wanted to reach out to my friends and just get some love and support. I would normally do this through the network. That wasn’t available to me.

I tried to think of who I would bother by reaching out personally. I suspect this will be a problem from here on out.

I feel like an archaic stereotype getting left behind as the world moves and connects without them.

I’m still a junkie.

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media

Unfriending Facebook: Day 4

2/19/18 – Monday

The morning felt sluggish. I don’t know how my friends are. I feel a huge urge to reactivate the account. I feel like emailing everyone I know, telling them I miss them…

I feel sad.

The downtime I would usually spend scrolling, catching up with people and seeing what things are making my friends happy or frustrated that day felt really rough the first Monday without Facebook.

I was, however, able to get caught up on the news, thanks to The Skim that aggregates the big news in bite sized portions without too much overload. I kept informed without too many details that would send me into a spiral of obsession and anxiety.

I got into no online arguments, mostly because I had no contact with anyone. So it’s a net push.

I thought a lot about art. Did a little sketching. Planned out some pieces I wanted to paint. I felt cagey that I couldn’t do art that very second.

Frankly, I feel cagey full stop.

A friend sent a screen shot of some drama on FB. It was like someone offering a recovering alcoholic a Jack and Coke. I started to feel upset at the discontent of the friend that posted. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to defend people. The hubs said I should not so politely ask the copy paste-r to cut it out. I feel like a child calling myself an addict to Facebook. But that hit of the old drug sent me quickly back into the feeling that I needed to jump back online and fix the problem.  Thankfully, I did not.

My mind has been adrift and out of focus and it felt like the day slipped away from me.

I got home, took care of the kids. and crashed. There was some D&D in there, though the game was short two of the four players. But all in all it was a great rp session, even if my brain felt fuzzy.

I wanted to know how my people were.

I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

I’m still a junkie.

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media

Unfriending Facebook: Day 3

2/18/18 – Sunday

I got up and downloaded a stupid game app to fill a little bit of my time while I was still waking up. I know I’m replacing one type of addiction with another, but at least cute little dragons don’t fill me with existential dread.

I decided to make homemade strawberry jam. This was completely out of character for me. It was really fun and my daughter helped. I felt really good to make something from scratch that took a long period of focused time.

I read some more. That was nice.

A friend messaged me to ask for something I posted a few days ago. I didn’t have access to it anymore and only sort of remembered what it was. I spent an hour trying to find it online. I felt guilty and upset that I let her down. I thought about reactivating to get the image…I felt guilt. Then I felt sad that she didn’t ask how I was.

I’m eating when I’m not hungry.

I feel lonely still.

I’m still a junkie.

Blogging · Inspiration · Social Media

Unfriending Facebook: Day 2

2/17/18 – Saturday

I woke up to my second morning trying to open up the app upon first waking.

The number of times I have automatically swiped to the screen on my phone where the app once sat is starting to be embarrassing.

I have I have come to realize that most Saturday mornings when my kids are watching cartoons, I’m mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I realized this as I sat where I normally do first thing on Saturday and held my phone in my hand, disappointed.

Instead, I took a few minutes and scrolled through Instagram and Twitter

I got up and made a sensory craft with my daughter. She was ecstatic.

I learned that logging into any account that I had connected to Facebook will reactivate my account. I had to go through and deactivate it again. I am not pleased.

I read a book. An actual physical book.

I made royal icing for the first time and made desserts.

I still feel sad. I feel like I’ve separated myself from my only way to communicate with most of the people in my life. I’m feeling isolated of my own volition.

I’m short tempered with my husband and my kids. I feel ashamed.

I consider getting on my husband’s account and seeing how my friends are.

I’m still a junkie.