Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Well today is the third day with no Facebook. I still feel the urge to share certain things with my online “friends”. I have felt, a lot at times, I should post this. I take some funny/cute pictures with friends and all that and think, I want to share this. In the past, when I had Facebook, I would have shared those things out of habit. Then, I would normally check back in later and read through a few dozen comments that people left. Doing that normally, which I can't now, there would be a little bit more emotional reward in having that sense of connection. Without the option to impulse-share, like I would love to, during this thirty-day immersion, I allow those feelings to come and go without acting on them. I have recently noticed that there is a consequence to sharing in real-time. I wasn’t being very present in the moment. While things are happening around me, today especially, I am off thinking about my online posse, and what I might wish to share with them. When I stop acting on the desire to impulse-share, I become more present to what I was doing in the moment. Instead of being distracted by thoughts of connecting with people at a distance, I do a lot better job of connecting with the people right in front of me. I feel more immersed in my experiences. It was definitely a subtle change at first, but it feels good now that I'm three days in to it. During these past two and a half days, I often feel obligated to share frequent updates with my online “friends”, some of whom I’d never met in person. If I didn’t post an update for a while, some would complain. If I shared something cool, people would thank me for it. Now that I’ve been rolling back and not posting, I can see what a dead end it’s been. I allowed social media to lead me to behave a certain way, but it’s not a conscious choice I would have made otherwise. So it’s nice to regain conscious control over this part of my life. Even after 30 days, the desire to impulse-share I fell will still be there, but it will grow fainter, replaced by a growing desire to “be here now,” fully present in what’s going on in front of me. I still like sharing, but it’s better to do so thoughtfully instead of impulsively, over social networking.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Even though it has only been a day since I dropped Facebook, I noticed that the communication volume in my life has dropped significantly. Even though I say that the communication volume in my life has significantly dropped, I have felt no drop in the level of significant and meaningful communication. What I have seemed to lose is mostly a lot of noise. Generally speaking, communicating via Facebook is a shallow experience. When I had Facebook I would read streams of brief messages from a variety of people, but the messages didn’t contain much depth. Most are trivial and sometimes pointless even. Some are even clever or witty. Very little of the information that I used to digest on Facebook is memorable and life changing. I mean, using Facebook can still give people a feeling of connectedness, but the long-term benefits are negligible. Facebook essentially gave me the emotional sense that I was doing something worthwhile (connecting with people), but when I step back and look at my actions and results from a more objective perspective, it becomes clear that I was really just spinning my wheels. So basically what I am saying now, since I have dropped Facebook, I let go of a lot of trivial communication, but I don’t feel that anything truly valuable has been lost.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Hey guys! Today is the start of my thirty-day trial of not having Facebook, so I wanted to share an update on what that’s been like so far. I went home on Saturday to go spring break shopping, and I told my mom about what I'm doing for class. After I told her, she let me know that she is going to try this whole not having her Facebook with me. Now that my mom and I have done it, my grandma and brother are on the fence as to whether they should do the same. As the days go one, I will post a realization, each day that I post, I’ve had as a result of leaving Facebook, for now, after over two years as an active user. I’m sure some of these realizations can be generalized to social networking as a whole, but I’m going to focus mainly on my personal experience with not having my Facebook for these thirty days. I can’t guarantee you’ll find much overlap between my realizations and your experiences, but I’m sure some of you guys will see similar patterns. Hope your start of your immersion project is going well! Blog at you next time.
-Mel : )
-Mel : )