Friday, August 19, 2011

I Quit.

You have one, I have one, my grandmas even have one.

When I was pregnant with Norah I gave serious thought to "Why do I have a facebook?"

  • To waste time in between class/work/sleep and play games with my friends.

Not to keep in touch with family. Not stalk anyone I went to high school with. Just to play and waste time.

During the time I got married [and then pregnant]

  • To keep up with friends from college.
  • To keep up with friends from high school.
  • To get advice from other pregnant/married friends that I actually knew. [not random strangers on forums]
  • To keep up with family.

Now that I have two babies running around the house, all of the reasons above are still the only reasons I have a Facebook account. BUT. This is what it looks like.

  • I talk about myself all day. How awesome I am, how much I suck, whatever I think will get the most comments at the time. I even mention how much other people suck, and every now and then how awesome they are. Once in a Blue Moon I talk about how awesome God is.
  • I have become a horrible listener. At the beginning of my marriage Eamon said I was such a good listener, and for someone like him, that was a God send. Now I feel like I only listen to "comment." I listen to add my thoughts, give my two cents. I spend my time thinking while I'm listening to what I'm going to say instead of giving my full attention.
  • I keep people on my page for appearances. I don't really care about what they have to say, their kids, what books their reading, or how rad they look in their new jeans. I don't want them to be mad at me for not adding them, so I just hide them. [And what the hell is up with that?! So what if someone doesn't add you! I guess because the culture has made it to where you add anyone and everyone, that if you don't add someone, OR WORSE, delete them, that means you hate them! It's absurd!]
  • Which, for me, leads to stalking. Say I add someone, but I don't want to make them mad, so I hide them. But every now and then I want to see what nonsense they have going on in their lives. I even joked with a girlfriend "I just keep her on there so I can go and look at the stupid shit she says sometimes." Wow. I'm not that person, but I've become that person.
  • I'm a very passionate, opinionated person. That and 420 characters don't always result in a pretty outcome. For instance, I recently said how I'm sick of the back handed comment "you're so brave for having a homebirth" because it doesn't encourage the mom in anyway. I've actually talked about it here before. But somehow, it got turned into a huge "Home-birth V Hospital birth V planned C-Section" debate. NOT what I wanted. How dumb am I to think that a what I say can be interpreted properly on the internet [including my blog] but especially through a filter that is the "type what you want when you feel it" of the Facebook status?
  • I judge people. All day long. I have less than 200 friends on facebook. On purpose. So [nearly] everyone I know on there I have met in real life. These are not just strangers! I think things like "Or you could put a shirt on for your profile picture that all of my friends see when you're on my page" and "If she went with doctor so and so, she wouldn't be having that induction" and "Good Lord, she's gained a LOT of weight since high school" and the list goes on.
  • I ignore my kids. True story, my kids, my household, shoot, MY BUSINESS all get put on hold when I'm keeping up with the latest vaccine debate, plot summation of the office, or waiting to see what someone said in response to my utterly hilarious comment. As a matter of fact, while I was watching the video below, deciding on what I was going to say when I posted it on facebook, Norah pooped on the floor, I covered it up with a cloth diaper, and cleaned it up when I was done watching it.
  • I scope out my photography competition. It's too easy. Let's be real, NO. ONE. was offering full sessions for mothers and their nursing babies as part of their business, certainly not in the DFW area. Then all of a sudden BAM. It's everyone's brand new, oh so creative idea. Suddenly other photogs in the area were getting props for ripping me off. Shoot, I've even seen photographers out there shoot my EXACT pictures...just, out of the blue?! But instead of being mature about it, I go to their page, I get fired up because of so many people talking about how gorgeous their picture is and how creative and original they are. It festers in my head like cancer, growing.

Now facebook doesn't DO any of these things to me, it doesn't make me this way or force me to do anything, but it does bring these things out in me like nothing else.
So it comes to this: I quit.
If someone gets pregnant or has a baby or needs prayer for their surgery, and really wants me to know, I'll find out. If God's doing something gut wrenchingly beautiful in my life, I'll let you know here. If Lily teaches Norah to ride Rusty with assless chaps, I'll take a picture and post it here. But it's going to take some discipline. Here are my ground rules:
I am keeping my business account because, let's face it, most of my clients love to share their pictures on their facebook pages!! : D So, Only get on to upload pictures for my clients, I can update the status there and reply to any comments up to 3 times a week.
I don't get a twitter feed on my phone, so taking the time to tweet through a text is still fine for now, but if it becomes obsessive, that gets the ax too.
Only update my blog up to 3X a week.
Only check my email in the morning and the evening.

What I can already predict is going to happen is that my friends who I love will see this and think that I'm judging them for keeping their accounts, think I'm pretintious, or just taking it too far. I will loose contact with some people, and my business may not grow as quickly.
I'm hoping that maybe I can encourage at least a few people to re-evaluate why they have a facebook. If it's working, then it's working, no need to defend yourself! If any of the above mentioned "side-effects" sound familiar above, maybe you should rethink how you're going about things :]



rachel.lyn said...

i commend you for this. i was thinking the other day how it has become practically impossible for me to just sit still. i was thinking this as i was at a red light and i couldn't sit there for two seconds before i picked up my phone and checked my dumb fb. WHAT THE HECK. it's like i always have to have something to look at or something, you know? that's one of the reasons why an iphone can be bad news :/ i probably need a break myself.

love that video.

Anonymous said...

That was an interesting video. I can completely relate to a lot of your points- I don't delete people, just hide them. I guess I like my little glimpses into people's lives.
However, fb helps me stay connected and know what's happening my cousins' lives, they live on the other side of the world. We were never very close, having not grown up together, but fb helps us to know more about each other than we would otherwise learn in the short visits we get every few years.
You're a stronger person than me, I don't think I would be able to give up fb (so I probably need to. It's a bad addiction). As it is, I only allow myself to get online if T is asleep or otherwise occupied with Brian.
Good luck Mae!

Lynsey said...

A couple of long rambly things...
*When you deactivate your account you will have to make someone else an admin of your photo page and that person will need to be "friends" with your clients otherwise you won't be able to tag them. I deactivated for several months ago and ran in to this issue. I had to constantly reactivate to tag and it was kind of a pain. When you reactivate it is really easy to get sucked back in to all of the FB nonsense, so best to keep that to a minimum.
*Tell people over and over that you are going to deactivate before you do it otherwise you are going to have people mad at you thinking that you defriended them. Yes, I know it is stupid, but it happened to me.
*If you decide for whatever reason to stay on FB you can go through and hide *everyone* ~ not just the people you didn't really want to be friends with in the 1st place. No one really knows this about my account except my best friends, but I have everyone hidden, so all I see are the *pages* I am a "fan" of. I don't have time for anything more... After awhile you will forget about the annoying people, the photographers and whoever else is bothering you. Out of sight out of mind.
*I bet a lot of people feel the same as you. Honestly, I couldn't care less if/when people delete me from their friends list because I only actually talk to 6 people in real life anyways. Now if those girls delete me, I'm going to be mad! haha. I don't delete people either though because I don't want to seem rude, or hurt someones feelings or cause drama, but that is totally stupid. Why should I have to have people on my page that I don't know, that I am never going to have a real relationship with and that I don't even trust? *Facebook is just an all around bad idea! Someone made the comment to me today that I only surround myself with people that tell me what I want to hear and I felt that was really scary. Based on my FB status updates, this person thought she knew me, who my friends are and what kind of person I am. I am making a choice to be a usually very positive person on FB but that is just because I dont want to be another one who just uses it as an outlet to bitch and moan, it doesn't mean that I have a perfect life! Also, the people I surround myself with in real life don't even pay any attention to me on FB because we can just talk on the phone instead. I really feel it is bad bad bad to make assumptions based on someones profile page and to put yourself in a position to where that can happen to you. Im thinking about deactivating again because of this.

Anyways, just wanted to tell you that you aren't the only one having problems with FB and I think deactivating is a really great idea.

Btw, I read this awesome book recently. It's called Half the Sky. :-)


Mae Burke said...

Thank you for that Lyns!
I actually do already have a seperate account, with no friends on it that I can moderate from, and I let my clients to the tagging as they wish, I'm ok with that, I know some photogs aren't.
You crack me up, I DO need to read that one ;]

Chelsea said...

Just as long as we can skype and chat on the phone, i'm fine with you not being on fb. i should limit my time on it as well!!! I just dont want to lose contact..... that's all.

that video certainly is convicting.