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I broke up with Facebook

And lived to tell about it.

So far, anyway.

I’ve been meaning to do it for quite some time, and something always held me back.

It’s not Lent. I live in a foreign country. My friend/sister/cousin doesn’t have Verizon and texting isn’t free. I need it for work. I need to be active in building a culture of life on the internet. 

Et cetera et cetera.

But really, the truth is, I love Facebook. I love it way, way too much. I’ll check it upwards of 30 times a day, if nobody is watching. And sadly, even if somebody (or two little somebodies) are watching. And let’s be honest: they’re always watching.

This piece convicted me when I first read it, maybe 6 weeks ago, but I was biding my time and rationalized that I still ‘needed FB’ until I moved back to the US where I could more easily connect with far-flung friends and family.

Well, that time has come. I feel at once free and a little sad to let go of something that I’ve been using daily for the past decade…and then I stop and think, my God, have mercy, what could I have been doing with all those wasted hours over the last 10 years?

Learning a real skill, like baking or sewing. Tutoring someone in English or theology. Reading to my kids. Running another mile. Cooking dinner for a friend who needs a night off. Cooking dinner for my own family. Calling my grandma. Coloring with my 2-year-old. Writing an article. Writing a book. Calling my dad just to ask him how his day is going. Going for a walk with my neighbor. Spending 20 minutes in Adoration. Praying a rosary. Building a lego tower. Doing 50 crunches. Drinking a glass of wine with my husband. Calling my college roommate. Buying my former co-worker a baby gift online. Finishing a freelance editing project. Watching my boys play together. Going for a hike. Visiting a tourist attraction. Praying for our country. Volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity. Watching an episode of House Hunters. Praying in front of a Planned Parenthood.

And the list goes on.

So I’m done. And I’ve no regrets over the lost connections or opportunities. The internet is a big place. And there are far better ways I can spend my virtual time than by scrolling down the endless newsfeed of distraction for ‘just five more minutes.’

Here’s to being more present, more productive, and more intentional with the hours we’ve been given.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Downton Abbey to attend to.

12 Comments

  • Sarah

    I am generally not a cursing person, but if I were you’d be hearing it now. I have been thinking ALL SUMMER about closing my facebook. I have acknowledged the need and thought about it for the past two months and have not pulled the trigger. Why? Because I’m a wimp, I lack the discipline, and I just don’t wanna.

    I hadn’t read that article – thanks a while bunch, now I have the written proof of all the reasons why I need to because it is doing no good in my life….but oh my oh my I do love a time waster!

    ugh…Lord give me strength:) (#firstworldproblem #ridiculousme)

  • Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    This has been so heavy on my heart lately! I had my husband change my password and it’s helped tremendously. But now it’s annoying to log in only once a day and have way too much crap to wade through because I haven’t been “keeping up”. I’m on the verge, a few tiny things keeping me in.

  • Rosie

    I went without facebook for so long and then caved in and joined and it is addicting. But all of your points are so good, lots of better things I could be doing. Thanks for these ideas!

  • Holly

    I have thought about it before too! But, lately I have been reading far to many dystopic novels from the young adult section to allow me to spend much time on facebook. It’s always something…

  • makingthetrek

    I just tweeted that today: I’m quitting. I am. Probably tomorrow. Maybe tonight. But it’s over. It aggravates and frustrates me and the kicker is…I let it!!! thanks for the extra affirmation!

  • Laura Pearl

    I keep trying to break up with Facebook, too (during Lent, for instance). But I keep convincing myself that I need it in my life because of my far-flung children and other family members, along with a whole slew of other reasons that were mentioned by you here and in the article you linked to this post. I know I waste an inordinate amount of time scrolling down my news feed, time that could be so much better spent. And one of these days, I’m going to do it–I’m going to tell Facebook, “It’s not you, it’s me” (a la George Costanza) and break up for good.

    In the meantime, congratulations! You (and others like you–my oldest son and his wife, to name a few) are my hero!

  • Kallah Oakes

    I deleted FB when I caught myself talking to a mom who never had a Facebook (she was just a year too old for when it hit colleges), and I found myself feeling ENVIOUS. It was like the idea of a life without the daily annoyance of so much noise of people saying nothing important or helpful, and having to keep up to be polite, or having to discipline yourself NOT to stalk people who you hate that you love their perfect-looking life… The idea of life with none of that just seemed so appealing and needed.

    I haven’t missed it at all – when I see my husbands account, I feel such repulsion after 6 months without it! The thing that did surprise me was how many people seemed genuinely offended that I got off it. I was like, I am pretty sure you can find a way to keep in touch with me anyways ;). And having a blog really nixes the need to have Facebook for keeping family up to date.

    Like you said – the Internet is huge even without Facebook. When Facebook becomes too white-noisey, it’s really empowering to realize you have the freedom to cut it off.

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