Thursday, April 19, 2012

21st Century Hermitage

Today is day three of my self-imposed FB detachment, and I'm only freaking out a little bit.

I don't like feeling out of control. I've dealt with addictions in the past, and I know exactly how they feel, and FB is, quite frankly, starting to feel like one.

It started out so innocently, too. See, I don't have a lot of friends that I hang out with in person. There are lots of reasons I don't. They live too far away, I have two jobs, plus I'm training to be a yoga teacher, plus I have a 10 year old daughter who is, shall we say, somewhat high-maintenance. Time is definitely at a premium for me. It sucks, it really does. I love my friends, and I'd like to see more of them. Also, my family lives in Alaska, so FB keeps me in contact with everyone. Family, friends, people who are sort of friends but not really. Asshole family members who are straight-up nuts. For better or for worse, I'm constantly exposed to them on FB.

One of the reasons I'm stepping back is because I'm just...tired of it. I'm tired of not only constantly feeling the need to post minutiae, but I'm tired of seeing minutiae posted. I'm tired of how FB makes cowardly jerk-offs with too much time on their hands bold enough to say things they'd never be brave enough say in person. And I'm scared of becoming one of those jerk-offs.

I'm tired of not having privacy anymore. I am actually kind of a private person. Sure, I have a blog and have made status updates on FB that were somewhat personal, but you really have no idea what's going on in my life at all. Only Michael and Madeline do. And I felt myself slipping ever closer to just throwing the dirty laundry out into the yard to see what people have to say about it. Like I was priming for a fight. "Oh, you don't like that I do so-n-so and think so-n-so? Let's argue about it." Nope. Nuh uh. Nothin' doin'. That is DEFINITELY not who I am.

FB is turning me into something I'm not. Just like a proper addiction should.

So I'm taking a break. Not forever. Just long enough to take a hard look at how being disconnected feels. A 21st century hermitage, if you will. People can still reach me the old fashioned way, you know, through email, texting, and (gasp!) calling, but I was allowing FB to force me into looking at my life in little, fragmented pieces, when in reality, my life is not fragmented pieces. It's a whole thing, this life of mine, and I'm losing sight of the big picture. Maybe instead of taking the time to whip out my camera, take a picture of dinner, upload it, and obsessively check for comments, I should be talking to the people who matter the most to me, and finding ways to gracefully (or not) jettison people who suck the life out of me and bring me down.

It's uncomfortable, this kind of detachment. Especially today. I accidentally left my phone at home, so I can't even text with Michael every three minutes like I usually do to get me through my day. So I'm extra uncomfortable. We hate being uncomfortable, don't we? We try hard to avoid it, do everything in our power to make sure we live our lives in the utmost comfort at all times. One of the yogic lessons I'm currently ( and painfully) learning is not to be afraid of discomfort. It's going to come, no matter how much we pad our lives with big fluffy downy pillows. The best thing you can do to prepare is to KNOW that you can withstand a little discomfort, that you can dig way deep down inside of yourself and find comfort in some way. Maybe it's just breathing and in and out. Maybe it's going to your Happy Place. Maybe it's prayer. Maybe it's meditation. Maybe it's focusing on an image in your mind that brings you solace, like your child's face or a unicorn farting out a rainbow. Whatever. If you can do this, you are equipped.

So, in a sense, one could say that I'm looking for ways to make myself uncomfortable. Don't worry; I'm not going to do intentional, physical harm to myself. I'm just stepping outside my comfort zone more often than usual. And FB was getting a little too cozy for me.

Besides, it made me update my blog. How lucky you are! Maybe I'll see you here tomorrow? Want me to post pictures of lunch, just to normalize everything? Too late; I already ate it. My third FB-free lunch this week. It was isolicious.