I took a deliberate four month break from Facebook at the beginning of the summer just as an experiment to see if I might learn anything about my relationship to this form of media/expression.
I had planned to come back to it, so this past weekend I looked at the newsfeed.
Certainly there were warm feelings as the names, faces and a few words from real friends scrolled by. Often sympathetic joy arose as folks shared their happiness, triumphs, meals, important gigs, impossibly cute pictures of their children or partners, and/or even links to thoughtful videos.
Also noticing that the people who tended to post a lot were still posting a lot. And that there were still loads of gig announcements – which I am grateful to learn about, I’ve gone to quite a few that I have found about about this way. But I also noticed it can be a cause of regret, because life just makes it impossible to go to most of them.
So I am not sure I missed a whole lot this summer on Facebook – no way of knowing. But I would say that the break lessened its hold on me, or more honestly my attachment to it. And that the time freed up, and having one less distraction in this mostly frenetic world we live in, was welcome, noticed and well spent. Warning – if you are going to try this experiment – there is a sense of withdrawal. Of wanting to check.
I also learned on my way back in that it can catch you off guard – how the mind gets drawn in and pushed, maybe too easily, by someone’s energy. So like anything else, it has everything to do with how you are relating to it in the moment. That is really worth watching, and maybe even more interesting and transformative then anything on Facebook.