Sunday, April 15, 2012

walk, don't run.

This weekend, my brain has been tested to it's thinking limits.  And I hate when that happens.  One side-affect though, from all this thinking, is the realization that I have no friends I can just whine to.  I mean, I detest whining and being negative, but sometimes we just need to unload our feelings, right?  We all need that one person {aside from our husband or significant other}, to turn to and unleash our ravenous thoughts.  Without that perfect listener friend, I usually rant to husband, find a way to sweat it out at the gym, or suck it up and get over it.  Today, I found myself wanting to rant on Facebook.  But then I remembered, "Oh wait, everyone you know is on Facebook."  And it's true.  And you want to know what else is true?  I've let Facebook take the place of real-life friendships.  I don't like that idea so much.

Facebook, for me, first began as a way to reconnect with old friends.  I easily became addicted to updating my statuses and posting photos of my awesome family and all the fun things we did.  Then I downloaded the app onto my iPhone, and all hell broke loose.  Ever since, I feel like I have been in a constant state of looking down at my phone, while walking, standing in line, eating, watching tv, listening to my children, doing laundry, parked in a lot, insert anyplace here.  Whenever there is a moment of nothing, I am on my phone.  And what this process has seemingly done, is 1) make me socially awkward around real people to the point of sometimes avoiding them and 2) make me realize that I miss having real friends in my life.  Facebook has become more of a giant, living-breathing phonebook than a group of people who really care about one another.  Facebook is used to promote how perfect your life is, and nobody likes reading whiny statuses.  I have "friends" on Facebook who I absolutely have no interest in, yet they get to know all about my life.  Weird.  I even allowed myself to believe that if I allowed my kids on Facebook and became their friends, it would strengthen our communication.  Weirder.

What I decided in all this unsolicited reflection, is not to go all off the deep-end, but to simply remove the Facebook app from my phone.  I'm not going to go deleting "friends" and am not quite ready to obliterate my account, but I am going to slow way down.  I'm going to walk, stand in line, eat, watch tv, listen to my children, do laundry, park my car, and insert any activity here without looking down at my phone.  I'm going to actually look up and see the people, the buildings, the trees, the world.  And I'm going to smile at the people who are walking while looking at their phones and make eye contact with those who aren't.  Like when I was in church during prayer time, silently looking up and smiling at the other sneaky kids who didn't have their eyes closed.  :)

I'm sure there are plenty of positives when it comes to Facebook, but I kinda feel like I need to broaden my connections in this world.  Plus, according to the younger crowds out there, Facebook is becoming "uncool."  I wonder what the cool kids are going to do next?

Are you addicted to Facebook?

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