Things I am (NOT) Tired of Seeing on Facebook

Have you guys seen those lists floating around listing all the things someone you don’t know is tired of seeing you post on facebook? Things like food photos, selfies, pictures of your kids, updates on your love life, commentary about the weather, cute animal videos, and on and on and on?

Listen, I don’t know who this person is, but let’s just give them the benefit of the doubt that they had a bad day, send them an oatmeal-raisin cookie (great for constipation!), and pack them off to bed.

I don’t like these lists because there’s always a thing or two on them that I feel guilty about. And because I can be an anxious person, I end up worrying that I am making my friends hate me because I post stupid stuff. But then, after a day or two, I come back and start scrolling through my feed, and I realize that my friends are all posting pictures of food, selfies, pictures of kids, updates on their love lives, commentary about the weather (sometimes with cool pictures!), cute animal videos, political commentary, and so forth. And I love seeing it!

I love seeing what my friends eat because it gives me new ideas when I’m stuck in a dinner rut.

I love all of the selfies because I love seeing the new haircuts, the new lipsticks and eyeliners, the cool hats, and the smiles of people who feel good about themselves. As long as they are being safe. Practice safe selfie-ing y’all! Although, is there some kind of trick to getting decent looking selfies? Mine always look really weird. Can somebody clue me in? Because apparently I’m too old to be able to do this well.

I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kids, even when it makes me realized that my friend’s newborn baby is going into kindergarten and I’m officially an Oldie McOldperson.

I love hearing about my friends’ love lives. I love celebrating with them when they’ve found the one, and I’m grateful for the chance to offer hugs and sympathy when things don’t work out.

I love weather posts because I have friends from all over the world, and it’s kind of crazy to see folks chillaxin’ (shush, that’s totally a word) on beaches when I’m in wool socks and long underwear. And the snow photos and storm photos are, let’s face it, just plain cool!

Do I actually need to tell you why I love cute animal videos?

I love seeing my friends happy. And when they’re not, I appreciate the opportunity to hug them and send them love. Post what makes you happy, and don’t listen to cranky people who want to pretend to be the facebook police.

And on that note, here’s an adorable picture of our dog playing in the sprinkler.

Love this post? Don’t want to miss a thing? Click here to get Two Little Grasshoppers right in your inbox!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Facebook Return

It’s been the entire month of June since I’ve been on Facebook. The break has been good in some ways and not so good in other ways.

Being away from Facebook has given me much more time to dive into some of my real passions and hobbies. I’ve been having more fun cooking, which has been both beneficial and not so beneficial if my last post on bread failures has an indication.

I’ve enjoyed more focused time with my kiddos, which is irreplaceable. Having Facebook looming in the background had been a distraction for some time and it has been good to be rid of it.

Being off Facebook has been difficult in some ways, though. I’ve found myself more isolated from my real life friends. Much of our social planning took place on Facebook, and I found it difficult to connect and plan outings and playdates.

With all of that, I will be going back to Facebook, albeit in a more limited way. I briefly loaded the app on my iPad and removed myself from most of the groups I had found my way into. I trimmed my group list down from almost 40 to around 5.

I left groups that I didn’t post in frequently and groups that tended to invite drama. While I dislike drama, I found myself drawn to watch dramatic activities take place, and I certainly don’t need to waste time and energy on that.

I’ve been working on trimming my friend list pretty heavily. That I am finding quite difficult. It feels almost mean to remove someone from my friend list. I find myself worrying that their feelings will be hurt. But the people I am removing are those that I just don’t interact with at all. Or people that I can’t quite remember where I know them from. Or people that tend to bring drama. Still it feels mean. I don’t like doing it. But I feel it’s important to do.

I’m not sure when I will be really back from Facebook. The only thing I’ve done so far was to comment in my World of Warcraft guild group. For whatever reason, I’m not eager to start posting status updates. Reentry into Facebook will be an interesting experience, and I hope I can maintain some of the distance I have created for myself.

Time will tell.

Detoxing from Facebook, Day 6

I’ve noticed when people in the past have left Facebook or taken time off, and it’s always left me with a strange feeling.  With the exception of my HG friend, I’ve noticed that the leaving of facebook often goes along with statements about superficiality and “real” friendships and “authentic” communication, and that has always sat kind of wrong with me.  It sometimes even includes lectures about how the rest of us should or should not live our lives.

It doesn’t seem fair to the other people who enjoy Facebook to try to attach definitions to the way they communicate.  It doesn’t seem right to minimize the very real feelings of other people in order to help yourself redefine the way you live your life.

So let me be very clear: My leaving Facebook isn’t some grand social statement on the evils of social media.  It’s about me.  Plain and simple.

It’s about me spending too much time online and not enough time with my family.  It’s about me avoiding other people in real life because they make me nervous.  And most of all, it’s about me connecting with my family and my children.

It has been a strange few days.  I’ve noticed that I tend to think of my activities in terms of Facebook posts.  The minutiae of my life, that no one really cares about, seems like headline news.  The complexity that makes me who I am has gotten lost in headlines and short statements.

The temptation here, of course, is to turn to twitter.  The urge to share can be satisfied in numerous ways.  To combat this urge, I’ve reduced my twitter activity and logged out of my twitter account to make sharing more difficult.  If it’s not effortless, I remember that I’m not supposed to do it.

It will be interesting to see how my thought patterns change as this progresses.  Minds are flexible things, so I am eager to see how I grow and change as the weeks go by.

Just a note:  While I am off of Facebook, I still have my wordpress account connected to my blog’s facebook page.  Despite the fact that these are auto-posting to Facebook, I am not checking for or moderating comments, so please, if you have something to say in response to my blog posts, come here to the blog to say it.  That way, I will see your comment and be able to respond.

Drastic Steps: Facebook Detox

Tonight I did something dramatic. I deleted the Facebook apps from both of my iPads, removed the links and shortcuts from my computer, and posted a note telling people to call me or email me.

I’m setting a trial period. 3 weeks with no Facebook. I’m looking at it as a social experiment, but really I need to get it out of the way because it’s really interfering with my ability to be present with my children. Plus, I am sick of the drama brought to me by people I don’t know in real life and wouldn’t recognize if they walked past me on the street.

This evening, while watching Nickelodeon with the kids, there was a commercial with all these kids in amazing situations: camping, in a treehouse, at the beach, and you know what that commercial was for? Nintendo DS. Instead of enjoying the world around them and the amazing places they were blessed enough to be able to go to, they had their faces crammed into a video game. Like it was a good thing! I felt sick seeing that. I don’t want that for my kids.

I guess you could say this whole thing was inspired by one of my hyperemesis gravidarum sisters who recently left Facebook. I thought the idea had merit, but I was too afraid to cut loose.

Tonight sealed the deal for me though, if you don’t mind the horrible cliche. It’s been an awful day. Road construction kept Cricket from napping at all. She’s been cranky and miserable all day. Tonight, I’ve been completely exhausted and tuned out. The Grasshopper was in the tub and Cricket was running around, so I decided to pop in and check Facebook. Well, that turned into way, way too long of me sitting around doing God only knows what for God only knows how long. Seriously, what do you do on Facebook that takes that long anyway? How many Upworthy links, Sherlock gifs, and circumcision arguments can you read anyway?

During the time that I was farting around on Facebook, I heard them playing and reasoned that as long as they were laughing, it was all good. How wrong I was. I came into the bathroom to discover that the Grasshopper had poured several gallons of water from the tub onto the floor, telling her sister that the dog had peed. Cricket, who gets upset when the (elderly and incontinent) dog pees on the floor, was mopping it up with every single washcloth in the house. Not cool. I could not believe how much water was on the floor.

I ended up yelling really bad at the Grasshopper (not something I’m proud of), and having to mop up the whole mess, carry it downstairs, and run a load of laundry. She is grounded from TV through the weekend, which is a bummer because there is a Ninja Turtles marathon on.

And you know what? If I had just been present with them, none of this would have happened.

So goodbye Facebook. I’m just not able to have you in my life right now. I can’t be a good parent with you stealing my attention and I can’t seem to break away from your hypnotic grasp.

My plan is to start with 3 weeks. 3 weeks cold turkey. From there, I will see what happens. I will severely limit my feed to people I know in real life or people who I regularly have positive interactions with. I plan to reduce the number of groups I’m in pretty severely, too.

It’s going to be hard. I usually use Facebook as a way to make contact with my friends and plan outings with my mommy buddies, so I will have to work harder to keep from getting isolated. I’m also in a few how-to groups for cooking that I use fairly actively. But you know what? I have lots of cookbooks, and if I can find my phone, well, then I can get together with my friends that way.

As a final note, the irony of deleting Facebook and then immediately blogging about it isn’t lost on me. I’m trying to find other ways to find the balance I seek in my life and find healthier outlets for my energy.