Today is the last day of my unnecessarily self-imposed Facebook lent. Midnight tonight I’ll check my FB page for the first time since, when was Ash Wednesday, Feb 10th? Whatever, it’s been six weeks.
It hasn’t been a total FB cleanse, I wasn’t turning away when people around me had their pages up on their laptops–avert thine eyes!— I simply did not check my own page for six weeks. There were a few accidental clicks on articles that brought me to FB and since I am perpetually logged in I was able to see how many notifications I have. My excitement and curiosity about these red numbered dots of wonder have wavered over the past two months, from none of this matters, to WHO THE HELL ARE THESE FRIEND REQUESTS?!
The first couple of days off FB were kind of fun, like, look at me, I’m giving up this thing I enjoy for no reason I’m so goddamned enlightened. The novelty wore off after a few days and I started to miss it. What was weird was that I was starting to miss my friends. Friends that I haven’t seen since I moved away from Vancouver last summer, yet still saw every day because I followed their feed and looked at their pictures and read their silly comments about nothing. It was kind of like we were hanging out. Once I didn’t have that window into their virtual lives anymore, my FOMO really kicked in. As odd as it sounds, the first week felt lonely. Without my usual daily block of FB time, I became really grateful for any social interactions–as much of a Classic Introvert© as I am, I still need to be around people once in a while.
By the second week, I was getting really good at Twitter and had started a Medium account. Something something boy I’ll do anything to keep staring at my phone. I installed apps for CBC and BBC news in hopes of becoming a better and more informed person, but mostly I used them to figure out more about what people were already tweeting about.
The third and fourth week it wasn’t even an issue. I didn’t miss FB. If I needed to talk to a friend I had many other means of getting in touch. Besides, I had my new Twitter friends to check up on. This was no longer a challenge, this was just life now.
The last two weeks is when I got impatient. At this point the novelty had worn off, I had learned the things about myself that I was going to learn and I had proven that I can live without it. I wanted to check my FB but I couldn’t because I told myself that I wasn’t going to until 24th, so, therefore, I wasn’t going to until the 24th. At the same time, I’m annoyed that I’m annoyed. It’s just dumb stupid Facebook. I mean, it’s OK to want to check it, the whole point is that it’s fun, but should I be genuinely excited to be ‘allowed’ back on it again. Remember, I’m 40.
This entry could really use a closing paragraph but I need to head out to meet some people for burgers. Look at me, out meeting up with people!