(not quite) escaping tyranny

IMG_1218_2Above is a meeting of creatures Tim and I spied on our first joint bike ride of the season.

Below, a Camas flower beckons James and me toward the first uphill hike I've done in a while.

I have spent several weeks in withdrawal from the internet. Not from email, and not fully from my blog here, but I stepped away fully and completely from Facebook. (Okay, I've peeked over Tim's shoulder at FB a few times, but that's it.)

With finches nesting once again on our kitchen's outdoor blind, with neighborhood women walking regularly, with the world doing its burst of green and other colors, and with church continually spreading banquets for my inner being to partake of, I've been able to step aside from my desire to "catch up" on social media.

I've expressed to people my concern that I am truly a Facebook addict, and therefore I should not return to it. On the upside, if I don't return I'll have freedom in many respects. On the downside, if I cancel my FB account I won't get to post pictures of my outdoor adventures or our expected grandchild. How, I've wailed, can I be a grandma and not be on Facebook?

Of course many grandmas do fine in life without FB. Many other people, too. In fact, I think more of my close friends have no Facebook account than have one.

Also of course, most people who are on Facebook are not addicts like me. My problem seems to stem from the tyranny of the immediate. This is what I'm calling it. While regularly using Facebook, I simply couldn't make myself browse the social network site without stressing over answers, responses, and likes that I felt I must give people. I also stressed over seeing how much of this "currency" I had received.

What I would really like is not to worry over the social stuff. In real life, I've realized, I don't worry like I do on FB. My friends who use FB seem to fall roughly into two user categories: those who post a lot but don't "visit" others very often; and those who spend most of their Facebook time chatting, liking, and socializing with others but don't put up much of their own pictures, etc., unless something significant happens. I think I tried to do both, and it sucked away too much time and energy.

I'd like to operate on FB in the first category, using Facebook as a tool, first, to share pictures. While I've looked into photo sites like Flickr, I recognize the "need" there to friend people and so on, same as Facebook, except there the folks are more discerning about photography than I. Secondly, I enjoy using FB as a link here to my blog, my little hut on the vast virtual prairie.

I might as well stick with one site. The alternative would be to delete my FB account. That's definitely an option. But, as with my blog, I have a history there. It's only four years long, but a four year journal is a journal nonetheless. And Facebook has given me comments and likes from a couple of people who are no longer living. If I delete my account, I lose those bits of remembered contact with them.

If my choice to try again on FB stands, you will likely be reading this post because you saw that I shared this photo*:IMG_1339

The flower's called a cat's ear. My son, James, informed me of this on our hike. I wanted to bring it back and not keep it to myself, but I have waited a few days, anyway, to share it. So maybe I have made a move toward an online practice that is slightly less compulsive, less addicted, and more healthily social.

* Postscript: I returned to my FB page to link to this blog post, and I was blocked from using the cat's ear photo in the status update (FB gave me three photos to choose from as the "thumbnail" and none was the one I wanted). After wasting, hm, a half hour, forty-five minutes? I gave up. Sigh.


maxine ray said…
Hey, I stress less when responding on fb. I feel less pressure to respond at all, too. I feel free to say whatevend too bad if others don t agree. I like to see the link and the pics from you. I hope you continue. Technology must be at our command. It s rough when it s not. I value our link.
Deanna said…
Thank you, Maxine. It's good to hear from you. I think I'll learn to deal with FB the way I need to. It's good to "escape" sometimes, and it's good to return.
Dee Ready said…
Dear Deanna, I seldom use FB--I have two accounts: one is for learning about what is happening in the lives of my nieces and great nieces. The other is what a friend fixed up for me that is a "fan" page. One it I share things about writing, just as I do on my second blog. I'm addicted to tea and to reading and now to Netflex on my iPad, but thus far I've avoided FB addiction because it's too spare in its information.

I've been away from reading blogs for about three weeks because of a minor ailment. I've missed your musings. The faith journey you share with us enthralls me. Peace.
Fresca said…
Oh, no way is it true that "most people who are on Facebook are not addicts like [you]"--at least, not if you are part of the same human race I am!
Everyone I talk to struggles with striking some kind of sane balance with their social media life.
But, I recently read, social media triggers our evolutionarily programmed "hunt and seek" behavior, and that's hard to turn down to "moderate"!

I think what helps bloggers stay somewhat less crazed (me, anyway, maybe?) is that blogging is so much more work than FBing!
And that's what makes it more satisfying (to me) too.
I used to get so annoyed that people weren't more thoughtful on FB, then I realized it is not designed for thoughtful writing--it's like workplace chat. And since I work freelance, I appreciate that cotton candy contact with humans, for better (funny! friendly! sometimes even insightful!) or worse (rot-your-teeth ill-informed, pedantic). And I'm back to blogging a bit more, where I give and get more chewy meat.
Hm... I should blog about this!

In the meantime, I see you got your cat's ear up as your FB cover! Super cool plant--I didn't know it before. So thanks for sharing.
Deanna said…
Dee, I'm grateful to see you "up and about" and will check in on your blog soon. I think the link with relatives on FB is important enough that I'll stick with it, more minimally, though.
Deanna said…
Fresca, interesting about the "hunt and seek" behavior. It sure seems to be an automatic urge. FB is definitely more like workplace chat, which I'm terrible at, as well. (Socialization no is me.) Love what you say about blogging as chewier. Thanks.