Friday, May 18, 2012

The Breakup

I've been thinking about it for awhile but always went back. It was mostly a one-sided relationship. I spent hours trying to please. Checking in. Communicating. Sharing my life. But when I finally looked in the mirror and saw what was going on, I just had to go. I'm breaking up with Facebook. Facebook.

Look at that, 'Facebook', as a word, is completely recognizable by our computer dictionaries. Facebook. It's big-time. It's our social structure in the year 2012. It puts families back together - 'locality' distant. It brings classmates together from years ago. It brings special-interest groups together, in a matter of .0427 seconds. Facebook. It's a powerhouse. I can put all my cool photographs up there. I can put my 'status' up there for all to see. I can get instant gratification on my day, my dinner, my parenting skills, my garden. I can even get opinions on paint color for the bathroom. Just the other day I scored a used swing for a friend of mine...she'd been thinking about it for two weeks. I got her one in less than ten minutes. I. Am. That. Powerful....with Facebook.

Anyone else freaked out yet? Don't get me wrong. I love that damn website. I'm a social person. I'm also a people-watcher. Sit me on a beach, or at a park...I can lose hours just watching people. I love human behavior. I love offering my opinion. I love sharing joy with my friends. I love showing-off my kids. I love sharing MY joy. And I can do all of these things with Facebook. And this is where it gets sticky for me....

I CAN do all of these things with Facebook. I can also miss out on something cool with my kids because I'm reading through an intensely debated status update. I can lose hours in my day pondering a social issue that has been thrown out there, on Facebook -- race issues, abortion, religion, hunger, homosexuality, child abuse, etc. I'm an intense person. Sometimes I read something, and it makes my insides collapse. I can't get it out of my mind until I speak my truth...this happens alot with many of these social issues. And I've learned, the flat screen is really no-where to debate such emotionally-charged, thought-provoking, image-provoking, deep-seeded issues.

I 'check-in' a couple times a day. But the 30-second 'check-in' turns into ten minutes, or a half-hour, or three hours of back & forth. Meanwhile, daylight is burning. Not only are my daily to-do's not getting to-do'd, but my kids are doing funny things, saying funny words, needing kid stuff, and I'm torn. And with all this recent hub-bub about Attachment Parenting, a parenting style in which Adam & I use, it struck me like a ton of attached AM I. And to what?

Won't it be totally lame when my kids are in their teens, early twenties. They're all home, eating and laughing in the kitchen, in that place where they feel good and totally free to be honest with their goofy criticism. And they take me down with Facebook. 'You used to tell us to wait a minute, while you sat and read through your Facebook.' or something along those lines. I could give them a million reasons to hate this damn website. I'll use all the excuses...'but guys, I had four kids and I couldn't see my friends alot. Facebook was a great way to stay connected. I needed a little escape. A little downtime. It's no different than talking to a friend. It was the social media of that time! I got so many great IDEAS from Facebook!!' Blah blah blah. The kids' remarks will make me laugh, might sting a little, but they'll be funny. And true. The kids will insinuate that the Facebook was more important to me, more important to me than them. That's a crock of shit, of course, but how am I actually teaching them different?

So it's goodbye. It's not Facebook, it's me. I'm not a person that can pop in & out of my friends' lives with the click of a button. I want connection. I want to hear about the new things in my friends' lives. I want to talk to them. See their faces, in my kitchen. I'm all about getting back to basics. I've been migrating my family to a more 'basic' state of living for a year or so now. The Breakup is a natural progression. I've moved on (trying.) I've seen the light (it's blinding.) I've gone through therapy (not really, of course.) I've been 'self-discovered' (if this is possible.) Facebook is not for me.
 Add to all of this the privacy issues and media-tracking abilities that are so obviously simmering under the pretty, intoxicating, somewhat addictive, how-bad-can-it-really-be surface of Facebook....yeah, I'm done.

It struck me last night during one of the four times I was up with the kids...I started this 'mothering' thing BEFORE the Facebook craze. Was life so bad then? I took a few minutes and thought about the details of those days. Were they empty? Did I feel socially disconnected? How, exactly, did I survive? Granted, I only had one kid at the time. My need for escape/self-preservation wasn't even on the radar. But, wasn't horrible. My friends called my house. We met for walks. We grocery-shopped together. My doors opened with the sunrise and my friends came over. Or me to them. But did I get my news? These recipes? These craft ideas? I don't have an answer for those questions...but I'm smart. I'm sure I will figure it out.

Good luck, Facebook. You'll follow the path of all my other exes. Life will go on for you. Our paths will cross at some point. And I'm sure my heart will skip a beat or two, but then I'll realize, as I usually do, that life is how it should be. We broke up for many reasons. Four of those reasons are waking up now. One has a booger stuck to the side of her face, and another one is walking around in only underwear, tugging on a quilt heavier than him.

Time to go kiss my kids good morning. And walk barefoot in the grass.

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