I’m always looking for ways to lure serenity into my life. Stress creeps up, and if I don’t make a concerted effort to keep things relatively placid, the calendar fills, bedtimes get later, I get crankier…you probably get the idea. Many of us are either battling chaos or drowning in it.
I saw this Zenhabits gem, Walled-in: Life without Facebook. If you’re not familiar with Zenhabits, the man behind the zen is Leo Babuto and, considering his million-plus readers, I figure he knows his business. In his post, he extols the benefits of going Facebook free (gulp):
“My day is quieter now. I focus on more introspective stuff. I still share on Twitter and Google+, but only occasionally and I don’t check them more than once daily. Instead, I write. I read longer-form journalism, or novels. I walk, and exercise. I play with my kids, and spend time with my wife. I learn things.”
Ahem. This is not even remotely close to what my day looks like.
What exactly do I gain from my Facebook account? I know when Target has a sale on bath linens. I know when the kid who sat behind me in homeroom (and poked my head with his eraser) gets drunk and loses his online filter. I see a gazillion less-than-profound memes. I get a bit of useful information from my account but, if I’m being honest, most of it’s just mind clutter.
I used to believe I needed Facebook. I’m a homemaker with small children; Facebook was my lifeline to the grown-up world. Without it, I would surely diminish and begin to babble and scrawl Crayola murals on my walls.
I began to wonder about others who live Facebook-free. My own husband has no Face. He refuses to join the masses and somehow he manages to stay current on things that matter. In truth, he thinks I’m slightly mad for spending time scrolling through so much…minutia.
He’s right. While I don’t spend huge amounts of time Facebook-ing, I do let it interrupt my day, like when I should be folding laundry. Or writing. And really, I have a feeling it interferes more than I want to believe it does. Babuto says as much – then comes right out and challenges his readers to give it up and embrace solitude.
“…make your own way. The path you walk on your own, it’s a path worth giving your soul for. Your feet on the barely-tread ground, the fresh air of wilderness around you, and your own voice for company. It’s worth everything you’ve got.”
I’m going on a three-week Facebook fast. I am no zenmaster and, as such, am not brave enough to shut down my account. Not yet. Still, taking a long, hard look at this got me dreaming about all the other, more important things I could be doing. Coloring with the kids. Writing. Reading. Learning. Daydreaming. Silence-savoring.
How about you? Would you, could you go without Facebook (or your social medium of choice)? Tell you what. I’ll go first. If I wind up crouched in a corner and laughing maniacally, we will have learned we must wean ourselves from Facebook gradually.
Image courtesy of jannoon028 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net