Thursday, April 8, 2010

40 Days and 40 Nights

I had a couple of people...okay, ONE person--my buddy over at Perfecting Imperfection, ask me to blog about what it was like to give up Facebook for 40 days.  So, here it goes!

I'm usually not into "giving things up" for Lent. Lots of people do chocolate, or coffee, or fast food, or some other favorite food items.  Others add something extra like taking more prayer time each day, adding in 30 minutes of exercise, mending the fence with someone they've been at odds with etc...all for the glory of God. You get the picture.  The point of Lent--for those who need a little schooling in the area--is to take time to enter the "desert of life." Give up the non essentials and even experience a little bit of time without the essentials too, so that we can get in touch with the suffering Jesus.  We are asked to Pray, Fast, and Share.  (That's Pray AND Fast, not "Pray Fast" as Jordan originally thought!) This time of praying, fasting, and sharing is asking us to draw closer to God, and to contemplate the sacrifice Christ made for us so that we may fully appreciate the Glory of Easter.  No, it ISN'T just about the Easter Bunny and egg hunts.

I digress...As I said I'm usually not into "giving things up." I like adding to my plate, and usually I choose the extra prayer time, or something similar, to add to my Lenten Journey. Alos, being pregnant this lent had me wanting to keep the chocolate and other sweets handy. But this year, a glaring, time consuming habit was staring me in the face (book)...heehee, just begging to be dropped for a while. 

So, come Ash Wednesday I decided this was last log in to Facebook. No more secret stalking.  No more first-thing-in-the-morning-what-is-everyone-from-who-knows-where-doing checks.  No more commenting wittily on friends' status updates. No more trying to think of a comment provoking status update of my own.  No more mind numbing, time sucking games and apps.  I was going cold turkey.

And, light bulb moment:  It was wonderful!  I did miss it for the first couple of days, but after that I only gave it a thought here or when my sister called so I could talk her down (She gave up FB too): She wanted to log on and memorialize Corey Haim's passing in a fitting status update.  I told her to get a grip. :) The Facebook World would keep on spinning. And then there was the time when I wasn't the absolute first to congratulate my cousin's wife about her pregnancy news after she posted a sonogram picture.  I found out from another sister after she saw it on FB. And then I felt a tiny pang when I would get an e-mail that someone from my "Mommy Group" had posted on FB about the next get together and I had no way to really chime in on the thread.  But I resolved that one by keeping in touch with a few friends who were still "logged on." 

Other than that I didn't miss it.  I enjoyed the free time that I had...and I worked on my blog a little more, started to scrap book, spent more time outside with the kids when we got the nice stretch of weather (that we continue to enjoy), and just didn't think about it.  

I do like Facebook. I logged back in on Easter Monday, but it doesn't have the same hold on me for some reason.  A friend of mine gave up coffee for lent and she was so excited to have her first cup on Easter morning, but when she took that first sip she thought, this isn't as good as I thought it would be... She realized the next day that she made herself  a cup of "decaf" accidentally. That's kind of how I feel about FB.  I'll still log on, maybe not daily, update my status, point friends to my blog, comment here and there but no where near as much as I used too. And say goodbye to the "extra caffeine."

I've learned that Facebook is fun, at times addictive, a nice way to connect or reconnect, but it is not a substitute for living life...even if I am a stay at home mommy with no big people to talk to during the day!

Side note, as a family we also gave up TV for one day a week. You may have seen me mention "No TV Monday."  Well, that's a keeper too. It was so great to not have the TV on for a solid 24 hours.  We totally did not miss it!

Don't be scared to unplug.   It was a wonderful experience!

2 Reader Remarks:

Krajcimama said...

Yay! I kind of figured that it would be a positive experience. What bugs me is how people sometimes assume that you know something because they put it on facebook. I really don't spend a lot of time there anymore - certainly not as much as I use to - so I don't always know every status update. I feel like if someone wants me to know something then they should tell me or send me a message - not assume I read it on facebook. Jerry actually left facebook - which I couldn't believe - because he felt it was a huge waste of his time.

I also like the idea of NO TV Mondays! :) I don't know how you make dinner on a no TV day, but I know that I turn the TV off a lot more than I use to because it's just background noise and I don't need any extra noise.

Thanks for sharing!

Mama D said...

So impressed, Christine. When one of the girls mentioned on the Mommy thread that you had done this, it made me think about how much time I spend on FB. I think my addiction is a little too strong to give it up cold turkey, but we definitely need to unplug around here. Maybe the no-TV Mondays would be a start. Besides, we have a DVR :-)

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