Saturday, January 8, 2011

From message boards to FB land...

I was in the last trimester of my first pregnancy with my daughter, Addyson. My doctor put me on modified bed rest in order to stop my pre-term labor symptoms. I already had to quit my job at the newspaper because of my morning sickness that came far more often than just the morning. At the time that I was put on bed rest, I was past the morning sickness stage and I was coaching a high school gymnastics team and constantly having symptoms during practice that at times brought me to tears due to the pain. So it was decided that I could no longer drive and no longer work. House arrest, in a way, which I was fully willing to do for my baby on the way. It just was going to be an adjustment.

I spent my days reading, and watching more television than I ever had in my life and one day I stumbled across a message board on a very known website and it was all for expecting moms! Oh I found my niche! I signed up for this site and quickly began jumping in on various conversations, making friends and asking questions. I learned so much information on pregnancy and whenever I had a weird symptom I posted to this site and got many responses and thrived off of it. I actually met a few friends on there in and out of the state that I still keep in touch with to this day, or at least I did on Facebook. I'm not sure if they are reading my blog, but if so I would absolutely LOVE to keep in touch. The sad part was that I ended up spending my entire days before giving birth on this site. I was the first of many of my friends to be pregnant, so this was a great tool for me and I felt like I could relate to everyone. Little did I realize that I was losing touch with reality. I knew more about what was going on with this message board than I did with the world.

Once I had my daughter I did not have time for a message board like this. Although there was a chat for babies 0-3 months, 3-6 and so forth I went on a handful of times and then one day just never went back. I found a new outlet that would allow me to have the social interaction that I loved and I would actually be able to have friends on it that I knew! How exciting! A mature Myspace. The best part was that it was even more simple than a message board. I could post my status! This was genius! Quick and easy and brainless.

I found Facebook to be absolutely amazing. I connected with old friends from high school, got to share pictures of my daughter and it made it easy to stay in touch with my family on the east coast. Or did it? Slowly I spent more and more time checking in and commenting on everyone's status' and photos and then I got an iPhone. This purchase just fed my fascination with Facebook because now with my Facebook app I could go on it anytime of the day! It was just a tap away and my mind was in a different place. Far too easy for someone that already enjoyed socializing on this site a little too much.

Looking back at it now, not only was Facebook the biggest time waster in my life, I think at times I used this amazing social tool as an excuse to not pick up the phone and call... even on someone's birthday! It seemed totally acceptable to me that posting a message to their wall and wishing them the best was just as good as sending them a text or giving them a call.

I got a text from a good friend today and it read: Facebook has become a salve of social acceptance for the disconnected digital generation. Who has 900 "friends?" I mean seriously, who has time to stay in touch with 900 people? But Facebook provides that source, that there are actually 900 people who care about what I think. Your blog has made me introspective on the whole FB thing. I need to focus on actually calling and seeing my friends. I haven't seen you or John in over 2 years...well because I see you everyday on FB! Or through fantasy football! Right? Not so good I think.

All I can say is AMEN! This is exactly what I am realizing. I know I am not the first or the last to think this way, but I am glad I am realizing this now.

On the other hand, I am absolutely sure there are people out there on Facebook that don't overuse it. My sister was one of them. I admire them. They are able to post once a week or go on a couple times a month and update a few pictures and not get carried away with it. After talking with my sister about this, she mentioned to me that she felt it also directly related to our places in life. She is not a mother yet, she is not home most of the day with the kids and we simply just have different personalities. We are both social, but I know myself and if you are in a room with me, in a line or anywhere for longer than 5 minutes I will most likely start up a conversation with you. And if I had a cup of coffee that morning, well then bring that 5 minutes down to about 2 and good luck getting rid of me. I absolutely LOVE getting to know people. I find everyone's story fascinating. I feel like we can learn so much from each other! Okay, now I'm getting carried away so I will get back to the topic at hand. All that to say that I firmly believe that your place in life, how much free time you actually do have and your personality can directly relate to your time spent on the lovely land of Facebook. Am I off course here or can anyone agree?

I wonder if Facebook will someday make a tool that you can choose how many times a day or a week you allow yourself to log into the account. Then if you tried to jump on and hit say, your max of 2 times a day it would deny my request and not allow me to log-in. I think I am on to something! lol. The moderation tool. It would be genius! Someone go invent it and please give me some credit. ☺

In the meantime, I'm completely content with writing my thoughts in this blog and so far not being on Facebook has not been as difficult as I thought. I'm sure as the days go on I will encounter many incidences where having Facebook would be the far easier route, but isn't that what life is all about? The road LESS traveled is usually the one I want to take. 

Just to clarify for any followers I may have, I love reading your comments and if you have any questions and post them I just may answer them in a future post. I will not be responding to any comments on my blog. I feel that starting dialogue on my blog would be no different than starting dialogue on a post on Facebook. I hope this makes sense.

I also want readers to know that I will not only be posting about Facebook for 365 days. I hope that I don't have something to say about Facebook every day for an entire year. lol. I will be using this blog to document happenings in my life this year. I'm sure Facebook will get brought up many times and when an incident arises that directly challenges me for not having a Facebook I will be sure to note it.

I have had some people ask if I minded if they posted my blog to Facebook. Of course I don't mind. Like I've mentioned time and again, this is just my personal journey and me dealing with my issue of spending too much time on Facebook. It's all about time wasters and Facebook just happened to be mine. If you posting this on your Facebook page or sending this to a friend or family member allows one other person struggling in the same way as I have, or with a different "time waster" of their own, to read my story and be inspired then I feel that is exactly my prayers for this blog being answered.  ♥

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