Day 10: Facebook Withdrawls

I am one-third of the way through my facebook fast, and while I could compare the experience to Benjamin Franklin’s pursuit of a virtuous life, one vice at a time, I feel more like A.A. Jacobs with his various pursuits of mastery. Even there, my month of no Facebook cannot compete with a year of Biblical living, or of trying to become the most knowledgeable person within a given radius. Still, the feat is not an easy one, particularly when I use Facebook as my primary mode of entertainment and communication.

Facebook is always up when my computer is on; even at work, I typically have had a chat window open in the back of whatever project I am completing. It is how I share my blog, my pictures, my adventures. It is where I see photos of my nephew and how I learn that long-forgotten friends have changed boyfriends, cities, or jobs. It is how I hear about promotions from Southwest Airlines, and how I gain information for my unfortunate habit of gossiping. All in all, it is a fair representation of technology — a tool that can bring out the best or the worst in me, that simultaneously improves and degrades my quality of life.

So far, I’ve only slipped into my automatic habit of typing “fac…” into google’s search bar a couple of times, but since I deactivated my account, I have not logged in. This past Thursday and Sunday were the most difficult, days bookending the this weekend’s adventures. I wanted to chat about my anticipation before the event, and to upload pictures for general merriment afterward. I’ve found that I miss talking to some of the people who often reply to me on facebook’s chat, but I wonder now how far our friendship extends. Does me stepping away from facebook mean that we cannot chat anymore? Is the extra step of thinking through an e-mail not worth it? I admit that I am guilty of not reaching out with e-mails myself, so no judgement there, but really, I still wonder.

Somehow I deluded myself into thinking that facebook calms me down. Silly Self. Fortunately, new friends in the area have made the past week and a half less lonely than I anticipated, but I still long for the rapid refreshing of information. Apparently there’s a psychological condition called “Information Deprivation Disorder” that I imagine most of us who are plugged in would experience if we stepped away from all of our screens and gadgets for as much as a day. People have compared giving up screens and things to giving up drugs or going on a diet. I’ve never had to really do either of those so I don’t know if this experience is similar enough, but I do know that I miss the view counts on my blog of people who are referred by facebook. Without that medium, does my digital voice carry? I don’t know.

20 Days to go. 20 days to go. Maybe it’s time to take note of Wiki’s How to Defeat a Facebook Addition. My lovely tech-themed books can’t quite make the cut.

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