The Demon Time-Suck (AKA Facebook)

I recently had to re-sign in to my Spotify account, something I rarely do because I am one of those people who never logs out of anything.  Could be because I’m lazy, could be because I can never remember which password goes where exactly.  Probably a good mix of both, but the fact remains that I had to actually log back in to Spotify today, like some sort of person from the stone age who did not have Google immediately remember my information and do it for me.  Ugh, how did people live back then?

When I logged back in, Spotify automatically connected me to Facebook.  I guess this is something it’s always done, but I never noticed or cared because it’s only been two months since I deactivated my Facebook account.  Imagine my surprise when I receive an email welcoming me back to Facebook.  Yes, they do that when you leave and then come back. They welcome you back.  Probably like a drug dealer welcomes you back to the den.  “Don’t you want to see what your friends and family think about politics and religion?  Mmmm… feel that red hot heat flowing through your veins?  That’s the good stuff!”

Blerg.  No thank you.  I am done.  I spent five minutes dancing with the demon time-suck when I went back to deactivate, and that was enough.  I no longer care where you went to dinner, or what you think about the latest sporting event, or how many babies you have.  Sorry, if I like you enough, I’ll already know these things.  I have spent the past seven weeks actually reaching out to people through messenger (yes, you can still have messenger with Facebook), and text.  I ask them about their days, their kids, their lives. We send pictures and joke, and we don’t have to have the whole world see what we are discussing.  We don’t do it for show, or to elicit responses from that girl I knew in high school who was kind of mean to me the one time I talked to her, but sort of seems like she’s okay now.

It’s amazing.  Do it.  Cut that demon off and tell it to go back to the spiraling vortex of internet time-suckage where it belongs. Enough wasting your time scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.  Get back to the people you care about.  Talk to them directly.  Don’t settle for the shiny Facebook persona that so many people (including myself when I was posting multiple times a day) shine for everyone to see.  No one is that person all of the time.

Get off of Facebook and do something.  Go outside.  Learn to crochet, or paint, or bake. Actually look your children in the face when they talk to you.  You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in those hours you’re currently wasting.

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Birthday As A Mom

My birthday was yesterday, and it was basically a regular day with 2.5 hours of alone time in the morning, thanks to my in-laws.  I enjoyed it by grabbing some food and eating it in bed, taking a hot, quiet shower, and doing a little crafting.  The rest of my day was spent being a mom.

I remember when birthdays used to be the most special day of the year.  There was always a party, just for me.  Decorations, food, music.  Tons of friends coming over to celebrate my day.  This was high school, mind you.  As the years went on, and I got older, birthday’s became less important to those around me.  In college we’d all drink and laugh and maybe go dancing.  For my 21st birthday, which should have been the craziest birthday of all, we went to a bar and only me and one other friend wanted to revel in the festivities (music and beer).  The other three people didn’t.  I was bummed… and that was the beginning of the end for birthdays.

Now birthdays are a day where I take care of kids all day, just like every day before that, and I get more dings on my phone from Facebook friends wishing me a happy birthday.  Most of whom do not speak/type to me any other day of the year, which just ends up making me more upset about my birthday.  I’m not sure why, but I assume it’s because these people want to make me feel like they still care about me because Facebook reminded them that it was my birthday, not because they actually care.

Maybe I’m just bitter, and this depression is eating away at any joy I might possibly feel in life.

So, yesterday was my birthday, and it was nothing special.

I hate saying that, I hate feeling that, but my goal is to be honest right now while I’m going through this.  Hopefully a day will come when I will be so glad I no longer feel this way.  I’ll laugh and enjoy my birthday regardless of the amount of attention it’s given.  Maybe, someday soon, I’ll enjoy the little things again.

Why Do I Want To Quit?

I’ve been wrestling with the thought of quitting Facebook for quite sometime now.  I find myself on it during the day while I’m supposed to be playing with my daughter, and that bothers me.  It isn’t guilt that I’m being a bad mother, it’s that I do actually want to be spending that time with her, but I’m not.  I find myself on it when we are playing with Legos, or eating lunch, or playing princess.  Why?  Why am I on it?  I can’t even tell you.  Sometimes I’m not even sure how I got to my phone.  Didn’t I tell her I was going to get a drink of water?  Why is she finding me hunched over my phone, silently yelling at strangers under my breath for saying stupid things about stupid things?  How can I stop this behavior?

Well, it seems simple, right?  Quit Facebook!  It wouldn’t be hard.  I’d still have text for friends, or the actual phone.  I’d keep pinterest, because honestly I only play on that at night when I can really get in there and search for something to cook, or crochet, or paint.  Instagram is lovely, but takes little to no time to look through.  Facebook is the only thing that really has it’s claws in me, and I hate it for that, and I hate myself that I am somehow that interested in who is eating where, who is voting for who, and who hates x, y, and z.

So, what do I do?  I tell myself that I have Facebook to keep family up to date on our daughter.  I guess that’s true.  I do like sharing pictures and funny things she does on there, but then I wonder if that’s even fair to her?  Should I share these things?  Is this something she would ultimately want?  What will we learn about privacy and ownership of these pictures and videos we post in the next ten years?  Is it worth it to find out?

I’m struggling with thinking that I might be giving something up that keeps me going, that keeps me linked to the world while I’m inside my house with a two year old all day, but honestly, I find that I am happier and less anxious on days when I delete Facebook from my phone and pretend it doesn’t exist (I do this often, if that’s not a sign of my true desire, I don’t know what is).  Sometimes I sneak on through my phones web browser…. that’s when I really worry about myself.  I can’t wait just five hours to get on Facebook and find out who likes The Daily Shows latest clip?  Why?  I honestly can’t answer that.

So, here I am, wondering what to do.  I can deactivate for a week and see how it goes, apparently Facebook keeps everything right where it is, in case you decide to come back.  There is an option to delete, but I’m not there yet.  I’m not ready to give it up.  If I deactivate, I have to explain to family friends why I’m no longer available for tagging and messenger.  They’ll ask what’s wrong, and tell me I’m crazy.  “It’s good to have this outlet, this window into the world while you’re at home all day.  You’ll go crazy without it!  How will we get in touch with you?  How will we see little E?”  Well, they could call or visit, right?  Should I worry about what they think?  Should I worry I might be losing a connection, or should I rejoice in the deeper connection I will ultimately have with my daughter?  Can I become the person I truly want to be?  Can I be the mom who isn’t hunched over her phone all day?  I hate seeing my husband on his all day, I can only assume that’s how my daughter sees me.  That’s why she pulls on me, yells at me, whines for my attention while I’m reading a story about someone else’s child.  She needs me, and I need her.  This is for her.

I think I’ve made my decision.  I’ll let you know how it goes.