Thanks to my careful, if perhaps extreme, preparations, it’s been surprisingly easy to restructure my life to temporarily omit Facebook. That’s not to say I don’t miss it. Facebook is very good at what it does and delivers on its promise of connecting people. I love it despite its commercially-motivated manipulations and how it has given birth to a whole new category of data-related social expectations. I’m detoxing from it not because I want it out of my life, but precisely because I want to be an occasional social Facebooker instead of winding up as the kind of habitual Facebook-oholic you find alone in a dank Wi-Fi bar at 2 in the afternoon.
This experiment matters to me in relation to my Anchors and Bridges® projects because social media often presents such a dilemma as I advise people on how to connect to the key people, places, and purposes that can define their lives. Sites like Facebook make it easier to connect, but harder to focus, and when these self-declared “social utilities” become and end in themselves, I feel the need to take a step back.
I certainly have found myself missing the instant information and instant gratification Facebook can provide. Wondering what is new with my local and far-off friends and family members has prompted me to write people by e-mail or spend more time hearing from them face-to-face. But as someone who enjoys writing, the hardest has been retraining myself not to funnel my life and opinions into pithy one-liners. More on that in the next post.