Forty Days Without Facebook (More or Less)

A couple months ago, I dreamed I was walking down a sidewalk, and a parade of vaguely familiar faces blurred past me. The faces shouted things like, “Look at my kids!” and “Hey, remember me from high school?” Some of the faces were attached to bodies, some not. Many were holding up photos. I tried to slow down and chat with these people, but they kept moving and kept shouting. “Look what I had for dinner!” … “It’s my birthday!”

I woke up and thought, OMG, I just dreamed in Facebook. This is not a hackneyed comedy sketch. This actually happened.

That’s when I realized I could use a break from this weird version of condensed reality.

When I first joined Facebook, it was a fun way to stay in touch with people, but over the years, I’ve simply become addicted to the scroll. I was looking at pictures of children I’ve never met, becoming angry at political opinions of people I haven’t seen in more than 10 years, and clicking on all my notifications just to see that little number outlined in red disappear.

Being the good Catholic that I pretend to be, I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. Surely I would accomplish something more important than reading about slut shaming, mom shaming, fat shaming, skinny shaming, snowflakes and sanctimommies.

So here is what I accomplished with all that extra time:

  • I watched five seasons of Blue Bloods on Netflix, so I now know how to order a bus forthwith before me and my partner get jammed up.
  • I read Nick Hornby’s Ten Years in the Tub, a book of book reviews, so I have now added approximately 324 books to my shopping list.
  • I started paying more attention to my son, which led me to discover that he may be addicted to YouTube. Relax, sanctimommies. I’m on it.
  • I obtained political news from C-SPAN instead of Internet memes.
  • This may just be coincidence, but I vacuumed my house twice in one week. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

I did allow myself a sneak peak every now and then, only on Sundays, because as good Catholics know, Sundays don’t count as a day of Lent. But I must say, even most Sundays, I stayed strong, and I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’m guessing I didn’t miss much while I was away. Are there still a lot of people who love Donald Trump, and a lot of other people who don’t?

If not, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.


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