I, in recent months have been going through shifts and changes. Some have been good and some not so good. I had MySpace for a while, but since the creation of Facebook, have not been on but 3 or 4 times. It used to be that when I was bored, I would turn to my creative energies, writing (which I still do) painting, and singing. I would go for a walk, or hang out with friends. Now I get sucked into Facebook games.
I will start by saying that I like Facebook, but perhaps a bit too much. I had a bit of an epiphany last night as I was driving home from hanging out with a friend. We had a great time! The problem was that it has not been frequent enough and I found myself quite lonely recently. My friends and I have spread out through distance and the journey our lives have taken. We rarely call each other, but rather check in via Facebook. I am going out on a limb and saying, it is not good enough. I need face time, real laughs, the kind that shake the table and annoy those around you, not the virtual LOL. We as a culture have become lax about our personal relationships, living through texts and pages.
The games, where do I start with the games? I keep trying to quit them, then someone sends me an invite and before you know it I am building lives and towns on a screen, instead of creating rich and valid experiences of my own. We all need diversions, but as I said, they used to be reading, writing, the gym, walks, painting….you get the idea.
I have two jobs, so my life has becomes a bit dualistic and complicated. One side does not yet know about the other so that adds stress in and of itself. It has become complex and crazy and for the most part I love it. When I get stressed though, I do not deal with it in a constructive and appropriate way. When I am sad, or angry the emotions get numbed by the mindless games I play on Facebook. I am not blaming Facebook at all. I am blaming myself for allowing it to become somewhat like an addiction and those around me who instead of writing to me or calling me simply stalk my page and go oh well she is ok. They have no idea, of the emotional break down I had, which is what led to this experiment. They did not know how I have been struggling with the changes in my life this year, because behind the mask of Facebook, I can hide it and look strong. If we had been in person or on the phone, I would have vented, had an outlet. I have two friends who spend little to no time on it and our relationships are closer and different. So thus the experiment.
I decided to see what would happen if I pulled out of Facebook. I did not delete my page, but rather changed to a picture and left a goodbye poem that I wrote. It did not say I am leaving Facebook, but rather talked about slipping away to find the creative playful side of myself. So only those who actually read it and notice that I have not posted anything will figure it out.
My Hypothesis: That Facebook has allowed people to become less actively social, than they would have been before, that instead of real hobbies, people have become sucked into virtual hobbies. That for many people virtual interactions have become acceptable.
Prediction: That by pulling out of Facebook: I will have more time, to do the mundane, like chores, to create and paint, and to have authentic experiences. I also predict that out of the 343 “friends” I have on Facebook, that no more than 15 will notice my absence, and no more than 10 may do something about it, like call or e-mail. This includes family as well.
Experiment: I will for at least 1 month stay away from Facebook all together. I will document the changes I undergo emotionally, physically, and mentally. I will also document any changes I see in those that I interact with primarily on Facebook.
I will try to post something everyday, but I tend to work in spurts rather than steady days. I will keep you updated and informed on the changes in my life and in my “friends” I have an alternate Facebook that I will use only to check and see if and only if someone has written on my wall. I will update you on that as well. I am so curious to see if anyone notices. I have only told 1 person on there, because we contact through Facebook and did not want her to think I was ignoring her. Since she is halfway around the world I thought if I told one person, she would be it. The only other is my partner in crime so to speak, who actually talks to me on a regular basis on the phone, and is not into Facebook much at all. So they are the only two who will know and will be sworn to secrecy about the whole project, to keep it authentic and the reactions real.
I hope this may inspire you to go ahead and live it in the real world a bit more!!