Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which means that for Catholics, it begins a time of repentance and solemnity. It also means that today is the last day to choose something to give up for the next 40 days as a symbol of contrition. My childhood selections were usually something like candy or gum, and today many kids still choose something similar. When I was a child, my sister and I would give up all sweets and snacks, so on Easter morning, we were really looking forward to that chocolate Easter bunny. I’m strongly considering giving up something that holds a little more allure this year, and I think, as a mom, it would be a good thing.
I’m talking about Facebook.
I’ll admit I’ve considered this before, way before Lent was on the horizon. On one hand, Facebook can be a fabulous way to keep up with friends and family far away and a wonderful way to share information, ideas, and stories among like-minded professionals. Yet it can also be an outlet for some to boast about phony pursuits and others to display teen-like desperate behavior for those seeking validation.
Honesty, I get so incredibly sick of seeing statuses promoting the perfect life. We all have these friends who say their husband is the ideal man and their kids are perfection, which is fine is wonderful if you really feel that way. But we all know the same friends who say these things on Facebook and then hate their husbands and have kids who drive them crazy. Why can’t we feel ok about accepting our lives as they are without feeling the need to brag false truths to the internet?
I know a mom who literally curses out her hubby to others and then posts how he is the love of her life, the perfect man and she could never live without him. You have to be sorta suspect of anyone who feels the need to communicate back and forth to their husband when they are sitting next to each other in the same house. I mean if you love the guy, why not say to him, “I love you and I’m so happy your mine” (and then stopping yourself from belittling him to family and friends wouldn’t hurt either). Do you really have to announce your
fake perfect life every day?
The other part of Facebook that I’m not thrilled about which affects me directly is simply checking it. It can be a big waste of time for moms. The catch for me is that I work in social media, so it’s a little difficult for me to not go on at least a couple of times of day without interacting.But I really don’t need to check my entire newsfeed. That is what becomes exhaustive. So I’ve tried to just check what is happening at the time I log on and have a few minutes to kill.
But it can get addictive because invariably I have many friends who share good news, or even bad and I feel like reaching out to. Or I have friends who share really awesome articles that I read (and end up staying online much longer than planned).
I’m actively working on being more present in my life and Facebook makes me less present. There have been times when one of my kids will talk to me and I’ll only half-listen while I’m replying to someone. That’s not the mom I want to be.
So I’m thinking of taking a 40-day break from the social site. And I’m sure that when I get back, everything will be just as I left it, but hopefully, I’ll have become so serene without the constant beeps from my Blackberry announcing messages and replies, that I won’t want to go back to it, or at least feel less compelled to check it daily.
I’m not sure I can do it. It will be difficult to not post my thoughts on the latest breaking news or put up articles that I want to share. And yikes, what about Words With Friends, which I have become mildly addicted to? Maybe I should reconsider this whole giving up for Lent thing and just give up housework. Well, I have a day to think about it.
What about you? What kinds of statuses drive you mad? Could you ever give up Facebook? Would you want to? Is Facebook a time waster for you?
For more on Lent, read Sunny’s piece, 7 Things That Kids Give Up For Lent.
Image: Flickr/Raising Little Saints