In January, I took a 21-day sabbatical from my personal Facebook page. Even though I figured it’d be hard to disconnect, I knew I needed a change. I was getting a little too dependent on the mindless scanning that Facebook offers me. It’s like a technological sedative for the brain.
While I was relieved to be disconnected, I experienced an information blackhole that meant I didn’t know what was going on in people’s lives. Even the “big news” passed me by. The strange thing was, I didn’t mind that much.
The Good Ol’ Days
Do you remember how communication worked before social networking came along? When good news like an engagement occurred, you notified your “tiers” of friends. Tier 1 friends (your closest friends) got the news in-person or via phone; Tier 2 friends received an email; and Tier 3 friends got the news through a passing conversation with a mutual friend.
I was telling my friend Liz that with social networking, it seems we’re all in Tier 3 now. She replied, “Yep. We’ve all been demoted by Facebook.” Well-said.
But I’ve accepted my demotion with dignity and a stiff upper lip. I’ve accepted that my limited time on Facebook means I’ll have less information on what you made for dinner or how you’re feeling at any particular moment. I’ve accepted that I won’t be the first to know your big news unless you make the effort to tell me directly. I’ve also accepted that I’m okay with all that.
For me, even 10 minutes of real, live conversation is richer and sweeter than any communication involving screens or keyboards. I will sacrifice knowing everything going on in your life for just a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with you. Shelby in Steel Magnolias states it beautifully:
“I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
Here’s wishing you 30+ minutes of “wonderful” this week! As always, your comments are welcomed.