Yes, I see the irony. But it makes sense, if you’re on Facebook. And read the manifesto.
I’m on a “countdown to deletion” now. April 1st will be my official deletion day. And that means, after that, the manifesto will be lost. Sooo… Since I’m still suffering from Facebook-induced vanity, I’m going to start this new blog by reposting the manifesto. That way, if I ever lose track of why I’m doing this, I’ll be able to get it back for a look…
After all — it’s HARD not to look. Right?
But most importantly, here I am, setting up our new blog. Where I’m going to focus on worthy things in our lives (if not always good), while staying out of the Facebook slipstream. But until “D-Day,” I’ll probably just muse about the pain of getting off Facebook…
“On April 1st, my Facebook page will officially be gone. I’m not taking a Facebook “break,” I’m breaking my Facebook page.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I finally decided to set a date in the future and spend some time gathering up some contact info and letting people know what I was up to because Facebook HAS been a thing of value to me over the last four years. I DID reconnect with people and I HAVE kept in touch with folks I wouldn’t have otherwise. And now I want to leave it WITH something, so I don’t have to feel like I’ve truly wasted countless hours of my life on it.
Nevertheless, I’m definitely leaving. Once I make up my mind to do something, I do it. And, I might say — I think I do said thing very well (like that comment, damnit!). Discipline is my thing. Always has been.
Here’s what’s bugging me, though…
A year ago, I sat down to make the centerpieces for my wedding. I wanted to make them myself, and I wanted them to be meaningful. I WANTED to put a lot of effort into them; to make them an act of reflection on my life and the people that mattered to me most. That exercise is what first got me thinking about quitting Facebook (obviously, I need to get off the damn thing if it took me a year to finally work up to it — it’s just a WEBSITE, after all!).
I decided to make a seating chart, and to arrange a collection of framed photos on each table at the reception. Those photos would be of the people sitting at that table, with me. Or with Trent. Or with both of us. Or, in some cases, with our parents or grandparents — long before we were even born.
I had to look through thousands and thousands of photos of our lives: all kinds of memories. I actually HAD thousands and thousands of photos to look through — and none of them were on Facebook. And I filled every single table without issue. I put notes on the tables asking my guests to take the centerpieces apart, and take the photos home with them as a gift. A real photo of us together, to look at in the real world, to remember a time we really had together.
I loved making those centerpieces. It really struck a chord with me about memory, relationships, what’s important, and what’s not. I realized that Facebook hadn’t helped me experience, capture, or hold on to any of that. And that there are some incredible people in those photos with me — so many cool people that I haven’t been able to put the originals away. They’re in a big pile on my desk, still, one year later. And some of the very best of them are of people who either a.) aren’t even on Facebook, or b.) hardly ever log in.
And I’ve been thinking about that since then, and feeling crappier and crappier. Over the past year, I’ve realized that I’m neglecting relationships in the real world. It’s not those people’s fault for “not being on Facebook.” It’s MY fault because I chose to stop engaging in any other way. And now I’m making a conscious decision to return to the real world as my primary form of engagement.
Here’s just one example of how I can do better… Two of my favorite people in this world — Jeff Koche and Ellen McGuinness — became first time parents this past year (not together, for those of you who know them and just had a heart attack; 2 friends, with 2 significant others, and 2 babies). I barely took notice because neither is really on Facebook, announcing their every move like me. Five, ten years ago — that never would have been the case. Luckily, Ellen and her husband are bringing Baby Audrey to California in a few weeks for a visit, and I’ll get a chance to redeem myself. I don’t know when I’ll redeem myself with Jeff and Baby Keira, but what I really want is to just rewind to the kind of person I was — a person engaged with the world around me in a meaningful way and a much, much better friend.
It will also allow me to be the best wife I can be to my amazing and pretty much perfect husband, Trenton. Facebook and the dumb things people are talking about and gossiping about has become a source of distraction from the truly important things we have going on in our lives right now. I’m going to silence it, quite possibly purge some people from my life, and make room for more important stuff as we embark on the adventure of being The Temples. We’re about to sign on the dotted line for a house that needs a new foundation, roof, and sewer lateral, after all. We need each other and no high school-level distractions. And when we’re making amazing memories together, and actually LIVING, we CERTAINLY don’t need to be contextualizing them for Facebook. “Take a picture so I can post it!” is dead to me.
So, here’s what I’m going to do…
• I’m keeping my page until MARCH 31ST.
• During that time, if you decide you want to keep in touch with me, EMAIL YOUR PREFERRED CONTACT METHOD TO ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org (or hey, send me lots of contact methods! I love snail mail!).
• Between now and then, I will be setting up a WordPress blog, where Trent and I will be sharing some big things in our life in the future for our family far away. I’ll circulate it when it’s live. It’ll be a place where you can always find us, IF you want to — rather than see our drivel plastered in your news feed.
• While I have some other social networking accounts for my job, don’t count on me just replicating this existence on Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, etc. That defeats the purpose. But you CAN constantly see a running photostream of our life on Flickr. I love Flickr, and I use it as a backup method for our family photographs, so there’s always something there for you (if you’re REALLY that interested in us).
• I’m going to keep bumping my deletion countdown over the next 11 days in the hopes that as many of you as possible will choose to send me your contact info and stay in touch!
• On April 1st, I’m outta here! But those of you who sent me your contact info will get a special personal message from me in place of seeing me in your news feed.
• I hope I’m not the only person who’s thinking of, or in fact, DOES this.
See some of you in Costa Rica next month, and some of you in Detroit in June. Much better than on Facebook, if I do say so. 🙂
— Lisa T.”