Monday, November 14, 2016

Simple Step 1: Facebook Diet

Hello dear readers. Today marks a quiet victory for me. As of today, I have nothing on my calendar that needs my immediate (or even tacit) attention. Over the past seven weeks, I have done some pretty drastic things to ignite change in my life. I sold my home, downsized my family of four (and a dog) to a two-bedroom apartment, sold 2/3 of everything I own and took 500 plus books to a consignment store. The goal? My husband and I want to simplify our lives.

One the same day that we signed the sale documents for our home, our country's electorate voted to make Donald Trump our next president. Suddenly, my brain was in a tail spin, fearing for the safety of the children I serve - many of them immigrants and refugees - and their families. At the same time, my Facebook feed erupted with links and proposals and condemnations and an avalanche of cruelty and intolerance.

It's clearer now more than ever that Facebook isn't really the space for meaningful public discourse, nor is it the place to be in true relationship to friends and family. My work for racial justice, gender equity and equal access to education for ALL children is not done on social media, but rather through interpersonal transactions that happen in real time. Sure, it's a great way to share what I'm up to and invite folks to join me in my efforts - but it isn't where the rubber meets the road.

So, I decided to leave my personal Facebook page for a while. My sanity, my time, and my serenity are all hanging in the balance - so it was an easy decision.

I spent the morning in church on Sunday, as many of us did. One of the readings was from Abraham Lincoln's speech in Edwardsville, IL in 1858. I thought I might share it here:

"What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors." 

The polarizing nature of how communication occurs (or doesn't) on Facebook has been destroying this spirit in me - another reason to take a break. I am ready to do some deep listening. Everyone, no matter how they voted or whether they voted, is hurting in some real and tangible way. But I have hope. My hope lies in how we treat one another. And Facebook is not the place for me to test that hope.

But don't worry. I'll still be here at La Maison Boheme. This week marks my 9th year here. Crazy, right? I'll also still be posting on Facebook via my blog and also via Sarah Greenman Art. But otherwise, I'm refraining from the personal interactions for a while.

So today marks the beginning of a simpler chapter. No house. No big overwhelming events to plan. No lawns to mow, chickens to feed (they went to a sweet farm, by the way), and no Facebook stand-offs. Just a wide open winter to rest, renew, spend time with my family, and make art. I'll also be doing a lot more of this:

And just for fun, here are some great articles 
about quitting Facebook if you're feeling the urge:


rebecca said...

I was almost "there" myself. SO disappointing. Since I DO depend on it to keep in touch with quite a few people with whom face-to-face encounters are impossible, I will remain on. However, I AM amping up my face-to-facing wherever possible. I've also determined not to enter into the fray (though sometimes I about burst trying to hold in my responses--particularly to ignorance).

Oh, well. Enjoy your life. You're making it good - and better - for yourself, your family and others. May your tribe increase.

Belinda said...

I have been a reader of your blog for quiet sometime now and I must say that I have such an admiration for you. You have a beautiful soul and I look forward to each of your posts.

I gave up facebook sometime last year for the exact reasons that you have given here. It became draining in a way that I've never experienced. Facebook is way too toxic and I don't want it in my life.

I'm reeling from this election like so many others. I will move forward and be diligent in all that I can do to make this world a better place that is free and accepting of EVERY single human being. PERIOD.

Thank you for your blog. Have a most lovely day!

Notes From ABroad said...

Maybe because I have a photo blog as well as my blog here on Blogger and too many people that I email every day .. it was soooo easy not to get all sucked into the FB thing. I have traveled too much and too far to really have that much interest in people I knew 20 + years ago so that helps keep me off various websites like FB.

The longer you go without it, the less you will think about it or miss it , is my belief. Especially with children, who will really be the ones who benefit most from you having that free time away from online ..
At least that is the way it worked for me.
Good luck with that ... try this, whenever you feel like sitting down at the computer and FB .. go grab a baby and play :) I see great benefits in that idea lol.

Splenderosa said...

Excellent idea !!!
I only use FB to post my blog. I cannot imagine sharing anything personal there.
You made an really wise decision.
Simple Lives. Those are the best IF we can achieve that.
How's the baby?
sending love....

Emily said...

I think I am the only one ever....I've never had a facebbook account.