This year I made my worst Lenten sacrifice ever. No, I didn't give up chocolate or Diet Coke...that's child's play. This is even worse than when I gave up sitting on my couch. This year I gave up Facebook and I am struggling, people.
I know that lamenting here about the sacrifice makes me a Pharisee who walks around in ashes and cloth asking for attention. I promise this is a one-time only whine because holeeeeey smokes, what have I done?!
I've been nudged to give up Facebook for Lent by a good friend for a few years. A couple of times I tried to dictate one day of the week during Lent would be Facebook-free. I called it "Holy Thursdays." Let's just say I had minimal success with that.
A few weeks ago, I got this urge from inside that I should give up Facebook for Lent. I ignored it. Then some friends started saying they might do it too. I let the idea rise to the surface of my brain again. But I just didn't know. Finally, on Fat Tuesday, I just decided to go Facebookless or go home. I hastily wrote a "see ya after Easter" note on my 4th Frog Facebook page and my personal timeline. Then I handed Annie my laptop and told her to change my password.
Wow. This is hard. It hasn't even been a week yet, but I feel so isolated. I can't tell you how many times I want to shoot a quick message to someone, only I can't because I don't have their email address or phone number. I'm just connected via Facebook.
I wonder how certain friends are doing and what new fun my group of blogging friends is up to. And my Catholic moms group is no longer just a keyboard away when I want to share a prayer request or tell them that Robbie decided for this Lent he is going to start listening to the homily.
Of course, I could give up this giving up of Facebook. I could say it's too hard. To which my mother would reply "Do you think Jesus thought it was too hard to climb up on that cross and die for you?" But I am determined, at least for today, to persist.
It's the community that I miss on Facebook. Ok, and some of the "which color M&M are you" Buzzfeed quizzes. I've attempted to find community among the tweeps on Twitter. I'm not new there, but it's just not Facebook. In my experience, tweeting is like farting in the wind...you never really know if anyone realized you did it (or tweeted it in this case) before the wind takes it away unless someone says something. I can count on one hand the number of times a Facebook post went unanswered or at least unliked. (So, I might be supposed to learn something about humility I suppose.)
My resolve is strong because
Annie changed my password so I don't have a choice I truly believe this was a message from my heart. I consider this first week the detox phase. I've spent the time trying to fill the void with Twitter and Words with Friends, you know, just until the shakes pass. Now I feel myself ready to move into the purpose of this Lenten sacrifice, to seek what I'm supposed to find in this digital isolation. I have some books to read, some letters to write, and yes some praying to do.
Can I make it five more weeks without Facebook? I'm going to try. But I'm pretty sure that on Easter morning the first thing I'm going to do after I snatch the Reese's eggs from my basket before Mike can get to them is to have Annie log me back into Facebook for my own resurrection of sorts.