Stone Soup for Five: 5 things that changed when I quit Facebook for the month.

5 things that changed when I quit Facebook for the month.

In January I took a month off Facebook.  I had my son change my password, but with the stipulation that if there was an emergency (a Facebook emergency!) I could explain to him why I needed to get back on.

There was no emergency.

In fact, I'm not even sure what constitutes a Facebook emergency.  But whatever it is, I didn't find it.

Anyway, I want to recap how my month went and what it accomplished.  In numbered list form.

1.  I stopped taking Facebook worthy pics.
I remember one instance in particular when Corey and I were driving over the (death-defying) bridge maze in Portland and you could CLEARLY see beautiful Mt. St. Helens in it's flat-topped volcanic glory.  It was so close and clear it looked like you could grab it.  For a quick second I asked Corey for his phone to take a pic... then realized that I didn't have Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter, and sat back and enjoyed it with him instead... as we zipped over the freeway.  No pic.  Livin' in the moment.  Strange for me.

2.  It changed how I used my downtime.
You guys, I don't even have a smart phone.  For a very good reason.  But Corey does (because he has this crazy self-control and isn't sucked in like me).  But every time we were driving somewhere or waiting on something, I'd ask for his phone and scroll, scroll, scroll.  I mean, it's just nothing time, right?  But, without  that blue and white app tempting me, I talked, I listened, I sat quietly and THOUGHT about THINGS.  I prayed.  I was bored.  I was OFF.  And it was all very, very good. 
I did not realize how much my mind likes taking a breath.  Having nothing to do but watch the trees zip by, or thinking about and praying for friends... especially friends that I didn't have instant access to through Facebook anymore.  Being off is good.  Having time to take a breath is good.

3.  It added time to my day!
No Facebook meant no popping in for 5 (okay, really 25) here and there, and suddenly my day got longer.  I had time to do some of those extra things that I never do, like baking a treat, reading a book, helping with math, folding laundry, crazy stuff like that.  It made me realize how selfish I am when I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.  Not having that option available made me a bit less screechy with the boys and more intentional with my day.

4.  I did one thing at a time.
Seriously, there were times I would sit at the computer and click on email and then automatically click the Facebook button on my toolbar while that was loading.  Or I'd come to the computer with a specific thing I had to do and automatically --AUTOMATICALLY-- click that blue and white icon and my mind was wiped.  I could NOT remember why I was there or what happened to that last half hour.  It also happened when paying bills online, balancing the checkbook, ordering library books. EVERYTHING.  It was a problem. An addiction.  I was an addict.  I never realized how cluttered and chaotic my mind was until I stepped away for a bit.

5.  I blogged.
Ya.  I've had this blog for 5 years, but was very hit and miss with posts.  I think part of it is because I could throw a sentence or two on Facebook and get instant feedback or have a quick conversation and get it out of my system.  Facebook cut my attention span down to nothing and I didn't even realize it... and it was killing my blog.  Since I've been off, I've blogged consistently, actually made a blog plan, figured out what I want my message to be (BE BRAVE ANYWAY), learned how to make and edit videos, and spent way more time learning how to improve my writing and my blog.  And I've gained hundreds of new subscribers (if that's you, THANK YOU!!)

So now what?
When my son logged me back in a couple days ago, it was with mixed emotions.  Suddenly I was let back into the party!  I imagined a wall full of "I miss you!" posts, an inbox FULL of messages and a celebration dance party.  Other than a handful of messages and about one scroll down worth of notes from friends, no one realized I was even gone.  And that's how Facebook is designed to work.  It's just too busy, too full, too wild to notice when someone slips quietly away from the party. And that's okay.  I didn't leave Facebook to be noticed.  I did it for my sanity, my brain clutter, and time to take a breath.

But, I have a plan in place because I like what time off did for me.  I have set my blocker program ( to only open Facebook to me Monday through Friday from 7pm to 9pm.  
Other than that, I'm off.
Out of the party.
And that's fine by me.

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