Thursday, November 13, 2014

Facebook Follow-up

Yesterday, I posted about the Facebook break I've been on for a little more than two months. I wasn't sure what to expect when I posted it - I kinda thought not many people would be interested, to be honest!

But, many of you did read it, close to 200, according to Blogger's stats, which is a pretty high number for my little blog. I really appreciate the response, as well as all the warm comments and posts.

A couple people asked what my "new Facebook plan" looks like. How I'm going to make sure it's a healthy part of my life going forward.

So, here's what I'm doing:
- Limiting my Facebook time. If you've received an email from me lately, you've probably noticed my signature. It explains that, most days, I don't check email in the evenings or on weekends. I plan to follow the same strategy on Facebook going forward.
- Overcome my need to hold on - release acquaintance-level relationships. I've come to realize that I have acquaintance relationships on Facebook that aren't great. Some because there's tension, hurt feelings or drama involved. Those relationships need to be addressed (by me) and hopefully can be saved! Others are a result of "friend of a friend of a friend" additions - I've never met these people and likely never will go out of my way to meet them. My "rules of thumb" for my relationships on Facebook will be prayerful answers to 3 questions - 1."If I were in (insert name of city where they live), and my time there was unlimited and commitment-free, would I take the time to see them for a cup of coffee?" 2. "Would I like to get to know this person better or continue to strengthen an existing relationship?" and 3. "Are we currently living in the same community?" The answers to these questions will help guide me in who to add to my page.
- Striving to be an encouragement. My prayer and heart's desire is to bring some positive energy to Facebook! I feel that in past, I've gotten sucked into some of the negativity and I'm going to make sure that I share things that are true, helpful, encouraging and uplifting.
- Deemphasizing it's importance as a form of communication. I think this is the most important point. If I'm friends with someone on Facebook, it's because I want Facebook to be ONE form of communication - not THE form. I want in-person interaction, I want texts, Skypes, phone calls and emails. I want both a digital relationship and a real one. With some folks, this will obviously be easier than others, due to geographic realities, but I'm always going to make the attempt.

As much as leaving Facebook for a time was an experiment, the next few months of testing the above boundaries will be also. If they don't work, I'll change 'em! :)  This is all a prayerful experiment - and I'm thankful for the experience and those of you who are "unpacking" this issue right alongside me!

Love and hugs from NJ.

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