On Doing Without Facebook / Blogs / Internet For Lent

Okay folks. 

So I gave up Facebook and reading favorite blogs and random checking of random internet sites for 40 days. 

I cheated one time when I jumped on to do Water Street Dreams stuff {self-permitted} but saw a picture of a friend's travels and just looked for just a second at a couple of her vacation pictures and then thought, WAIT. I'm not supposed to be looking. So I quick-like jumped off! I promise. That was the extent of my cheating.  

But I will say, the break from the internet/blog/facebook world was GLORIOUS. 

For the MOST part. 

 I'm not gonna lie. I missed it. 

But it was very good for me. 

Here's how the month went down: I loved on Coco. 
{Alright. I would have done that regardless.}


I read LOTS.  See.
  
{I LOVE reading by the way, and really struggle to find time to read. So this  was a HUGE wake up call for me. Less computer = More reading. Period. }

I wasn't scattered and I do think that's because I wasn't jumping on and off tonnes of sites, including Facebook and my favorite blogs. 

I went to bed way earlier each night. {Translation: better mommy the next day because I was better rested.} 

I spent more time with God, reading and praying. {Translation: better mommy.} 

I finished longer-term projects that were weighing me down like cleaning out closets, business taxes, attic organization, etc. Not to say that I wouldn't have finished those projects if I was on the Internet, but I think I was able to focus and crank out the projects. 

I think I was probably more 'present' as a mom and wife. Maybe not, but I think so. 

I wrote and sent more personal cards than I normally do. { I love doing that and try to do that regularly, but I was able to write probably double the amount of notes/letters/cards that I normally do. } 

I think I was a little less uptight. You know why? Because here's what happens: I end up jumping on my favorite blog, and that links to her favorite blog and before long I've spent a bunch of time surfing and then I have to kick it into high gear to actually get the things done that I really NEEDED to get done on that particular day. And so rather than racing around like a crazy woman, finishing that, starting this, I just was methodical about stuff and plodded around at a normal pace rather than in a frenzy to get it all done in a shortened amount of time. 

And now to what I missed::: What I missed the most about giving up Facebook was the actual 'resource' that Facebook is to me. There were COUNTLESS times over the past month where I wished I could jump on to promote something or ask a question of other moms or ask for feedback about other organizations or ask questions about how other people do PTO events at their schools, ask people to pray for something, etc. 

I did jump on a few times for my photography business but even that I tried to limit to bare necessity. 

I guess the bottom line is, I really do think Facebook is a great tool as a resource and as a general "connection" with others that I would never otherwise be connected too. I have friends around the globe and literally, other than emailing once a year, the way I can keep in touch with them and get a glimpse into their lives, is by seeing their thoughts on Facebook, their images on Facebook, etc. 

Many bash Facebook. I'm not one of them. I love it and love the resource that it is. I totally 'get' the reasons that some dislike Facebook. Totally get it. But, I land on the opposite side of that fence. 

With that being said, for me personally, I do want to be very careful about not slipping back into the distraction that Facebook can be for me. 

So I'm going to figure out a way to limit 'personal' Facebook time so that I'm not making it an off and on thing. Maybe once a day do a check in? Maybe just on weekends? Who knows. Still trying to figure that out. I find that jumping on and off Facebook all day long ends up being quite a distraction for me. 

Honestly, I don't spend huge amounts of time on Facebook but I do jump on and off a bazillion times for 15 seconds here, 1 minute there, etc. (I can type crazy fast so what I can do on Facebook in 2 minutes would seem like the normal person had spent an hour doing.)  
So my speed becomes a curse because I end up totally unfocused and distracted and on and off and on and off all day long.  

While on 'break' from the Internet, I did write some notes for the first couple of weeks, in real time, as the week unfolded. Thought I'd share what I wrote then:::

WEEK ONE 
Week one of not being on the internet is just about done. And I have to say, it's been fantastic and not actually as hard as I thought it might be. I'd use words like refreshing and relaxing in its absence, which is exactly what I might have said it provided for me - a way to relax -- and yet, I'm beginning to realize the level of distraction and disjointedness that always jumping on the internet has been for me. 

And before I go any further, I will be going back to the Internet. This isn't some wacko thing of never going online again. I promise. But I do feel like I had become rather dependent on the 'fix' of seeing what everyone was up to, finding new ideas {and I'm an idea gal folks, so the reality is, I get inspired, catch a vision for what could be, and then spend hours of wasted time dreaming and wondering and planning and then very little follow-through because I'm on to the next grand idea/plan/scheme. Does that even make sense?}

Anyway, in the Internet's absence, this week I have .... 

Read two books: 

 1) The Cure, by John Lynch/Bruce McNicol/Bill Thrall,  
 The Cure touched me at a deep place. I highly recommend it.

2) Interrupted, by Jen Hatmaker 

3) Re-read parts of Seven, by Jen Hatmaker (amazing book on the 'excess in our lives'. Wow. Life-changing really)

I've gotten more sleep this week. 

My house is cleaner.

I'm not racing around like a crazy woman because of losing track of time while surfing the net.

I've actually done more Water Street Dreams business done because I'm not distracted. 

More focused means more efficient. At least for me. 

I've spent more time with God and in prayer. 

I've visited with friends. 

And I don't say that to brag, I say that to say, "How pathetic have I been that I have wasted so many hours in front of a screen."

So we'll see where this goes. 

Easter's still a long ways off and I might be curled up in the fetal position going through mass withdrawal by next week, so stay tuned. Wanting to document my findings each week so that I can look back objectively and decide how to alter my life to get rid of some of the "excess" in my social media realm. Thanks to Jen Hatmaker's book "Seven" for what single-handedly has been one of the most significant books in my life, to date.  

I live a life of excess and I so do NOT want to live a life of excess. 

So it's a journey. 

And if you're looking for a great book, I highly recommend Seven and Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. She's HILARIOUS, I want to meet her and become her bff because through some of her writings I think we might have been separated at birth. {Or so I'd like to think.}  

So that's all I've got after one week away from my computer screen.

WEEK TWO COMPLETED:::  So Week Two was more of Week One. Reading more. Better (overall) with the kids. Getting more done. We had company for 5 days and I still got reading done and felt relatively rested throughout their whole stay.  (Had I been on the Internet I know I would have been exhausted because I would have stayed up way too late checking FB and my favorite blogs and Pinterest and all.)

I will say what I am finding is that there have been numerous times that I really would have liked to jump on Facebook to ask random questions for resources. So from an "information" standpoint, I am definitely missing Facebook. I also have several 'projects' on the go that I need to jump on Pinterest for, but I have inflicted upon myself a 'no Pinterest' rule (was I on drugs when I thought up this crap?)

So again, things are on hold for now, which is making me a wee bit crazy because I'd love to jump on, get the info I need and jump off .... I suppose I could and it would be fine. But I'm really tryin' over here. So that's Week Two in a nutshell.

So there you have it ... my thoughts on giving up Social Media and my computer life for 40 days. 

Bottom line: Loved it. Will try to figure out how to practice minimal screen time going forward. I highly recommend the unplugged life.

Highly.

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