Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking My Face(book) Off(line)

In the spirit of pursuing a Mak
e It Happen Mama lifestyle, I recently decided this was the year to make a Lenten resolution. After much introspection, I was able to identify several habits which, while enjoyable, may take up too much time (social networking sites), impact my health (my insatiable sweet tooth), or just plain don't contribute to my life in any worthwhile fashion (celebrity gossip). Having gone on a sugar fast in the past, I know that side effects for me include headaches and crankiness, so this may be a change better attempted during the summer, when fewer people would have to deal with a sugar-free me on a daily basis. Curbing my yen for celebrity gossip is fairly easy, almost too easy - I wanted a challenge. So it came down to Facebook. While I certainly don't think I am addicted to Facebook, my husband complains at least twice a week about me returning messages, checking statuses, etc. when he wants to use the computer. I could just chalk this up to his antisocial nature or general male crankiness, rattle off a list of excuses (95% of my friends live in different time zones, we all work, most have kids and it's hard to catch each other on the phone, my family likes me to post pictures of our son...the list goes on and on!) or I could stop and actually consider the impact this activity has on my life. Am I really addicted to Facebook? Would it be so terrible to give it up for Lent? Geography makes face-to-face time pretty much impossible, but what is keeping me from picking up the phone and spending half an hour with a friend each day? Can I take this challenge one step further and eke time out of my schedule to actually converse with people?

My rational, MIHM side says no problem. My addictive, social, internet-loving side says it will be difficult, but doable. My husband (with a snort) predicts it will last a week. Talking to some of my friends about it, I've gotten mixed reviews. Red-Headed Mommy, a friend from grad school, says she'll miss me but is impressed I am taking on the task. Little Brother, a friend from college, votes *dislike*, irritated he won't have up-to-the-minute photographic documentation of how my preschooler is growing and developing (there's a reason my husband calls me mamarazzi...but that's a topic for another post). Violin Goddess, a friend from college, was first aggravated I would be missing in action, then terrified when I announced part of my resolution is to spend more time talking to friends on the phone, instead of merely cyber-stalking them (apparently, she's phone-phobic - who knew?). Hot Blond, another grad school friend, thinks she may take on the same resolution. Well, at least now I know I'll have someone to talk to on the phone - and I've definitely been neglecting Hot Blond lately :-( Sweet Teacher at work told me today she is giving up sugar, taking Oprah's phone challenge AND vowing to run six days a week through the Lenten season. Wow, and I thought I was challenging myself!

So on this Fat Tuesday, I am scrambling to answer the last of my Facebook birthday greetings (not helpful that my birthday and Ash Wednesday are only 3 days apart this year!) and making sure my phone number and e-mail address are obvious on my Info page...you know, just in case any of my 700ish friends can make the great sacrifice of putting their laptops down and spending some quality voice time with me.

Take a minute and tell me about your Lenten resolutions - or lack thereof. It's not quite the same as chatting on the phone, but I'd love to hear your thoughts :-)

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