Parenthood · Wonderings

My Facebook Break

I just logged out of Facebook and deleted the app from my phone.

This morning I posted to my beloved private moms’ group that I needed to step away. Just take a little break. Five hours later I had popped on to read comments to that post and previous conversations no fewer than 6 times.

I have a problem.

I love my mom network. This is an amazing group of intelligent and compassionate new moms and moms-to-be from all across the US. We’ve cried for help and company in the middle of the night. We’ve shared our deepest fears and greatest embarrassments. We’ve created a safe place to vent when one of us is just having the WORST day.

These are my friends. I’ve only met a few of them in real life. They are far away. But they are there. When I want to throw my three-year-old on the next freight train that rolls by or when I want to share with someone that I finally saw the baby stand up on his own! or when I want a high-five for finally getting a hair cut. They’re the cheerleaders and confidantes that I don’t have anywhere else.

I know more about what’s happening in their lives than in my own family. I want to know what that one baby’s strange rash was or how the brand new mom is holding up or who has finally found a sitter for a date night. It’s a village where I feel like I belong.

Facebook makes it so easy. It just takes a click to see that I have 15 new notifications. Just a click to see that there’s a new post in the group, and that more bright women have commented on more interesting topics. Just a click to read…and by the time I’m ready to comment someone in real life needs something from me.

I crave that adult interaction. I want to be a part of a conversation. I want to feel like a part of the sisterhood, particularly on days when it seems no one is listening or cares about my needs. So I find myself sneaking peeks when I get a chance, which is kind of a lot. Until I get the call, “Mom! You want to play with me?”

Sadly I’ve caught myself several times telling him (while typing), “Hold on. Just let me finish this.” Even worse is that I’ve started to feel annoyed when I do. I feel irritated when I don’t get a chance to check in before the kids get up in the morning. That’s where this has all gone wrong.

I don’t want to walk away forever. I just need to find a balance. So I’m forcing myself to go cold turkey through the weekend, just to see if the twitch goes away. Then I’ll come back with limits. The relationships have been built. The conversations go on. I can do this.

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4 thoughts on “My Facebook Break

  1. I feel you. I feel like I’ve been doing the same thing unintentionally – but mine is more for lack of time. If I only have 2 minutes to skim my newsfeed, I don’t really have time to read 100 comments on a post that totally looks like fun! (Confessions) I miss the way it used to be, being involved in every single conversation…but it is one of the challenges of a group growing to 100. I support your Facebook break, but I hope we can stay in touch via other methods!

  2. “I crave that adult interaction. I want to be a part of a conversation. I want to feel like a part of the sisterhood, particularly on days when it seems no one is listening or cares about my needs. So I find myself sneaking peeks when I get a chance, which is kind of a lot.”

    This. I have more “online” friends than I do in real life (this base is much harder to find friends the second time around). But I’m online alllll the time. I just discovered that you can turn off apps on your phone, and I think I may try that, so I won’t at least be glued to it during the day. We’ll see. I’m anxious to see what your time without it was like!

  3. Jessica, I think it’s really common for SAHMs to crave connection. And technology makes it SO easy to do this online. It’s a good thing in so many ways, but it’s so easy to get sucked in. Especially when you’re always someplace new or your real life friends have moved away! As for my time without Facebook… this is a very interesting experiment. I look forward to giving a full report!

  4. Sychela, I totally feel anxiety when a fun conversation has happened while I sleep. It’s that stupid “Ooooo, they were having fun without me!” feeling. But then I get these connections on the outside that are way more meaningful and my decision to focus my energy elsewhere for a little while is reaffirmed. So far I think we’re doing OK! ;)

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