I’m the first to admit that I often exaggerate, especially on Facebook—my “bear” posts are a perfect example of that. Those who know me know that I’m joking. Those who don’t try to give me actual advice about bears, or sometimes camp--and that's okay, I'm happy anyone actually pays attention to me. My posts usually take a regular situation and focus on the part that I find funny. Or I focus on the one small part of the day that caused me aggravation and I talk about that.
But in general, my days are not nearly as funny or as frustrating as my posts indicate. Because my posts are a thin sliver of my life. While I have absolutely no desire to post about my breakfast or complain about the weather, I try—only sometimes successfully—to entertain myself and others with my posts.
However, lately, Facebook has become a lot less fun. Between politics and terrorism and each person’s reaction to those things, Facebook is turning into a magnification of all that is wrong with the world. Our lives, as represented on Facebook, are intended to garner a reaction from people, so we vent and we share without consideration of whether those things are accurate.
Political posts are skewed. Posts about terrorism are intended to pull out the greatest emotions from everyone. Like the news media of late, everything is biased, which sometimes makes reading a Facebook news feed painful.
As we get closer to the elections, I suspect my newsfeed is going to be cluttered with anti-candidate rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. I myself post some of it, although I do try to be careful with what I put out there.
But we’re all guilty of it to some extent (except for those of you who post your breakfast habits).
So this weekend, I took a break. Facebook is my water cooler, my entertainment break for the day—despite the fact that I leave myself signed in because, quite frankly, I can never remember my password, I’m not actually on Facebook 24 hours a day—and it’s supposed to entertain me. It hasn’t in a while. So I took Shabbat off.
It was difficult, as I found myself automatically clicking on it and then remembering and getting out of it again. Instead, I found other things to do. And I really didn’t miss it all that much. In fact, I found the break useful and relaxing.
I’m not giving up Facebook anytime soon. It’s fun and it’s useful and I’m not hiding under a rock. But I am cutting back.
Because with all that’s going on in the world, if my “breaks” are stressing me out, I’m doing it wrong.