Several years ago I started a Facebook page in order to stay connected with my sons – the youngest in the USMC and the oldest living out of state. Eventually my friends’ list expanded and included a news feed of positive posts and encouragement. Though I’m not on social media for hours on end, I’ve developed a habit of checking it daily. Over the last week I gave it up and this is what I discovered:
I miss posts and pictures of my family in PA, OH and HI.
I miss sharing in the accomplishments and celebrations of those I can’t be with in person.
I miss reading and sharing inspirational quotes, words of wisdom and clever sayings.
I miss seeing pictures of places where others have travelled.
I miss silly pictures and funny scenarios of pets and children.
I miss seeing and sharing pictures from trail running – of my partner, sunsets, animals, landscapes, lakes and even swamps.
I miss discovering previously unknown perspectives and priorities of friends.
I miss new recipes and craft ideas.
I miss the encouragement from others, (especially on PSKeePSeeking fb page).
I miss logging in with a cup of coffee early in the morning.
I miss looking back through pictures and remembering good times.
I don’t miss political rants and insults (or rants/insults of any kind for that matter).
I don’t miss unnecessary drama and negativity.
I don’t miss invitations to play Candy Crush.
I don’t miss vague posts by those with a chip on their shoulder.
I don’t miss attention seeking status’ fishing for sympathy, compliments or validation.
I don’t miss detailed descriptions or pictures of injuries, stitches or lost toe nails.
I don’t miss being tagged in unflattering pictures.
I don’t miss the childishness of unfriending friends.
I don’t miss the Facebook memory feature reminding me of difficult seasons in my life.
Facebook is a tool. Like any tool, it can be used to build-up or tear down; connect or separate; create or destroy. It is a form of communication. Just like conversation, it can uplift or degrade; boast or praise; inspire or discourage. Our profiles, posts and pages reflect the difference – self absorbed, or compassionate. Timelines may not rank high in the whole scheme of life, but the impact we make on others certainly does – especially in person and yes, even on social media.