Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You can't call it cheatin'...

...she reminds me of you
-Gin Blossoms, Cheatin'

You're dying to know, aren't ya? I mean you're dying to know how this giving up facebook for lent thing is working out for me. Well, you can see from the title that perhaps I haven't been as faithful to my plan as I intended. As I should have been.

For a few weeks, I was doing awesome. I didn't check facebook, and it was actually really freeing. I didn't care what I was missing - no, seriously. I guess I didn't care because I didn't know what I was missing. I got the email notifications and deleted them without a second thought.

Then, some of my students wanted to tweak our facebook group, and I was like "Great! Oh wait. Uh oh." I spent an ungodly (pun intended) amount of time trying to remember my password. (I'd oh-so-unwisely changed my password about a week before I signed off. Dumb move of the month.) And this password forgetting incident coincided nicely with my email forwarding account crashing. Double fail. So I eventually got back into my account and sent some messages to my scholars using our snazzy new group. Even sent a facebook invite. But I was JUST doing the work part - I wouldn't even let myself look at my news feed. I decided that although I wasn't following the letter of the law, I was still in the spirit of the law. I was just communicating with my students in a different way. I'd have emailed them the same info, right?!

Then, I got a message from my friend with the subject "busted." (How the heck did she know?!) I had nearly forgotten about a comment I left on a blog that we both read - something like "Yeah, laughed when I saw that on facebook too! LOL." (For the record, I had seen said funny thing while looking over Derek's shoulder - that time wasn't really cheating!) So, in that case, I'd been following the letter of the law - I wasn't logged in and looking at my facebook page, but I really wasn't sticking to my intentions.

And then I heard my friend had a baby and I was like "What? I didn't even know she was expecting!" So I had to log in to see pictures. (Turns out she adopted and it was a very quick process.) But at that point, I'm following neither the letter of the law nor the spirit. Awww, hell. Anybody posted pics of their dog wearing a tiara today?

Jesus was certainly not a letter of the law kind of guy. One of the big lessons for me is that intentions matter. Motives matter. It's not just about what you do (though that's important!) but the spirit in which you do what you do.

The truth is - giving up facebook for Lent was intended solely as a way to refocus my time. To spend fewer hours online and more hours in real conversations with real people and the very real Creator. And the sad fact is that I didn't really do that at all. I added a bunch of new subscriptions to my Google Reader. (Seriously, I read way too many blogs about sick children. It's hard on my heart.) I checked Reader way more than I used to. I wandered around aimlessly online, checking out sites I'd never before felt the urge to peruse.

There are precious few hours between baby bedtime and my bedtime. And yet I choose to spend those hours reading about other people's children. And then, instead of spending fun time with my own children, I have to fold the laundry.

Arrggh. Real life is hard sometimes. Virtual, online life seems so much easier.


Anonymous said...

I didn't realize how much I've come to rely on FB to keep up with others until you weren't on FB anymore. Sad, but true. -Mindy

Amy said...

If we could only get Facebook to fold the laundry...