We’re cruising through week #2 of Lent, one without Facebook for me as it was the thing I chose to give up during the Lenton season. For those of you not familiar with the social networking site, status updates are things that you can type whenever you want to update you cyber-community about, well, anything you want. These notices, or updates, will appear instantaneously on all of your friends’ news feeds. These can range from “Had delicious pancakes for breakfast” to “Is it true that Michael Jackson died?” to “Only 3 more loads of laundry to go for today” Yes, yes…you nod your head along with me thinking, “Do we REALLY need to know this stuff?” Isn’t this the act of airing personal laundry in and of itself? When you have an account though, and you have friends in your network (sprinkled with ones you may see on a daily basis, to ones you haven’t seen since grade school) you, too, may feel the temptation to stay connected by sharing some tidbits about yourself on there. I know I did, and went about sharing them (daily!)
So you ask, what is life like when you’re unable to broadcast what’s happening in your day and your interpretation of it through an online forum? I’ll answer that with a story from last week. I was sitting in Tiger’s Tale restaurant with my friend Claire chatting together while munching on popcorn. She asked how I was coping without Facebook these days. I told her that it has been difficult to fight the urge to log on (many, maaaaanny times) mainly since I could easily get on the site through my phone. On the flip side, now I was finding it easier to focus my attention on the things right in front of me. All in all, it hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated. She later noted, “I bet you would’ve put a status update on there tonight about this popcorn.” With no other option but to laugh in agreement, I immediately pictured it right there in my mind: Tiger’s Tale popcorn…salty, yet delicious.. She laughed along with me and casually reminded me of the bigger picture when she said, “It’s kind of cool that now it’s just something only between me and you.” As insignificant as it may have sounded, at that moment I clearly understood that the sacrifice I was making was actually teaching me a lesson in return. I was given a greater gift of being present and in the moment; all this while we continued to talk and enjoy our popcorn.