So, it turns out, that 99% of the thoughts that crossed my mind before The Great Deactivation were, in fact, related to Facebook.
As in, "What a beautiful day! I think it deserves a status update!" Or, "It's Wednesday! I survived the first half of the work week! I better let Facebook know!"
I've found myself following this train of thought down its attention-whoring track several times, daily, only to screech to a halt and remember that I no longer have the option of sharing my musings, clever and witty though they may be, with the world.
And dammit, I MISS it. I actually MISS posting status updates and checking to see who liked/commented/ignored them. I'm actually missing the approval of my peers that Facebook afforded me.
When Facebook debuted, and I jumped on the bandwagon my freshman year of college--back when only students were granted access, there was no "mobile" option. You had to log in, on your computer. Meaning, unless you really had nothing to do and nowhere to be, it was damn near impossible to remain connected, At. All. Times.
But round about oh, 2009, right about the time I crashed headfirst into the worst heartbreak I've experienced, to date (please God, hopefully the worst I ever experience ever again) I got myself a phone with internet access...
Yeah, that was a magnificent idea. You mean, wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I can see his status updates? I can see if he's miserable, or having fun, and stalk every woman who comments on his page? From Starbucks? Or my CAR? Brilliant.
Eventually, and quite literally by the grace of God, I healed from that break-up, but the Facebook addiction was here to stay. And that, friends, was the end of solitude, for me.
That looks really silly, seeing it there in writing. That a social networking site could rob an individual of solitude. But it did. I've always been someone who enjoyed being alone. But for the past few years, I haven't felt that the time I've spent alone has been time ALONE. Because I just couldn't resist the damn news feed. That compulsive feeling of, what if I MISS something? I filled even my "quiet", "personal" time with a constant stream of noise produced by OTHER people. My time for rest, reflection, prayer, peace--sacrificed, willingly.
This has been the most evident difference, the most profound detox I've experienced this week. Sitting alone on my lunch break, I felt what I initially identified as lonely. What I first perceived as isolation is, in reality, solitude.
And as it turns out, that is not at all a bad thing. Not to get all philosophical and deep, but truly do find it ironic that all along, that I WAS, indeed, missing something. And it's nice, however slowly, to be discovering it again.
13 hours ago