Earlier this week I had to suddenly and unceremoniously unplug from Facebook. (Troll drama, long story.) Today is day three and, while the withdrawal was not as fierce as expected, I find myself not yet experiencing the promised freedom. Truth be told, I’ll be ready to log back on this weekend. But for today, I am here. In the slow lane.
Serendipitously, over the weekend I had made the commitment to return to this page and blogging. What I had forgotten is that the addicting quality of FB is that you can spend 5 minutes or 50. Blogging takes more time, more commitment; FB will suck in your entire life but also allows for an infinite number of drive-bys. And on school mornings when I’m on the rush, I have just about 5 minutes.
Knowing that the quality of writing improves with time to both consider and edit, I find myself wondering if the quality of content similarly suffers in the endless cycling of social media. I suspect that depth of thought is often shy in my quick morning jots. On the other hand, there is a candor when one has slight time to waver.
My Facebook posting has earned real friends, genuine critics, and a whole lot of head shaking. Curiously, or not so, most of the white men from my old church life have fallen away; my feed these days is genuinely racially diverse and largely queer friendly. I’m struck that the undoctored stream of consciousness has created a space quite different from the one that kept me cloistered (and perhaps uninformed) while serving the church. As I continue to understand call from this side of the door, I wonder if Facebook is for me church or addiction or both.
This morning I have a late start at school and time to complete and edit (briefly) a thought in this space. What I don’t have is a stream of others doing the same, simultaneously sharpening my thought and smoothing the edge. Blogging is a solitary writing exercise. Invaluable, distinct. But I miss the community that both inspires, cheers, and holds accountable.
In this strange new world we’ve entered, I suspect we will need both-and.
[Note: My dear one just gave the all clear to log back onto Facebook. And I think I just might.]