Disclaimer: this is NOT a Facebook-bashing post! It’s just that from time to time I need to evaluate my Facebook habits, more importantly, the aspects of Facebook that seem to hook me.
I was up early this morning doing a little online reading and I stumbled across this article about one aspect of Facebook: birthday notifications. I invite you to take a moment to read it now. I’ll wait until you come back.
This article resonated with me, especially now, at the beginning of the year, that clean slate time when many of us renew healthy habits and routines. You see, I strive to fast from social media on Sundays, with the exception of Instagram. (If I see something I want to photograph and post, I don’t care what day of the week it is.) But I find that when I refrain from checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email on the Sabbath, my head clears a bit. And when I feel a yearn to check it during my fast, I pay attention to the fact that these platforms might have become a bit too important to me.
So why did this article land so strongly with me? I’ve found myself checking Facebook on Sundays in the event someone I know was having a birthday and I needed to acknowledge it. It’s an example of how I’ve allowed Facebook to hook me. When I consider it rationally, I don’t think I have friends who are monitoring whether or not I wish them a happy birthday. Those I know well I can call or text. Or…gasp…plan ahead and send a card.
And so, I have taken action. I’ve edited my Facebook birthday setting so that it isn’t available, even to my friends. (If you want to wish me a happy birthday, make a note. It’s September 16. 😉 ) And I’m not going to obsess over wishing friends a happy birthday on Facebook. If you and I know each other well, you’ll get a text, call, or card.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of 2018. I saw this article just in time to renew my Sabbath Facebook fast. I expect to feel a little tug to check in. I’ll pay attention to that.
And if you’re having a birthday tomorrow, I hope it’s a great one!