One of the reasons I decided to give up Facebook for a while is so that I could work more genuinely on my everyday “presentness.” By this, I mean taking more time to be in the moment, rather than obsess of the past or worry about the direction of my future.
I’ve been reading some incredible books by the American Buddhist Monk Pema Chodron that have really hit an accord with me. I’ve also been taking time to meditate at least every other day (my goal is daily). She is quite a warrior of truth and compassion, and her honesty about life is refreshing, albeit very blunt at times.
I think in many ways Facebook is the enemy of presentness. Now, for those who don’t take it very seriously, maybe this will not seem like such a big idea. However, a lot of us spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, investigating the lives of people close to us and people not so close to us. A majority of Facebook is self-promotion; we try to tell the best, more interesting versions of ourselves and sell them to our “Friends.”
We spend so much time in this other world, analyzing what our social network is up to. We only show a small part of ourselves here – not the deep souls and personalities that we are inside – both the beautiful and ugly. Maybe it can be used for some deeper connections, but I have seen little change in my own social life without it. It is still vibrant and I have always found direct communication more rewarding. In fact people have directly confronting me saying – “Hey, are you not on Facebook anymore?” This is a direct testament to what I’m arguing. Without Facebook, people are forced to communicate to me in a more direct fashion.
All I know is, without Facebook it seems like I spend much more time personally inquiring and caring about the lives around me. I have no database backup to assure me that my friends and family are doing well – I have to investigate these things with time, precision and earnestness.