Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lesson Learned

Well, there are only ten days left in my life without Facebook.  I'm going back on Good Friday but for a good reason.  That day is national autism awareness day and I want to spread the word.  If I'm your friend on there, prepare for your wall to be lit up blue with awareness.

I've learned a lot during this time without Facebook.  I've learned that I don't need it.  I've learned that it's a dangerous place to exercise my nosy muscle, which has since gone all flabby and weak.  I've also learned that it's kind of nice to be disconnected but the greatest lesson of all happened the first week without it.

I had gone to church the Sunday after I gave it up and as I was walking out a woman said to me, "so...how's it going without Facebook?" My answer was half-way between a word and a grumble.  She giggled and said, "that must be hard, especially for you cause you're the QUEEN of Facebook."  That perked me up a bit and I scrunched my eyebrows,  looked her dead in the eye and said, "why do you say that?"  "Because...you're on all day long.  Every time I log on I see your name at the bottom with a little green light next to it which means you're always on there."

This really surprised me because you see, I'm NOT on Facebook all the time.  I just log on in the morning and walk away, never bothering to officially log off because I will check it sporadically throughout the day and don't want to bother with all the hoo-ha of remembering my password.

So, she was right in one respect.  I was technically logged on all day.  Thing is, she took that fact and added an assumption to it. She assumed that because I was logged on, that I spend all day and night on Facebook.  And on top of that assumption, she added judgment.  So, she had herself a nice little trifle of lies built on a fact that was taken out of context.  This hurt my feelings but as I sat and thought about it I realized that I often times do the same thing.

I will take what I see, what I know to be true and add assumptions and judgments to it that are completely false.  And even though I can prove the initial fact, everything that comes after that is pure conjecture.  What a huge lesson for me.  And here is where it comes full circle.  I often see things on Facebook that I make assumptions about and then make judgments.  I made reference to this before, about seeing pictures of people taking exiting vacations and making the assumptions that they have plenty of money to do so and therefore must be better with their finances than me.  Or that they had a great time and didn't have to deal with the aggravations of travel that always plague me.  Or that their lives are somehow more exciting and fulfilling than mine. Or that they are better parents because they take their kids to cool places.

I made assumptions about them and generally judged myself based on those assumptions that were of course, built on lies.  Now, Facebook isn't the only place I do this but it was what I needed to learn about it.  This means that when I go back on there on Friday I will see things differently.  And I will see things differently in my world as well.  Not everything I see, as factual as it may seem, is the full story.

This principle can be applied in nearly every aspect of my life.  I can't be sure that I know the whole story of what went down when the kids were fighting in the other room because I wasn't there to know the whole dynamics. I can't be sure that what Howie does is wrong without kindly asking WHY so that I can understand his perspective.  I can't be sure that I know much about anything from friends and neighbors to what I see on the news to government health plans.  I can have opinions but I also need to remember that my opinions are pretty much useless because I don't have all of the facts.  Nobody does.  Lesson learned!

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder and great post.

    I'm guilty of doing that too...logging in and then checking throughout the day when I have a minute (or two, or three). I'm slowly weaning myself away -- trying no FB on weekends.

    Have a happy FB-Free day!

    ~ Jennifer

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