A few nights ago I dreamed I was on Facebook and having trouble with it.  I have no idea what the trouble was but as I was waking up I somehow decided I would stay off Facebook for a month.  Once I was fully awake, I thought about that decision and wondered:  “Why not?”  What would be the downside of taking a month off from Facebook?  True, I keep up with family and friends on FB but should I spend so much time keeping up?  I still have email and my blog and it occurs to me that there were blogs I used to follow before I was addicted to FB.  Well, I clicked  the FB icon one last time to inform followers that I’d be away until September.  The next day I learned that grandson Jeremy and family were going to Guatemala for three weeks; they promised to send pics by FB.  I guess I’ll have to wait.  It seems I am already anxious for September to arrive so I can “catch up.”  Yesterday I came, purely by accident, across a video by “the ugliest girl on the internet.”  In a culture enamored of human beauty, what must it feel like to be “Miss Ugly?” It touched me so much that I immediately wanted to share it with FB friends.  I was able to do that  without actually going on the Facebook site.  So I did it.   How will this adventure go from now on?

Of course, if I can’t go on Facebook, I can’t play FB Scrabble!  Ever since Scrabble  updated itself, every time I open my iPad I’ve been getting a little pop-up that says, “Katy has played a word in Scrabble.   Close?  or Launch?”  And since Katy and I have two games going, when I close the first one, a second one pops up.  I close that and a third pops up, from Stephen.   It seems Stephen has played a word in Scrabble.  Close?  or Launch?  Stephen hasn’t been playing with me lately and I’d love to re-engage.    By this time, I have no idea why I opened the iPad in the first place.  I used to Launch whoever had just played a word because I knew they were waiting, intending to send a “quick” word and stop the pop-ups.  Sadly, the last time I opened the iPad I found I was being “nudged”  to take my turn.

In truth, I don’t know why I still enjoy Scrabble after having played hundreds of games.  I started Scrabbling just like I started blogging — just jumped in, without rules and without skills.  But even old folks can learn, and I’ve learned just enough to get by.  Too often I will settle and send a word with only 20 points because it’s “good enough” and I don’ feel like striving for my “best.”  Mostly, I think, it’s about keeping in touch.  That little “chat” feature that goes along with Scrabble keeps me in almost daily touch with my dear daughter in Indiana, who gave me the iPad in the first place.

Who knew?  It turns out that Facebook will not allow me to ignore Facebook.  After a couple of days of not going on, Facebook emailed me with “Hi, Dorothy, here’s some activity you may have missed on Facebook.”  I had 2 messages and 7 notifications.    It listed the names of the people who had posted statuses, photos, and more on Facebook.  I had missed some popular stories by other friends.  It even included seven itty-bitty pictures of my friends and if I so much as touched one of them my iPad would take me directly to their Facebook site.

 

Nikki Vikki, Joël le Vigne, Gypsy VonBeck, and 4 other friends have posted statuses, photos and more on Facebook.

So, only a week after beginning  my “Facebook Fast” I am itching to get back on.  Friends and relatives are traveling and will be sending updates and pics.  I came across a really great quote that I wanted to share with FB friends.  I wanted to send a message to someone on FB and I don’ t have an email address.  What stops me from giving up this moratorium nonsense?  I am reminded of something I read as a teenager about a woman who received a letter and put off opening it for several hours, trying to grow in patience and self-discipline, offering that wee sacrifice to her Lord.  How hard can it be for me to wait until September?

Which brings me to my first insight into Facebook — it is a major DISTRACTION!   In the same way that one enters a room and promptly clicks on the TV I used to open my iPad to see what was happening — usually without a thought that I’d be better off doing something else.  Both TV and FB are time thieves.  We seem to have a greediness for something new to amuse us, engage us, and with the World Wide Web and satellites available there is ALWAYS something new — no human can possibly keep up with all the fascinating things happening EVERYWHERE!  We get lured in and can waste inordinate amounts of time just wandering the world,  seeking, learning, sucking, feeding, grasping.   Perhaps inordinate is the operative word here.

Where is self-disclipline?  Where is BALANCE?  We can be stretched too far and too thin.  Balance consists in doing the will of God at the moment in our own little sphere.   Lead Thou me on.