Friday, April 8, 2011

Journal - April 8, 2011 - What Drives Me

"Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare." Isaiah 55:1-2
I deactivated my Facebook account. I'd never even considered doing it before, but then, one sunny afternoon, when I dashed inside to check my email and felt that lately all-too-familiar sinking feeling of getting no feedback, I realized something had gone awry. Facebook was supposed to be a tool to stay in contact with a few close friends, share some pictures of my sweet baby and see my friends' important moments. Suddenly, though, I realized it had become a barometer of some sort rather than a harmless tool. If I didn't have any comments, one part of me felt, that meant I wasn't interesting. No longer did it satisfy to have lunch and share a meaningful story with one true friend, I was posting for over a hundred -- some people I didn't know and most of whom I'd probably never talk to in person.

Did I even really care what these people thought? What happened? I realized it wasn't that I wasn't satisfied with a few simple, in-the-flesh friends, it was that I hadn't take much time to spend with real people. That fact, and its consequences, was what didn't satisfy. That was why I was disappointed in so silly a thing as "0 comments". I was annoyed with myself for even feeling this way, but then I decided to take it easy on myself. We do need thoughtful feedback, and genuine encouragement for the things that are important to us. But receiving thoughtful feedback and encouragement comes from the work, and sometimes the inconvenience, of cultivating relationships with real people. I think Facebook is great, but for me, it had taken the place of something much, much better. I realized that, with everything going on in my life the past few years, I had forgotten what it felt like not to be in survival mode, and some of my relationships had fallen by the wayside. Right now, I'd rather write a thought-out, heartfelt blog post that only a precious few read, than hope for witty feedback over the fact that I had grapefruit for breakfast. It may seem more thankless at first, but over time I think it will be more more fulfilling. I can't be driven by things I can't control, such as how many people choose to give feedback. I can only follow what I believe to be my purpose, share my life, and have faith that I will enrich those people God means me to enrich.

Love to all.


  1. This was for me. I've been feeling that about facebook exactly. About social networks in general. Like my worth is based on how many people follow me or who stops by to say hello on my wall. I do love reading witty banter between you, Julie and Tracy and Wendy :) and occasionally posting something myself. But, I would much rather read about how your home is coming along and cute stories about Vu and Ransom and your general well being.

    A huge hug from 3,500 miles away ;)

  2. Carrie, I love you. Thanks for understanding, and speaking up. You are one of the few who I realized I really, really didn't want to lose contact with, and then I realized, hey, you're one of my blog followers! It's interesting to think that a gorgeous, intelligent, highly creative, beloved girl like yourself can be made to feel that way by something as silly as social networking. I have a feeling we're far, very far, from being alone in this. :)
    Can't wait to see you (and your amazing little girl) in May!!!

  3. Amy,, huh? I never thought of that...thank you for you courage to do it...and to share that you have set yourself free from the social glad to have stumbled here.

    Cari Kaufman (ye ole highschool friend of your dear hubby's)

  4. Thanks so much for your comment, Cari. I'm glad to hear others understand why I felt the need to take such "drastic" measures. :)

  5. If you go back to FB, you can make it where only certain friends see your wall at all. So you don't have to post it for everyone to see and you don't have to unfriend those people from high school that you never talked to if you don't want to ;) It's in your privacy settings.

    I just like that on FB I know who can see my posts and pictures and with blogging I feel like any person (lurker) can come across it (not that what I have to say is uber entertaining or interesting!!). I can make mine private, but it requires friends to put in a password and that seems kind of like a hassle. I blogged almost every day when pregnant with Bro and I still enjoy going back to read through those. My goal is to blog more often than I have recently so the new babe will have something fun to read one day :)

  6. Good thoughts - I think I will go back to Facebook eventually, and I will definitely edit my privacy settings. I miss seeing friends' pictures the most. I would love to print out my blog in the form of a memory book for Ran when I get enough posts, and I would love to read more of your blog, too, when you get the chance to post more!