This week, looking ahead to 2013, I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account. Is my life really enriched by knowing that an old classmate is having steak for dinner? Or my sister in law has a pile of ironing to do? Or by hearing my cousin’s offensive political opinions? I think not.
When I first signed up to Facebook, it seemed a fun way to keep up with those friends and family members that I didn’t get to see often. Then there was the novelty of seeing how former classmates had “turned out”. Over the last year or so, when I have been trying to pare down and simplify my life in many ways, it has become increasingly apparent that Facebook is not such fun. It has become, for me at least, a compulsive and yet irritating presence. Yes, I have had some wobbles (a Fear of Missing Out, as Leo Babuta might put it) but in deactivating my account, I feel that I have opened up a new space in my life. Facebook – I don’t need you!
Other internet sites and habits have been more of a support and inspiration this year though. I have really enjoyed being part of the Everyday Matters group, joining in with Daisy Yellow’s ICAD Challenge in the summer, and more recently signing up to the Love What You Wear project.
But one of the things I have been most proud of this year was overcoming my party-phobia to invite friends and neighbours round for a stitch-in as we took part in the Craftivist Jigsaw Project. Online groups certainly have a place, but sometimes you need to connect with people right where you are. And giving a thought to what the future world might need to look like, this community level involvement will become more important than over. So, for 2013, I would like to devote the time and headspace freed up by releasing myself from Facebook to make deeper connections with local friends and neighbours. Just call me an old-fashioned girl.