I have a problem… I am an introverted social butterfly. In my younger years, I was, without a doubt, a true extrovert. Talking to strangers? They won’t be strangers for long! Crowds? Loved them! Meeting new people? Bring them on! I still have a gift for having conversations with perfect strangers. However, I feel less energized by mobs of people and just slightly suffocated and worse drained by them. My avenue of socializing has morphed in the technological age and enabled my extroverted side to get its needs met, while maintaining my introverted sides cloistered life.
I have become a Facebook junkie. It enabled me to socialize in a way that most suited my I/ENFP personality. I/E because the test says I am 51% introverted and 49% extroverted. I gleaned so much from other people’s posts which fed my intuition, feeling and perception needs. Overall, this personality type takes writing as its most favored means of communication. However, in the Facebook setting it set up a lazy way of building and maintaining relationships. By all means, it is a great way to keep with family that live far away. But, it also enabled a sort of excuse for not going the extra mile to be with family and friends.
All during Ramadan, I had to ignore people due to their “social activism” of displaying photos of dead babies in Palestine. I know they think they are getting a message across, but it is having the opposite affect. It desensitizes people. If you really want to help, write about it… the imagery a person’s mind can create will leave a more permanent and deeper mark on their hearts and cause more understanding and empathy. The photos of dead babies just says there is a war. A well told story, a historical lesson, or even a piece of art will inform people why it is not just any war and perhaps more than just a war; a genocide.
I am hoping that getting off Facebook will open my time up to pursue creative projects that I keep talking about, but never getting done. I had already given up T.V. before, but filled it with more Facebook. Now I need to fill my time with things that really make me feel good and alive… Facebook does not do that for me. Sadly, a lot of times Facebook makes me feel worse. Like recently, we had our Eid prayer after a month of Ramadan. I watched on Facebook for the month of everyone getting their Eid outfits. I perused the designer websites everyone in the community was sharing. I drooled over fashions and oooed over colors and fabrics. I do not have the same marriage as they do and so I was able to fight for my kids to have Eid clothes while I sat outside in my jeans and shirt watching everyone go in glammed up.
After the Eid prayer, as I sat at home while my spouse entertained his friends next door, I saw all the photos of everyone celebrating Eid with their families and friends…having fun, belonging somewhere, their presence being wanted. I was happy for them, but felt like crap. I logged off and slept the day away. It was a wake up that Facebook is just as harmful as it is useful.
Today is my first day without Facebook. It is funny that I have a nasty habit of picking up the phone; much like when you quit smoking cigarettes… yea you crave the nicotine, but you also crave doing something with your hands and mouth which is one reason people gain weight after the quit. I hope I do not gain any more weight quitting Facebook. I only once tried to go on Facebook on my phone, but had signed out and that was enough of a reminder that I made a promise to myself to not go on for a week. I am only doing a week at first to see if I can handle the withdrawals. At this point in my life, I do not have much a social circle aside from my sisters and even then we are not able to get together that much. My extroverted side is not content.