Family life

Why my Facebook hiatus is now a Facebook breakup

After spending seven months away from Facebook, Katie has decided she’s not going back. At least not this year.

By Katie Dupuis
Why my Facebook hiatus is now a Facebook breakup

Photo: hocus-focus/iStockphoto

I’ve thought about it for weeks now: Do I dare sign in, after seven months of being away? Am I strong enough to parcel out my time and cut myself off after 10 minutes of newsfeed-reading and creeping? Do I care enough to invest precious quiet moments in other people’s baby bump pictures, workout regimens and dinner menus? Am I okay to miss announcements and news from friends and family? (To date, as a direct result of my Facebook hiatus, I’ve missed at least two pregnancy announcements, a handful of engagements, countless new jobs, and even a few bad news stories where I would have offered my condolences, if I had known. Oh, and don’t even ask me about the birthdays I missed last year without the handy reminders.)
But I guess the real question is, “Will my life be better if I go back?”
For Facebook junkies out there, it’s a no-brainer. Of course I should rejoin. I have a cute little girl my friends would love to watch from afar, through photo albums and updates. It’s good for networking. It’s actually a fairly important part of my job, to be tapped in to all kinds of social media. I could link to my blog posts and start interesting conversations. All of these things are valid points, and I understand why many people are connected to their profile pages on an almost constant basis (when I was in university, I was pretty much tethered to MSN Messenger, so I reserve judgment).
But on the flip side, when I get into bed at night these days, I don’t feel compelled to scroll through the newsfeed one last time. Instead, I can update my Sophie journal — where I keep her milestones, so I don’t forget when she first said “cracker” (pronounced “cack-ah” and now repeated over and over again) or when she yelled “GUYS!” from the backseat of the car to get our attention — or I can read a few pages of my book-of-the-moment (currently The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling) just like I did when I was 13. It’s a nice, screen-less moment for me, after sitting at a computer for at least eight hours of the day. I don’t want to give that up yet. And I know that I could be on Facebook and still designate that time for myself, but I just don’t know that I have the willpower.
I’ve also enjoyed seven months of a little less anxiety, believe it or not. I don’t have to worry about the newsfeed throwing something sad or horrible my way (usually involving moms or kids, because Facebook creepily knows what would align with my profile) and I don’t have to stress out, after reading other parents’ updates, that Sophie isn’t walking yet when other kids around her age are (she’s close but the kid’s taking her time). When I last blogged about leaving Facebook, someone commented that I sounded insecure, and I fully admit that that’s partially true. I’m insecure as a mom — I don’t feel like I know what the hell I’m doing most of the time — and I don’t need Facebook to amp up that uncertainty for me. 
So, for 2013, I’ll stick to the 140 characters of Twitter (follow me @katie_dupuis), and recipes and home décor on Pinterest (find me: Katie Dupuis). Maybe 2014 will be the Facebook year for me.
Then again, she says as she cracks her book and sighs, maybe not.

This article was originally published on Jan 10, 2013

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