Taking a break from Fakebook – by Jill Rowe

funny-social-media-man-jailI have not been here.

Over the past little while I took a break from Facebook. I’ve not ‘photo-ed’ for Instagram and my tweeting volume has been close to zero.  I have not been here.

Why? Because I know that sometimes being here stops me being here, where I should be or where I need to be.

Distance and falsehood

The virtual world is just what it says it is. Virtual and not real.  And if you’re not careful, it creates distance and a whole heap of falsehood. Many close to me will have heard me call it ‘Fakebook’. I’m conscious that it builds thrones and platforms that can be built on nothing more than sand.

We forget that the things we are fed and the things we feed are always highly filtered, if not by us then by the logarithms that sit behind the machine. Sooner or later we have to pull the curtain back and face what is real and what is reality.

Knocked and dented

For some of us, we are strong but for some of us we are not and we create our worth as we create our online profile. For others, our worth is knocked and dented by the profile of others.

And if any of us thinks that our value as human beings is based on our ‘likes’ – the momentary online click of approval – if we constantly check how many likes we have, or compare our likes to those of others, if we take our posts down when we’ve not got what we wanted, if we think or do any of these thing then I’m telling you it is a pile of BS. Honestly.

Keep believing that this is where worth resides and you, me, we, we will all lose the plot. What happens ‘here’ is not always the truth or the whole truth and sadly sometimes nothing like the truth – so help us God.

A resource not a master

So my recommendation to us all is that we learn how to take a break sometimes.
Learn how to not be here so that we really can be here.
Learn how to see social media as resource and do not let it be our master.
Learn how to be with the people we are with and practice putting our phones down.
Learn how to speak again – one to one and do not do not do not pick up our phones to check or measure our profile ratings.
Learn how to look up and around at the world we are in.
Learn how to give thanks for what we have and not to be jealous of the show-reel of others (remember it’s not a real reel).
Learn that we don’t need to show off because we’re not sure if we have enough to show.
Learn how less really can be more.
Learn how to be real again and again and again.

And when we return – let’s tell one another what we’ve have learnt as well.
Help us all to remember how to not be here.

Jill Rowe is Ethos & Formation Director for Oasis 

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2 Responses to Taking a break from Fakebook – by Jill Rowe

  1. misseagle says:

    Thank you Jill Rowe. I support your comments. I ran a small stable of blogs on separate topics for approximately ten years. The main/anchor blog was one of social and political commentary. Others focussed on art, the environment, and spirituality. However, a couple of years ago, I just knew that the time had come to call it a day. The one thing from this social media output that continued was Facebook. Facebook has been a boon to me. I have renewed acquaintance with childhood friends and more recent friends from the more recent long ago. I have also continued to discuss subjects – in a shorter way – that used to be discussed on the blogs. However, I am almost 73 years of age and have been in ill health over the past two to three years. As the health declined and I had to forego active membership of social justice organisations, I could still be in touch and involved via Facebook. However, almost two weeks ago, I went one morning to Fb and knew as soon as I opened my notebook that the time had come. I could not do this any more. I have a Permanent Carer and I gave him a short sentence to put on my page which included the rider that my presence on Facebook in the future would be occasional and/or intermittent. Well, my carer has been overwhelmed answering the responses on Facebook – and friends old and new have been to visit and bring flowers. If I had known what my short sentence would unleash, I would have thought very carefully before having it placed. The past couple of weeks have been full of friendship, beauty and fun. I don’t know what the future holds … but the friendship maintained on Facebook has been truly genuine and is much treasured by me. I hope that your announcement brings heartwarming moments to you as well. And I do support your very first bit of advice — Learn how to not be here so that we really can be here.

  2. judithjessop says:

    Amen to all of this.

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