Lent, Day 4: The day I accidentally went to Facebook.

This is my today. I never went to Starbucks for my iced coffee. Instead I made a burrito, went to a soccer game {in which my only valuable advice was “brush your teeth every night before bed!“} and then went to the mall with Sarah, where I took advantage of a used CD store going out of business.

Then I came home, Hannah and Rach came home, and I am just sitting here clicking through blogs.

One of the blogs had this link on the side:

Naturally, I clicked that. Wouldn’t you?

It opened in a new tab and I watched in horror as Facebook loaded onto my computer.

Turns out I should have LOGGED OUT when Lent started.

Because now I know that I have 22 new notifications, 2 messages and worst of all: 1 friend request. I soaked up all of that information in the .05 seconds it took for the page to load and for me to realize what had happened.

I didn’t check any of it, though. I didn’t read a single status or click to see what any of the notifications were about. Because Facebook itself is not the horror, it is instead its tendency to be a black hole of my LIFE.

But really, what I wanted this post to be about was something a little bit more serious, so keep reading.

Why is it that as a woman, one of the most offensive, vile and disturbing things in the entire world is a toilet seat that has been left up? Today in the car Sarah and I were discussing it, how seeing that gives us some amount of inconvenience and frustration.

Sometimes the lid is left down. and I have to lift the lid before sitting down to go to the bathroom. But that doesn’t make me angry. Not like the toilet seat.
I’ve never realized until today how upset this makes me. Once recently I went into the bathroom at Starbucks after a man. He left the seat up. I was so upset that I am pretty sure I judged his character based on the fact that he left the seat up in a bathroom that girls use as well.

The point can be made about girls sitting on the toilet without realizing the seat is up and falling in. But when do you ever just sit down without taking any notice whatsoever of the toilet? Maybe I’m the only person paranoid that someone will saran wrap the seat or that a spider will be in there waiting to bite my butt, but I never just throw myself onto the toilet and endanger my butt to a spider bite or a splash.

Even not counting that as a real argument, I cannot for the life of me figure out why I feel such a strong, personal reaction to the toilet seat being left up.

Anybody else, or is this a party of 1?

Also, when looking for a picture, I came across this. I’m not about to read it, but someone else should and tell me what it says. 🙂


Why I am thinking of breaking up with the internet, by Stephanie Orefice.

Some people on Facebook have a ridiculous number of friends. Thousands. My friends list has been around 850 for a majority of 2009. I don’t see it as any sort of popularity contest, nor do I feel the need to collect random people’s friendship approval. Most of the people I’m friends with are either people I know, knew, or am getting to know. Sure, there are a handful of really random people who I am not always sure of who they are, but for the most part they are people whose status updates or pictures I’d feel comfortable commenting on.

All day long I’ve been thinking about this acquaintence I have. We have a few mutual friends, and I know I will be running into this person within the next few years. Today I went to leave them a wall comment expressing how they’ve been in my head, but when I searched for them I discovered.. that we are no longer friends. They unfriended me.

My heart dropped a little bit. I’ve been rather faithful in every so often dropping in on them or leaving them comments or even engaging in conversation with them, and their unfriending me has kind of hurt my feelings.

Almost instinctively, I visited the profile of a random internet Facebook friend I have, whom I came across on flickr. I sent this friend a message, and realized that my message would probably not be responded to.

So I began to think of the many ways Facebook takes small stabs at my ego – sometimes people like my status, and other times nobody even notices it. I can see when people write on someone else’s wall but not mine. I also love the event feature where you can see what kinds of people want to have nothing to do with you, and who can’t decide if they do or not. The worst is seeing the boy you like on Facebook chat, and then watching them sign off moments after you’ve said “hello” to them.

But then I realized that this is not something that is limited to Facebook; these kinds of small punches are thrown at us all around the internet. Here on wordpress, I frequently like to look at how many times my blogs are viewed. I see the things people search for to stumble across my blog, and my blog views go up while my comments stay about the same.

Twitter? Yeah, today I decided it sucks. Even with a couple hundred followers, my twitter updates only result in my followers decreasing.. rarely do I get @replies.

Even just plain e-mail. Remember the days of passing people notes or spending hours sneaking your cordless phone into your room to talk to your friends at all hours of the night? I miss that.

I miss real life conflict. I miss the joy in finding out the phone number of the boy I liked. I miss memorizing people’s numbers. I miss folding my notes in cool ways and writing “2: FROM:” on the front.

But right now I especially miss the ignorance of life away from the internet. If someone “unfriended” me in 7th grade, I would have never realized it. What would that have meant, any way? That my acquaintance would be continuing to not call me or hang out with me? Nothing in my life would have changed because I would not have been aware of it.

Tonight I realized that the internet makes me feel awful about myself.. and yet for some reason I find myself drawn to it. An abusive relationship, for sure. I’m looking forward to the summer, when I will be at camp investing in real, face-to-face relationships. I’m considering giving up the internet for social networking for the summer.. even e-mail. I gave up Facebook for Lent and am so frustrated that I’ve already slipped back into codependency.

Tonight I will have dreams about my lost acquaintance and wonder what in the world is so awful about me that my blog comments never increase, my twitter followers decrease, and my acquaintances delete me from their Facebook friends lists.

Goodnight, internet. You’re sleeping on the couch tonight.

A few thoughts.

Giving up Facebook for Lent seems to be difficult only in that I feel I’ll be disconnected. Because of this, I’ve decided not only to follow Jesus but to also become very intentional in my friendships. Every day during Lent, not only will I abstain from Facebook (thanks to Gretchen changing my Facebook password for me) but I will also seek to rebuild relationships that have suffered because they’ve been reduced to convenient internet exchanges. Every day I will either call or talk to someone face to face about their lives, and I will also send one encouraging letter in the mail every day.

A few years ago I got one of my wisdom teeth removed (yes, just one). When it was ripped out of my mouth, the hole was then covered by a series of disposable gauzes to help control the bleeding. In that same way, when we take something out of our lives, we have to put something in its place to help promote healing of the empty cavity. Its replacement can be temporary and disposable, but it is so necessary. My letters and phone calls will replace my wall comments and status updates. Another thing I am adding to help fill this void (sounds so dramatic) is a picture. Every day, I will take a picture of a significant or even unsignificant part of my day. I’ll allow myself to be creative and unhindered in my creativity.

This past weekend was full of really great times with really great friends. It ended with Danielle’s random trip to the mainland. She lives in Hawaii. Thursday she called to say she was almost to the airport on her way to Portland. Sunday evening she came to the New Heights Ascent service with me and then we, along with Cassie and Katie, went to Shari’s. It was so good to be around her and to voice our frustrations and struggles and passions. I am so fortune to know such a beautiful person. Around 1:30, we were still sitting in my car talking and ended up taking a series of random pictures. When you never see someone, you have to make up for lost time. 🙂