Friday, April 15, 2016

Time spent on Facebook

I have been on Facebook a lot lately. By "lately", I mean since the baby was born. I spent hours on the couch nursing her, and scrolling and liking things with one thumb was all I had ability to do. She also did not take pacifier, and there was a whole lot of yelling on her part and pacing on mine. Walk up and down the length of the room, baby in a carrier, nowhere as content as 3 yo used to be. I got Baby K'Tan with him and he loved it and slept in it. This girlie just yelled. So I paced and I scrolled. When I wasn't scrolling, I was crying. Truth: it's my fifth baby, and she grew out of it and I knew that it will pass and I was a pro, but she was still yelling, and I was still sobbing. I also got less support with her from my immediate family than I got with any other kids. Facebook was a great distraction.

So I was lost in Facebook wormhole. I could sort of read intelligent articles that my friends posted. I could not watch videos because that requires sound and sound wakes up baby and brings over a swarm of older kids: "What are you watching? I want to see!" I could not comment beyond a monosyllabic answer. I could see what my friends were up to. I could see their kids. I could see their happenings. I unfriended and stopped following a few whose life was artificially perfect. I followed people's political stances. I read their memes.
I was living a virtual life.

Lately, I have been catching myself posting whole monologues in comments on my friends' posts. The baby is almost one, I do not pace her to sleep any more (thank G-d!) I do not have long nursing sessions, so I can type a proper response.

Facebook is an introvert's paradise. You can lurk in conversations without joining in. You can float out as soon as you want. You can type a witty comment minutes, hours, or days after the initial conversation, and it does not seem weird. You can choose whom to talk to. And you can turn it all off.

So I have been wondering lately: why do I spend so much time on Facebook?

I have come to the conclusion that the digital world, no matter how curateded, takes over when the real life does not offer happiness, intellectual stimulation and excitement. I am quite controlled by the schedule of afternoon school pick-up. I am controlled by taekwondo, which is going wonderfully for me and the boys, but it segments our day. I am controlled by 10 yo's tantrums which I frankly want to dissociate from. I am controlled by a baby who leaves a trail of mess in her wake and my inability to pick it up faster than it earns my husband's displeasure. I cannot seem to get to that wonderful state of "flow" when you deeply engage in activity and time stands still. I am always interrupted. I am acutely aware of time at all times: time for baby's nap, time for pick-up, time to put everyone to sleep, time wasted on tantrums. But I can snatch a minute here and there to get on Facebook and see that everyone else can have a life, even if I can't.

Take a deep breath, they say.
This, too, shall pass, they say.
Wait till the youngest is 3, and it will get easier, they say.
It's a stage, they say.

I have been finding myself wishing for time to either freeze, so I can get something done without distractions, or to speed up to the age of independence of the youngest. Time is a gift, yet I cannot value it when my brain feels like scrambled eggs. So I am on Facebook, whiling the time away until it gets to point that time will have meaning.

1 comment:

  1. i read (i think it was in all joy no fun) that people with young kids cannot get into "flow." i also like facebook because of the one or two minute increment possibilities and it doesn't seem so frustrating to be interrupted because facebook is lots of little chunks.

    (and yes, the introvert paradise thing!)

    my personal experience is that it's not til the youngest is 4... my last two 3 year olds were very, very challenging.

    2 songs that used to get me through were
    the way
    mother's little helper