June 24, 2019

Shalom Facebook – My New Year Confession and Vow

My name is Craig and I’m addicted to Facebook.

Initially I was just a recreational user. It worked for the first few months, but soon got out of control. I started using it at work as part of my daily routine sharing news about upcoming concerts, albums or events. Quickly I was posting at home and it began to affect my relationships with my wife and soon thereafter my children, extended family and friends.

I was hooked and committed to growing my online social network. A media consultant told me to grow my page I would need to do two things. 1. Craft a distinct voice. 2. Post regularly. I took his advice and quickly had 5000 followers whereupon  I received a message from Facebook informing me that I had too many friends and would have to remove some before adding others. I should have quit cold turkey, instead I went back to the consultant who gave me two more suggestions: 1. Create a fan page. 2. Pay for advertising. It worked and I quickly grew my fan base. I was hooked. Facebook helped get my message out to the masses and I was a Facebook success!

Was it a deep desire to reach people or an even deeper need to be loved?

Facebook stressed me out and made me competitive. I found myself posting things that I didn’t necessarily identify with, but thought might make me sound smarter or edgier than I actually was or wiser than my reader. Facebook brought me down reading the mean and angry reactions to my posts. I began to seriously question my motivation. Was it a deep desire to reach people or an even deeper need to be loved?  The answer was obvious, Facebook was not a healthy way for me to spend my time; and I needed to quit.

I have no regrets. My years on Facebook encouraged me to gather my thoughts, hone my writing skills, learn the art of brevity… and now that I have this skill set, I vow to:

  • Slow down
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Work in the garden and hike with Theo on the trails
  • Send more hand written notes
  • Focus more on fewer friends
  • Not stress about mean people
  • Worry less about people I could likely not care less about

I look forward to seeing, talking and connecting the good old fashion way…one on one!

I don’t think quitting Facebook will be easy. As I write this, I am already feeling a deep sense of FOMO- fear of missing out. The easy sense of connection and community that Facebook provided and the instant gratification of a post were a thrill. Even now, I am beyond curious to know how this post will do – and, I know it’s the right thing for me to do.

To my 29,286 Facebook ‘Friends’, my thanks for the memories, shares, likes and feedback. This is not goodbye, rather L’hitraot, I look forward to ‘seeing’, ‘talking’ and ‘connecting’ with you the good old fashion way…one on one!

L’hitraot and Shabbat Shalom


*For those of you interested in keeping up with the doings and goings of Craig ‘n Co. and the Pico Union Project my office will still post at www.facebook.com/PicoUNIONProject or at our websites craignco.com and picounionproject.org. I’m also available by phone at 818-760-1077.