I've been asked recently what gives on my current facebook hiatus. Let me begin my answer by saying this. Facebook has many excellent qualities: reconnects people who have lost touch (Hi, Gina!), keeps you in the loop with your friends' lives, enables fast and easy picture sharing, and has the ability to help create communities (for example, Patients Against Lymphoma and the NHL primary mediastinal large B cell groups I'm a part of). These connections can be extremely valuable, especially in times of trouble. CAN be helpful, CAN make you feel cared for and loved during times when you might otherwise feel all alone.
In January 2010, my new year's resolution was to get off of facebook. I was struggling with fertility issues and it seemed like every time I went onto my account, someone was announcing a pregnancy or posting (very early) ultrasound pictures or complaining about being tired due to pregnancy exhaustion, etc.. You get the picture. Well, quite frankly, I kept hiding these people from my newsfeed so I didn't have to read all about their exciting events. And even more frankly, many of these people weren't even (real life) friends of mine. Once you have more than 300 facebook friends, you can be sure that 75% of them are not people you have regular contact with or have seen in the past 10 years.
** I have tried multiple times to post a link to two articles discussing this Facebook phenomenon to no avail. Check back to see if I can get it to work before 2012.**
Back to the new years resolution. I was doing a pretty good job about a year ago, if I do say so myself. I was not comparing myself to other people (as much) and I definitely did not feel as sad. Fast forward to the end of May 2010, Dx time, and here I go, right back to the FB page I so loathed. I needed to rally the troops and feel like I was being hoisted onto the shoulders of my friends (or 25% of them, anyway). And I did. There were days during chemo when I did not have the energy or desire to talk on the phone or take visitors. But one click, and there I was, hanging out with all of my besties in my living room (who am I kidding? I was in bed). Let me not ignore the many, many people who expressed heartfelt concern on a regular basis (via FB) and who checked in on me, wrote me mostly meaningful messages and encouraged me all throughout the baaad second half of 2010. Like I wrote before, FB isn't all bad.
Okay, no need to relive that nightmare on such a glorious almost-spring morning (today, in fact - March 2 - is the 20th - yes, that's twentieth - anniversary of me becoming a bat mitzvah). Anyway, that bed-ridden, bald time in my life is in the past (let's hope for good). Now, by the grace of the well-behaved cells still roaming my innards, I am NOT bed ridden and all alone. I have some of my energy and immune system at my service (knock wood or spit it out if you are so inclined) and so I am not quite as in NEED of the social network anymore.
I can foresee a time in the not so distant future when I will be able to just check out my friends on FB every now and then (and even wish people proper happy birthdays), but now is not that time. Re-equipped with my trusty bluetooth keyboard, I can be found here on my blogspot.