Anna Carr shrieked in excitement when she read the news on Facebook: Her daughter was getting married.
“I can’t believe that’s how I found out,” she said. “What happened to the day when people talked to each other face to face?”
Carr is one of the millions of Facebook users all over the world. But last Wednesday, she decided to log out for the six weeks of Lent. For the past five years, she has been a dedicated Facebook user, checking her account anywhere from three to five times each hour. Recently, she said, she bought a new phone that allowed her to get status update sent to her via text message, so that she would never be without the latest information on her news feed.
“I just need to know what’s going on all the time,” she said. “It’s important to me. I don’t want to be one of those people who are tied to technology. But, it comes with the territory. I started just by talking to a few friends, then I got hooked on all the apps and games. There’s nothing I won’t post online. In fact, just last night, I posted that I was drinking a glass of water. My friends thought it was a ridiculous thing to post — and I guess they’re right — but I couldn’t think of anything better to say.”
So far, Carr said, the transition to a Facebook-less existence has been trying. A mere five seconds after she decided to give up the social media website, she was back on, looking at her friends’ statuses.
“Something happens and the first thing I want to do is post it,” she said. “It’s like an invisible string has tied me to Facebook, and I need to cut it before it’s too late.”
So, she gave her username and password information to her husband, who then changed her information. No matter what she tried to do, she couldn’t access it.
“It was so irritating at first,” she said. “When my husband came home, I had a hissy fit. But then I realized just how much Facebook was controlling me —and I just started to cry.”
Now, she spends her time reading and watching movies. She said there are times when she gets a hankering to log into her Facebook account. But, in those moments, she said she just turns to her husband and tells him that she needs a hug.
“It was tearing us apart,” she said.
“I would spend so much time on it. But now, we seem to be getting closer and closer the long I go without it. Our relationship isn’t completely mended yet, but it is healing. We’re doing more things together now and I’m starting to remember why I married him in the first place. He’s a great guy.”
Carr still doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get though the next six weeks, but she is determined to try.