Social networking — by that I mean anything other than e-mail — has not been a fact of my daily life all that long. I’m not sure I’ve been active on Facebook for more than 18 months. But there I was hesitating on making a public commitment for something I thought was inconsequential.
Today we communicate by phone, text, e-mail — and social networking. I can’t do without the first three for business as well as personal reasons. However, why such a sense of ambivalence over putting Facebook in neutral?
Perhaps it’s is the facility of being in touch with so many friends. I have a link to my community and am used to knowing what is happening in their lives a sentence at a time. I know when their kids announce their engagements, or their latest dessert recipe using bacon, or that they just ran a marathon in a record time.
It is strange to think that I have gotten to know so much more about so many friends without spending time with them face-to-face. Do I really want to shut that channel off for 40 days?
Will I miss it? No doubt. What will I do to fill the void? Maybe have a few more actual conversations. Maybe I will take pen to paper and write some real letters.
Hopefully, I’ll spend some of that time with the God of my understanding in contemplation and meditation. Put that way, perhaps I’m not giving much up.
Jim Osterman lives in Sandy Springs.