30 Days.

When it time for me to move onto whatever lies beyond this life, this photo represents how I want people to remember me: standing happily in an open field, transfixed by something geek worthy, looking off into the distance.  People that know me should know that I’m very happy in this photo. I’m by myself but happily in love. Earl is right behind me in this photo, supporting my endeavors and ideas. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Earl took this photo of me back in spring 2016. It was my version of a marketing photo for the local power company back in the 1950s. I posted this photo on Facebook this morning without a caption. And then I decided that my 30 day self-challenge for the month would be to stay away from the platform for the month of July. 

I’ve tried to step away from Facebook on a number of occasions in the past. Invariably something happens where I feel compelled to go back and take a peek: I want to share photos from a flight or some family event has taken place or I want to know what’s going on with friends. This month I’m doing my best to contact people through more traditional means, even if that means exchanging emails back and forth. I don’t want to be part of an algorithm. I don’t want some nebulous service deciding what I should see and who’s information is more important to me. I don’t need reminders telling me to contact so and so because they haven’t contributed to Facebook in a while. The service has become too big, too intrusive and too siloed. The cons outweigh the pros on my tally sheet.

This “no Facebook” month goes hand in hand with not placing my iPhone on a restaurant table (even upside-down). I want to be present in the moment. I want to live in the here and now, with my head and heart facing forward, looking for the positive in the future that lies ahead.

I’m hoping that I’ll start some sort of trend, whether it’s shunning Facebook or encouraging people to put their phones down when they’re with friends in a social settings. Yesterday, while out for a ride, Earl and I stopped at a diner for lunch. The two of us talked about a myriad of subjects. The family of five at the next table all picked at their plates while they each looked at their own phones. No words were exchanged. No glances were shared. Mom, dad and the three teenage kids all had their heads buried in their phones. I could see Dad was looking at Facebook. Mom was looking at pinterest. One child had snapchat up.

I just found that whole scenario so sad.

There’s too much in the here and now that warrants our attention. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the company.