It’s been a busy few weeks since I took myself off Facebook. I’ve gone from being the girl who takes photos of her food to someone who wonders what my friends really think of all those amazing meals I eat in uber cool restaurants. More importantly, did they miss not seeing fancy Asian and glasses of Pinot Noir? Apparently not.
Initially it felt weird to not have Facebook constantly pop up on my phone. I deleted the app so I wasn’t tempted to check it – and after just a day, I barely missed it. Sure, I wondered what people were up to, but I figured that if something major happened in their life, they’d let me know. Some friends even let me know about stuff happening in my own life.
My favourite new boy Dingo texted me a photo of the two of us at a red carpet event. He had uploaded it to his socials, but sent it to me so I didn’t miss out on seeing how cute we looked. Ms Vicki posted a group selfie and noted how disappointed I’d be to not see it – then showed it to me. Natty Nat sent me a photo of her adorable dog, then lamented that I’d liked it on Instagram. Yes, it was a Facebook detox people, relax.
At a super fun party I chatted with friends, drank lots of wine and danced the night away overlooking a magical view of the city. Not once did I take my phone out of my bag. I had no reason to. It felt free to just be in the moment and party with great people, not stopping to take selfies. When I woke up with a huge hangover the next day I smiled at memories of the night before rather than searching my phone for drunken shots. (Unless someone else took dodgy photos and are planning to use them against me).
I was invited to a ladies lunch and found myself in the same room as Usain Bolt. I considered grabbing him so we could compare running careers, but instead listened intently as he talked about his career. The food was amazing – as was the gift bag – however I felt no need to capture these for friends at home. I joined 1500 women in fascinators clapping and dancing to Marcia Hines – someone I’ve admired for a long time. Her voice was strong as are her arms – that woman does a lot of bicep curls. If only I could look that good at 63. Burn Baby Burn had us tearing up the dance floor – I have no video to prove it, you just have to trust me.
Friday night was a chance to spend quality time with Soccer God and we explored my hood, bar hopping at new venues over a few hours. I experienced the world’s best toasted cheese sandwich and sent PDH a photo, the only man I know who could rival that amazing bubble of melted cheese and bread. It became a private message between us – one I’d probably have put up on Facebook – with the whole world looking on. At some point he’ll attempt to win back the Best Ever Toasted Cheese Sandwich Medal. Will I post a photo of it? Maybe.
After a few days of uncensored semi private fun, things went to pooh and I had to take a last minute flight to Rads. As I sat in the Qantas Club, I wondered if it was worth following my usual ritual of (eating and) taking a photo of licorice allsorts before I board. Then I had a strange thought: what if it’s good luck for me to post the sugary stripey joy online? Not wanting to jinx myself (or make the plane crash), I sent a photo to Perth Bestie reminding her I couldn’t put it on Facebook, so she was my second best option. The plane landed safely, albeit with lots of turbulence. Crisis over.
My last minute trip was due to my beautiful Nanna not being well. She’s 92 and strong as an ox, however she’d been tired and not eating for a while so we checked her into hospital, only to find she’d suffered a slight heart attack. As she slept deeply for hours on end, I wondered if I’d get to have a proper chat to her. Thankfully the next day she was much better, talking and eating, and it seemed we’d turned a corner.
As the days ticked by slowly in the grey hospital space, confusion and emotions reigned. Doctors gave us conflicting information as to how she was doing – nurses were kind, but couldn’t provide clarity. We were on a rollercoaster – one minute filled with hope – the next dread – distraught that we’d be losing this stoic woman from our lives.
Nanna and I spent time together talking and holding hands. I did my best not to cry, failing miserably, pretending it was my fear of flying that made the tears roll down my face. As I said goodbye to head to the airport, I wondered if this was it. The last time I’d see her beautiful big smile. That was the picture I wanted to remember. That’s the one in my head right now.
I’m back home and thankfully Nanna is good at the moment – but for how long, we’re not sure. Strangely, I’ve not wanted to talk about it and because I didn’t share those tough few days on social media, no one has asked me how Nanna is. I feel a little isolated, out of touch with friends and colleagues who haven’t asked me how I am. Then I remember: they don’t know, because I didn’t air it on Facebook. My usual community haven’t been there to support me with messages and emojis because I didn’t reach out to them (albeit in a mass post).
Has my mini Facebook detox taught me anything? Yes. That taking photos of all the cool stuff I eat is fun, but we can probably all live without that. Selfies and photos are great, but getting drunk with no cringe worthy evidence is even better. I’ve also learned that Facebook can be a positive experience of sharing, supporting and engaging with good people – if you let them in. What’s important is when and why you let them in.
If it’s just to see an amazing cheese sandwich (like this one), that’s okay too.