Ready, set, reactivate Facebook

Unexpected!

Saturday, unexpectedly, the typing fingers did something truly amazing.

They reactivated my Facebook account after a six-month deactivation.

I am still attempting to reconcile with the errant digits.

As some of you might remember, this blogger has been sometimes Facebook-challenged.  Yes.  She’s never quite been able to figure out the FB hoopla. (Maybe there is no hoopla.  Maybe it’s other people that Kathy can’t figure out.  Maybe it’s herself.  You know what the wise ones say?  Everything is a reflection of ourselves…)

Sometimes it’s all over and sometimes it’s not

Back to this Facebook quandary. After a couple of years of playing/experimenting/loving/hating Facebook, I finally deactivated last November.  Ahhh…delightful peace.  It was fun to focus solely on this blog.  To focus solely on reading your blogs.  It was a joy not to be scattered in the virtual winds, scurrying hither and yon, visiting a thousand blips of communication daily.

After about three months a certain sweet someone (no names mentioned, you understand) passed along his/her FB account to yours truly and I became a Silent Stalker about once a week.  Stalked the nieces, nephews, brother, mostly family members to whom aforementioned lovee had “friended”. (I used to totally disapprove of stalkers, by the way.  Shameful peekers who peer into profiles but shared nothing of themselves.  Ha!  Isn’t it funny to then become a silent stalker yourself?)

Even silently stalked a few friends whose settings allowed “friends of friends” or “public” to view their posts.

Last week, visiting FB as an alleged stalker, I suddenly thought, “What the heck? If I’m still visiting Ms. FB, it’s time to reactivate.”

(For any of you considering deactivation, it’s a breeze.  You decisively, angrily or delightedly press a deactivation button on your profile.  Facebook deactivates you, but saves your profile.  When and if you change your mind–wa la!–you sign back into your account–if you remember your password–and there you are in Facebook Land once again, as if you never departed.)

Circle of life

Why am I reactivating Ms. FB now, besides the errant typing fingers who will do the craziest things?

One small change arose in the ensuing months.

Mainly my attitude.  Mainly my expectations.

No longer am I expecting Facebook to be something other than what it is.  No longer expecting people to be different from who they are on FB.  They can say hello or they can file their fingernails while stalking.  They can be who they are. Facebook can be who she is.

Already I am grinning at the folks who said hello this weekend, lovingly, mind you–without even a huff that I so unpredictably left them for six months, disappearing into the ethers with barely a breeezy goodbye.  (And I am not minding folks who aren’t saying howdy, aren’t reaching out in Cyberland with a friendly virtual hug, with a “HOW’S IT BEEN GOING, WE MISSED YOU SO MUCH, WHERE WERE YOU?)

It doesn’t matter.

Somewhere in the last six months something has shifted to let people be who they are much more.  What relief!  People and Facebook and bloggers and readers and commenters and friends and family can be who they are, exactly who they are, without me wanting them to be different.

Sometimes it’s OK to just let life be foggy–if it wants to be foggy

Tomorrow I may be wanting so-and-so to act differently.

Next month it may be:  Off with Facebook’s head!

But today this feels right, this new allowing which has activated.

Why do I want to reactivate, besides the expectation shift?

Because now I know that Martha, a blogging friend, recently remarried.  Because my niece, Tianna, and I giggled about do-da do-da (see the post about my dad’s recent birthday party if you’re clueless) and because Janet and I compared stories about snakes.  Because sometimes it’s fun to check in on your mother’s cousin from Colorado.  Because.  Just because.

When is the last time you did something unpredictable?

P.S.  One of my Facebook buddies just wrote:  Welcome back.  Won’t you stay for a spell?

I replied:  Ha ha, I have no idea if I’ll stay for a day or a lifetime! But it’s wonderful to be here NOW. 🙂

Always reserve the right to change your mind. And to change it again.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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80 Responses to Ready, set, reactivate Facebook

  1. Welcome back, I hope I didn’t delete you Lol.

  2. jeffstroud says:

    Hey Kathy ! Whatever!

    Maintaining all those communication connections is a time leak… Yet the good thing is you can leave and comeback. You can find out what others are doing, family friends, friends of friends, and all the other parts of the world you are interested in at the moment.

    It is always wondrous to read your blogs, the truth in your humor, the humor in your truth.

    I was just about to go respond to your comment on my blog when I found this new blog of yours. So off I go!

    Welcome back to blogging and facebooking!

    • Kathy says:

      It was fun to be able to leave and fun to come back, Jeff. I hope it doesn’t become too much of a time leak, or I’ll be running helter-skelter back to only blogging! Glad you like the humor. I am always happy to see you being your own very precious self.

  3. Oh, so insightful! I have my own love/hate relationship with FB (don’t we all?) but this really puts it in perspective, people will be who they are. If they annoy you in real life, they’ll annoy you on FB. But if you love them in real life, you’ll love them on Facebook. Or is it “in spite of Facebook” 🙂 Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Kathy says:

      Elizabeth, strangely enough some people don’t seem to have this love/hate relationship with FB! (What’s up with them? lol) I still have no idea about Ms. Book, even though I’m back. But this new realization relaxes things. Hopefully. Glad you enjoyed!

  4. Karma says:

    Like my blog, I have a pretty laid back attitude about Facebook too. It really is no big deal. Say something, don’t say something. Check in on what folks are up to – or don’t. Use it as a pass-time when you’ve got one of those lulls with nothing better to do.
    Nice to see you there and here! 🙂

  5. CMSmith says:

    For someone like me who has made her way through life by and large with a handful of close friends and family, the social media thing remains a challenge. I want deep relationships, not a huge quantity of them, which is mutually exclusive. I’ve been on Facebook for several years and started primarily to keep in touch with High School classmates for reunions, and stay in touch with our children who live out of town. I love it for the photos and videos my son and daughter-in-law, who live a six-hour drive away, post of our grandson. I like seeing the latest artwork my second son creates in Buffalo, NY – a seven-hour drive from here.

    I now have a regular page for friends and family, and an author page for whatever I write. The author page is lagging. But I like to keep my family photos, particularly of our grandson, private to be shared among only individuals I know in real life or have established a friendship with online. I only visit it once or twice a day and quickly look through notifications.

    There’s a new world coming
    And it’s just around the bend
    There’s a new world coming
    This one’s coming to an end
    Mama Cass – RIP

    I’ve got music on my mind this morning. I’m turning on Pandora.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, yes, yes, Christine! That has been part of my challenge, too. I wanted deeper relationships with people on FB and they seemed to continue to get shallower and shallower and sometimes non-existent. It is delightful to keep in touch with folks you don’t see regularly, to share in certain ways with certain people. One of my friends views it as an address book. Another views it as an attempt for deep communication. It’s hard to discover what it IS for us–for at least some of us. Feeling that energy of new worlds rising and old worlds falling away.

  6. Kathy – It’s fun to see your cheery face in Facebook!

    But, as your last photograph clearly states:

    “Always reserve the right to change your mind. And to change it again.”

    That’s great advice! Not just about Facebook, but for everything 🙂

  7. Good for you, both for stepping away and stepping back when you felt like it. With any of the media, from television to social websites, a stepping back let’s you realize who is in control. You are! I loved your stalking admission…I first joined Facebook to see what my daughters were saying about me!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, it felt so good to step away! You are right. It felt like exactly the right action. Now this feels right, for now. Wonder how many of us first joined FB to see what our kids were saying/doing?

  8. Sybil says:

    Love the dead wasp. Your photos always compliment so beautifully the point you are making. I’m a FB lover / hater. I won’t use a lot of their apps that require me to sign away my firstborn, even though some days I’d be getting the better part of the deal.

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, Sybil, I went digging in the archives to find appropriate pics. The dead wasp spoke volumes! Grinning at your comment. I remember how you said–I’m 84% sure it might have been you–that you quit FB but got sucked back in again. Hmmm, now that describes me…

  9. Judson says:

    FB has been a mixed blessing fo me as well. I resisted joining for a long time and when I finally did join over 2 years ago, I found it a surprisingly delightful way to reconnect with people I hadn’t interacted with since I was very young and to actually “meet” people I knew in passing back in school, but who were “Seniors when I was just a Freshman”, LOL and thus in a completely separate social orbit. Happily, I’ve connected with both my high school and my college reunion through FB and in general, FB has been a lot of fun.

    BUT! … suddenly, I was hit by the wave of FB games and FB apps and dozens of other subtle ways that FB has of getting too close to your privacy and eating up your time. Farmville? Mafia Wars? What?!? No thanks. It’s a lot worse now than it was and I don’t see it getting any better. The trouble is that now I’m sort of hooked on the basic premise of staying connected socially. I don’t want to apply any aps, or play any games, or join any groups, but I do love knowing that logging in each day once again brings me close to the people who as a group form the fabric of my early life.

    • Kathy says:

      Judson, sounds like you can see both the pros and cons of FB. It can be so addicting for so many of us, too. Do you find that you still talk regularly with the people you knew back in school on FB, or did you just say hello and reconnect for a month or two, and then everybody got silent again? That’s what usually happened to me. We’d blab excitedly, and then no one said anything much any more.

      Fascinating how many different experiences we all have…and how many similar ones.

  10. lisaspiral says:

    What a great post. I have mixed feelings about Facebook as well, but it is nice to just feel slightly in the loop about those big events in people’s lives. There are days when the lines of photo’s posted and reposted make me a little crazy, there are other days when I find I’m reposting myself. Go figure. It is what it is. Maybe I should friend you. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      That is the good part, indeed, Lisa. Smiling about the posting and re-posting. I STILL can’t figure out when to post over there. I could post six times a day about little ordinary/exciting things, but why should or shouldn’t I? That’s another place where it gets confusing. Feel free to friend me! (I don’t know your last name.)

  11. susan says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I never “got” FB either but I’m on it. I just put my blog on there and from time to time scroll down to see what’s up on others, not very often. So I guess I don’t really “use” it. I’m not one for personal info anywhere anyway except emails so I guess according to the stuff I see on FB I am a total bore.
    Hugs
    Suzen

    • Kathy says:

      Do many people access your blog via FB, SuZen? I had very few Friends & Family who would come over here when I linked. Maybe a handful sometimes. P.S. DON’T let FB convince you that you’re a total bore. NO! We all know otherwise. 🙂

      • susan says:

        Sometimes they actually do – I have several friends who read it and then send me an email instead of commenting on the blog itself. Probably more than the actual commenters for some posts. I post a lot of articles I run across on FB just to feel active! ha!

  12. Reggie says:

    I too have mixed feelings about Facebook.

    I don’t do status updates, but mainly use it to notify friends when I have written a new blog post. Not that this gets many responses! I’m always rather disappointed by the fact that almost none of my FB friends and family ever leave comments or send messages on my FB or my blog, for that matter. I guess they have more important things on their list?

    But I have found it useful to stay updated with certain organisations and people – like the Cart Horse Protection Association, about which I am currently writing an article, so it’s a good source of up-to-date information… or the various regiments or military bands who sometimes have events or performances that I’d like to attend – FB is unfortunately often the only way I’ll find out about those. So it does have its practical uses.

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Reggie, now that you brought it up…that was one of my challenges with unreasonable expectations on Facebook. I couldn’t understand why Friends & Family weren’t reading this blog, while so many “strangers” were enjoying it. You’d think friends would want to know about what’s happening in your life and thoughts, wouldn’t you? It can be very disappointing.

      When I left FB only about a half dozen friends made their way over here to say hello. I realized the others either didn’t care or had other things happening in their lives. Now I am not expecting them to really care one way or another. They will do what they do and it’s up to me to let “what is” rest easy inside…

      • Reggie says:

        Kathy, you have put your finger on it!

        I too cannot understand why almost *none* of my friends and family, who did after all want to ‘Friend’ me on FB, ever read my blog. Almost none of my friends in ‘real life’ have even subscribed to my blog, and I don’t get it. It’s not as if I’m a prolific writer who inundates their inbox with long rambling stories every day! Well… maybe sometimes… when I’ve got some exciting news, for instance! 😉

        Yes, it is really disappointing and upsetting, when I think about it – so I try not to think about it too much.

        I am just really grateful that I have some wonderful *strangers* who care enough to read my stories and even to leave the occasional comment! 😀

  13. debyemm says:

    It was bound to happen eventually; or so I have believed, since you “left” FB, even if you didn’t know whether this would be the outcome your self. Why would I think that ? There are many tribal family members there, that love you; and you just might miss some of them too, those that don’t make it to your blog as regularly as I do. Hugs !!

  14. Hum… Kathy I suppose I should let you know…. I “unfriended” you about six weeks ago as I cleaning up connections (yes I do online housework) as I thought you were gone, gone, gone. Surprise! I’m not a huge Facebook person though and my posts are public. Now G+ – that has become like Gaia used to be for me except with a focus on painting and photography. Love it! However, my blog is my most long lasting and consistent place for connecting. It is where I slow down and speak in whole paragraphs about themes, ideas, thoughts and what is behind the latest painting or photo shoot. I don’t even have a schedule anymore – just know that I will post often enough. So I suppose it is still easiest for us to connect here – in the blogosphere 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I hold no grudges against any who “unfriended” me, Terrill. My business manager persona would have unfriended a FB deserter after two weeks! lol! How cool that you’re enjoyed G+. That is wonderful. I love our blogs because of the development of them, those sentences, those delightful paragraphs. You can decide about FB friending, although I often did follow your posts back to your blogs from FB.

  15. Susan D. says:

    Love the dead wasp photo, and burst out laughing (I’m sorry, little bug). I feel I have nothing new to add to the Ms. Book scenario. I do “like” having you back amongst us there, in a “oh, look, we both showed up at the same party” kind of way … if that makes sense, and even it doesn’t. Looking forward to seeing you in person, soon, where faces and books converge to create whole new meanings 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Susan, wasn’t that wasp cute? OK, cute is the absolute wrong word. But it kinda describes this conundrum, doesn’t it? Your comment makes perfect sense. It is like it’s a giant melting pot party. But I SO look forward to seeing you in person best!

  16. Carol says:

    I’m with Karma on Facebook, or anything else social media for that matter. Read or not, it’s my choice. I signed on primarily to keep in touch with my kids (although we also text and email) and my grandkids (who are not so communicative otherwise), and I post a status or not, as I choose. I read or not, as I choose. It’s not like it’s an assignment I must complete to be graded on. It’s a lot like blogs – they’re there but not to be force-fed, to be enjoyed at my leisure and pleasure. As to deeper relationships – they exist too, but for life to be really complete (at least for me) it takes all kinds.

    • Kathy says:

      OK, BOTH you and Karma are my new FB gurus. You guys are so easy. You must not have minds that compulsively hash out both sides of an issue until the issue runs away screaming. LOL! I post a status and wish I hadn’t posted it. Read and then worry haven’t read everyone’s posting. Think one thing and then embrace the opposite. Some day I am perfectly going to accept everything as it arises–with equanimity and calm smiles. **grinning even more**

  17. john says:

    Having someone on Facebook is like they are sitting in an adjacent cube to yours at work. Sometimes you just have to blurt out something. Some people will just smile and keep on working, while another one will throw a comment back over the wall. No commitment, just fun. A virtual water cooler at times.

    • Kathy says:

      John, man, it sounds like you have this all worked out! What a perfect way to look at it. Shouting across a cubicle at you now. Remembering that life is meant to be fun… Or is it meant to be fun? (See how my mind works. It can never really decide.)

  18. I’m glad you are able to just let people be who they are. It’s doubtful they will change anyway!

    Like you, I have few expectations when it comes to my FB page. It’s basically just a way for me to keep in touch with people I like. Same with my blog. I’m thrilled when people pop by and leave a comment. If they just press ‘like’ that’s ok, too, and if their life becomes so busy that I don’t see them for awhile, I still welcome them back like a long-lost friend with no grudges held. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Gosh, darn, why do we sometimes keep expecting people to change? **grin** Glad you have few expectations. It works better that way–it really does. I’ve learned that. Hopefully learned that.

  19. Lori DiNardi says:

    I can sooooo relate to this one, Kathy. I had trouble with fb too, for what sounds like very similar reasons. Although, mine goes deeper with family issues, or lack there of. Anyway, I’m on fb only under my author’s name and don’t really go there often. My blog is supposed to automatically update there, but it hasn’t been working properly. So, I just get on fb to put up my latest blog link, look around for a bit, and sign off. But, I can always change my mind, right? 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Everywhere we go, it seems like we find people who have problems with FB and sometimes (like some of the commenters up above) people who don’t. YES! Feel free to change your mind 100 times and, OK, maybe 101 times if you feel like it. 🙂

  20. Love it, Kathy–too, too funny. I’m not much into FB. Check it once or twice a week. Sara is more involved than I. However, friend me. Would love to stalk you one of these days–if I ever get around to it. LOL I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a week, but now I’m back. Missed you. Missed everyone. Glad to be back!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Kathy says:

      Kathy, I just tried to find you on FB. (Look at how quickly it’s possible to become re-addicted) and can’t figure out which Kathryn McCullough you might be. Darn… Hope you enjoyed your blogosphere vacation! I came back going gangbusters in six directions. (We missed you too.)

  21. It certainly was a nice surprise to see you back, although I don’t NEARLY spend as much time there as I used. I check once, maybe twice a day, and only whatever is on my feed. Rarely do I go to anyone’s profile, and I haven’t played any of the games in MONTHS! I can probably blame (or thank?) my iPad (and iPhone) for keeping me away from facebook. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      I hope to only visit FB once or twice a day, Michaela. Have not succeeded with this desire in the last few days, though. In fact, am spending WAY too much time in front of the computer again. Figures. After being off line a lot for two months…back in the frying pan. lol!

  22. Belle Nelson says:

    Ahhh….you’ve articulated my love/hate relationship so well. I’ve also arrived at the place where I can use fb and appreciate it for what it IS…as well as what it is NOT. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Kathy says:

      It is interesting, Belle, how many people say they experience this love/hate FB relationship. I am so glad to hear you’ve reached a peaceful “what is” place around it, as well. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  23. Joanne says:

    Kathy, Facebook and I get along really well these days. I told FB how I wanted her to behave, and she does! At one time I absolutely detested the way complete strangers would add me as a “friend”, when we had nothing in common anyway, and they wouldn’t interact either, which made me feel as though I may have stalkers!

    Problem was solved by deleting all unknown “friends”, putting my account on total privacy (a person can’t even email me unless they are a friend), and that way, I can keep in touch with overseas friends and family, (privately!) which was my intention when I first signed up.

    I don’t spend too much time on FB, just catch up on my special people (all my FB friends are my special people) and off I go! It was just a case of making it what I wanted it to be, and now we have an understanding. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      See, Joanne, look what you did–YOU told FB how to behave! Gosh, why didn’t I think of that?? Maybe those of us who are challenged about Facebook should follow your example and think more about what we want it to be. Good idea! So appreciate you sharing what works for you.

  24. shieram says:

    I just happened to drop by your blog and read this post. Funny thing is I just recently deactivated my account due to the long hours I spent with FB.. Six months is a long while to be away..But I sure hope to be able to hold off reactivating my account just so I could teach myself a lesson.. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You will learn many things about yourself, Shieram. I also just spent two months limiting myself to once a week blogging. That was very helpful. Our deepest selves tell us when we need to balance our on-line activities with listening to the birds or maybe taking much longer walks in nature. Good luck!

      • shieram says:

        Thanks! I need that good luck because my friends have been asking me to reactivate my account two days after they learned what I did. Haha.. 🙂

        • Kathy says:

          Oh yes, they will want you back because they love you. But it’s your life and heart, not theirs. It will be interesting to see how you will deepen in relationships with those who count through email, telephone, even letters!

  25. pearlz says:

    Well said! Any technology is what you make of it, and if you have some great friends and family who use it its hard to stay away…

    • Kathy says:

      June, that is true. Technology is what we make of it, indeed. Sometimes I seem to flow with it and other times not-so-much. Kinda like life, yes?

  26. Heather says:

    It makes my day that you happily flit in and out of FB land. I have a good friend who de/reactivates his account frequently. I think as long as you don’t count on FB for all your interactions with a “friend” then it’s much easier to let folks be who they will. Perhaps we can be FB friends in addition to blogging and real-life friends 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Heather, my niece Jillian taught me about flowing in and out of FB, but I was too scared to try it until last November. And then it was such a relief. I am a person who loves to simplify, but someone who can also get way too involved in the on-line lands. Do you REALLY think we can be FB friends, too? Yes, but that would mean I have to remember your last name…OK…it may be coming back. If you see a friend request, you’ll know the memory was right.

  27. cestlavie22 says:

    Well welcome back to the world of Facebook. I have often considered deactivating but never quite got the nerve to do it. Sometimes I just make a solid effort to use it less. That does seem to help 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yep, I do understand who you mean, cestlavie. That sounds like a wise strategy. But don’t be afraid to deactivate. It is easy enough to return. Although a few friends might delete you thinking that you’re gone for good.

  28. Brian Westphal says:

    So very well said. I hope that FB can bring you a little happiness through connecting with others. If not, then away you go.

    • Kathy says:

      Brian, truly, it’s been my blog which has brought the big share of happiness connecting with others. Facebook has brought some, but this blog has been a gusher of happiness. But I do like your attitude. Thanks for visiting.

  29. Dawn says:

    Use it to stay in the loop with family and friends…and let the rest of it go. Wonder if we’re friends..will have to go and check. Later.

    • Kathy says:

      I looked through a lot of Dawn King’s and couldn’t figure out which one was you! Yep, please send a friend request, thank you.

  30. Dana says:

    I’m hardly ever on Facebook myself. I just use it to stalk photos of my niece and other family members. I’ve never felt pressured to be anything different or do anything more than what I already do on FB. That’s such a blessing! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Glad to hear you use the word “stalk” so casually, Dana. Glad to hear that you’ve felt face with FB. Will you be one of my FB gurus?

  31. Kathy it took me a very long time to get a facebook account and I often consider closing it. Glad to know how so thank you! I have enjoyed seeing little snippets about people I know and what’s happening in their lives. I don’t enjoy seeing dozens of little “cute” signs, sayings and doctored up photos that people feel compelled to share – at least not at the rate that some people push the share button. But recently I have been able to reconnect with some long ago friends and some cousins through facebook and this has been wonderful.

    Now would someone please explain what it is anyone has to say that needs instantaneous publication in 140 words or less on Twitter?

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, I have NO IDEA about Twitter. Tried to do the tweeting thing for a couple of weeks and failed marvelously at limiting the words! It’s good to hear experiences that others have had with Facebook. It makes us feel like we’re not alone in our indecisiveness, doesn’t it?

  32. Connie T says:

    The only reason I use Facebook is to play the different slot machines. I like it because you win fake money. If you make slot player friends, they send you free spins. If you ever want a friend to send you slot machine gifts, friend me.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, gosh, Connie, if I started to play games on Facebook I’d probably get addicted so quickly. I used to play Scrabble to had to abandon that. Good luck with your slot machines!

  33. flandrumhill says:

    Sorry I didn’t live closer Kathy. Had I known you were going to reactivate your account I would have been compelled to do an intervention! Ha ha!
    It’s been more than a couple of years since I quit Facebook and I still haven’t looked back.

    • Kathy says:

      Man, where WERE you in my moment of weakness, Amy-Lynn? I could have used an intervention. Even a little intervention would have undoubtedly succeeded. Lucky you to be so sure. I feel halfway about almost everything.

  34. Brenda Hardie says:

    Welcome Back Kathy! I was so happy to see your sunshiny smile back in facebookland! ♥

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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