So, I broke up with Facebook...

In a manner disturbingly similar to how breakups often work with real people, I simply cut myself off – cold turkey. Sure, I gave out a warning for a few hours, just in case one of my “friends” needed it, and I emailed this blog address to my actual friends, just in case they wanted to keep up with it in the future. But otherwise, with the click of a button, it was over. Ouch.

If I could explain why in a single statement, “I don’t think this relationship is working for me anymore,” should cover it. Over the past few days, I’ve mentally tracked the pros and cons to my relationship with Facebook, and eventually concluded that said relationship was unhealthy – toxic, really. For example:

-       simple photo sharing
-       keeping up with long-distance friends and relatives easily
-       knowing others’ business (yes, this was a pro – I’m nosy)

-    others’ annoying posts (i.e. political/religious slants, braggy, TMI, etc.)
-    wasting time stalking people I barely know anymore
-    general clique-y-ness formed when show-offs get together and blab their combined awesomeness all over cyberspace
-    knowing there are people on my “friend” list who are not friends and should not know about my daily doings – yet feeling trapped in this “friendship” because de-friending is way too harsh
-    feeling like a bitch because I wouldn’t accept friend requests from everyone
-    finding myself irritated/frustrated DAILY by what other people were doing and saying on FB
-    feeling like a fraud/creeper when I knew personal information (i.e. pregnancies, deaths, drug addictions, break-ups) about people who I haven’t spoken to face-to-face in years
-    realizing that these same people knew/shared personal things about me, too
-    constantly de-tagging myself in photos because I looked like an a-hole in said photos and didn’t want to world to see that (when, in fact, they did, regardless of the de-tagging)
-    knowing that I couldn’t just minimize my time on FB, that I didn’t have the self-control to just leave it alone for a few days; in a sense, I was “addicted”

If the above lists were representative of a real relationship with another person, the immense outweighing of hate over love would certainly inspired me to end it, and the situation was no different with FB. Realizing that there were so many things I wanted to do but couldn’t find time – and then seeing that I was spending hours a day on Facebook – really got me thinking.

For some people, Facebook is an awesome thing. These are people who have figured out how to manage the connection, how to keep Facebook from taking over their lives. I am not one of these people, and the only way for me to take back my life was to stop –


Quitting has been sad…and I am embarrassed to admit it. I’ve felt a bit like there’s a hole in my soul; like there’s a big party happening somewhere and I’m not invited.

But on the flip side, there are so many great things I will have time for now; things that have been horribly neglected during the course of my five-year relationship with Facebook.  Things like blogging, reading, trying new recipes, working out, spending quality time with Morgan, planning our wedding, answering emails, visiting friends – in person. And though my most popular cyberspace outlet is now gone, there are still millions of online distractions with which to engage: Pinterest, Hanson videos, friends’ blogs, cooking websites, NPR, Netflix streaming. And, now when I see an old friend or long-distance acquaintance, the experience will be genuine because that element of mystery will have returned. Maybe my high school reunions will actually feel special now! I’m excited to move on; I’m excited to be free.

Goodbye, Facebook – it really wasn’t you, it was me. But in the end, it was for the best!


Dear Hanson (a love letter)

I was 19 in '97, when your first song made it big, far too old to possibly enjoy a bubblegum hit sung by a bunch of kids. But something about the sound drew me in. It was different - the arrangement, the vocals, the beat. My sister was 15 then, and in a time when we had nothing in common, suddenly, we had your music. We spent hours upon hours that summer dancing and lip synching to the Middle of Nowhere album, plastering our bedroom walls with your Teen Beat photos, trying time and again to make our parents REALLY listen and appreciate your talent. We squealed with glee when your videos appeared on MTV and dissected each and every shot on film, hoping to demystify your creative brains. It was a wonderful summer.

Years passed, and my sister and I phased through different paths of life, all the while keeping up with your music. We've seen every show we could - The Orpheum Phoenix (2000), Nita's Hideaway Tempe (2003), The Marquee Tempe (2005), The Ogden Denver (2009), TLA Philly (2010), The Fox Boulder (2010), Cain's Ballroom (2011), The Fox Boulder (2011). We've watched as you guys grew up - got married, had kids, became masters of your own independent label universe, and used your talents to give back to others. We've been on this road with you, made possible through your music and your incredible communication to fans through the newest age of online streaming. We've joined your crusade against poverty in Africa, worn TOMS and then removed them for a walk. As if your music wasn't inspiring enough on its own, your philanthropic hearts take it to the next level.

Last May, I journeyed to your hometown for a Members Only Event. Your hometown is just as charming and genuine as you all are, and the MOE, not surprisingly, was an incredible gift of music and friendship. It seems funny to reference "friendship" with people I've not known as friends in the traditional sense - but that's how you guys present yourselves. You invite your fans into your lives. There's an obvious level of trust you've established with your fans, and it fosters an authentic sense of respect in return. Never in my life have I seen such a gesture of kindness from a band to its fans.

So all in all, thank you. Thank you for your philanthropic goals; they inspire so much compassion in the world. What you started with your walks has begun to trickle into the world. There's a frozen yogurt shop that just opened near my home this past spring, and its owners donate money to local schools each week. Inside the shop, there's a big poster stating the owners' inspiration: Blake Mycosksie of TOMS shoes. I thought it was so cool to see others catching onto that "giving circle" philosophy - something that I've learned about from you guys.

Thank you for your camaraderie with your fans - for the late-night gas station streaming events, the MOE photo sessions, the funny website blog updates, the 2+ hour long concert sets. These things only begin to explain why we all love you! And, for forever and a day - thank you for your music. It's been a beacon in the night, a shoulder to cry on, a source of comfort in high and low points in life, a definition of heart and soul.