To celebrate the recent anniversary of Facebook I will start with this…

My name is Jason and I have been Facebook free for 771 days. I say this admission out loud like I am an addict, because that is what Facebook can be to some people. I was there. I looked up old friends, posted unnecessary photos of my kids without their approval, had heated arguments with family members and became “friends” with people I didn’t even know. I did it all. Once that was all out of my system I started looking into what other people’s kids were doing and benchmarking their accomplishments at their age, then of course comparing them to my kids. “Wow, look at what this kid is doing and he’s only 6”! I haven’t uttered those words to my wife in a while and it feels so good. When this conversation would take place, my wife would always get the same response…”Does their child have special needs?!” I could not answer that question because, well, I only had a photo to go by. It seemed that all people would do is use the platform as bragging rights. Look where I went on vacation or look what my son is doing.

Photos are a great way to catch up but they can paint a skewed version of reality. Take my Luke for instance. I have photos of him with his electric guitar (the only sound he makes is the strumming of all 6 open strings). Just because you see a photo of little Johnny, the son of some girl who didn’t give you the time of day in HS standing on a snow board, that doesn’t mean you should go into complete panic mode and throw your kids down a mountain.

People get so comfortable viewing your life through photos and posts that they lose track of just how long it has been since they have seen you. I look at it this way, it may bring you closer to people you haven’t seen in a long time, but it pulls you further apart from those closest to you.

Sometimes I wish I could live life like my parents did. They didn’t have YouTube. They waited for Sunday night to see who was on ‘That’s Incredible!’ Or the 5 O’clock News to see what was going on in the world. I guess the irony here is they are now on Facebook.

Now I understand that many of you may have come across the link to what you are reading right now through Facebook, and that is ok. I like to have a beer once in a while,it just doesn’t run my life.

I guess all I am saying is keep your kids out of the competition. At least until they are willing to compete by their own free will. When that time comes, that will be a whole other story.

PS – For those who are unsure of what they would do without their Facebook friends…after I deactivated my account, I stayed in touch with 1 out 270 of mine and all is well.

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