15 October 2010

Taking a Break from Facebook

I've decided to take a brief break from Facebook. Not really for any one reason. It just felt like the right thing to do for now.

Last weekend, I returned from a business trip to India, where I spent a work week with my colleagues in Hyderabad. It was my first visit to the subcontinent and I'm quite pleased with how the trip went. Most of my business objectives were met, the people there were welcoming and supportive, and logistically, I was fairly comfortable with the hotel, the flights there, the food, and so on.

I chose to use Facebook as my unofficial travelogue, making comments about my observations at the India office, and the surrounding community, to a relatively private set of friends, as opposed to here on my public blog or even on my Twitter profile. Getting a small handful of comments from friends was always reassuring, that my short, personal posts had some sort of audience. Other than daily calls with my family, Facebook was my own personal conduit to staying in touch with home.

My return home was certainly more challenging than I expected. I spent one night with relatives in Singapore, to help space out the three flights needed to get back to San Francisco. On my departure date from Singapore, I began to feel ill. Getting on a long haul flight already dizzy and drowsy was not fun. I tried sleeping most of the two legs of the flight, but it was rather difficult, nonetheless. The turbulence was also unusually rough all the way home.

Returning to my family was a big relief and sleeping in my own bed can't be beat, but as some more illness symptoms crept up alongside the jetlag, I began to worry. After a few days of struggling to stay awake and clear headed at work, I visited my doctor, describing a handful of symptoms that seemed to be beyond the usual jetlag. He made it official, I had caught something on one of my return flights.

The past couple of nights, I've laid in bed awake from jetlag and uncomfortable from being sick. Being sick and losing sleep means there's much less productive waking time available. I've known for a long time there's just too much to do at work, too much to take care of at home, too many things currently left undone, but it took getting sick to realize that all added up to my inability to hold on to the focused and repeated distraction of Facebook. I've recently contemplated unsubscribing from some FB Pages that seem to have drifted out of my sphere of interest. Then I just thought, why bother surgically removing this and that little bit, just turned the whole thing off.

And so, I am taking a Facebook break for at least a few days. I welcome friends to email or call me directly, it's not that I don't want to be social. For now, I'm still on Twitter, so it's not that I want to be completely unplugged. And obviously, I'm still here on my blog. I've had to remove Facebook from my browser's default page setting. I even moved the Facebook app icon my iPhone from the dock bar to a back page. Sort of like hiding the ice cream in the back of the freezer.

I'm hoping for some quality sleep and some semblance of personal productivity this weekend, as I recover the last remnants of jetlag and effects of my illness.