So this month I’m not using Facebook. I find myself thinking of posts during the day, like “First trip to the gym with Alexander – he did great!” or “I ❤ Saturday mornings: gym, starbucks, breakfast, baby playtime”. I debated (and quickly decided against) tweeting my status. Since my twitter is primarily professional, I didn’t think the personal additions would be welcome. Also, I have a few friends I primarily connect with through messages on Facebook, so I am feeling cut off from them. Overall, I am feeling more alone and cut off than I expected to.
Already, this is revelatory to me in how we assume it’s no big deal for students to be asked to disconnect from social media during the school day. Presumably, adolescents are at the point in their lives where they are more focused on their peer relationships than I am, and, according to this NY Magazine article Why you never truly leave high school: “In adolescence, the brain is also buzzing with more dopamine activity than at any other time in the human life cycle, so everything an adolescent does—everything an adolescent feels—is just a little bit more intense.” While for me, it’s a mild sense of disconnection from friends, to my students, it could feel like the end of the world.
This short month might just feel pretty long, even to my post-adolescent brain!