Author Emily Vajda



Facebook is my Answering Machine

Aug 9, 2016

Do you remember the days when we had answering machines? When cell phones didn’t exist and you couldn’t be reached ALL the time? When others didn’t expect you to be reached all the time? And do you remember coming home, and feeling that little flitter of excitement because the red light on your answering machine was flickering and someone had left you a message?

I miss those days.

I miss the excitement of knowing someone had called and took the time to leave a message. And I heard their voice. And I had no idea if I had other missed calls because a regular phone didn’t tell me that. Now it is assumed that if you call someone, they will see you called, and call you back. No more voice messages. Or you a send a quick, blasé text message – thinking about you! But are you? Really? Or is it easier than investing the time in calling someone?

We’ve gotten lazy. Or, at least, I have. I don’t even like to listen to my voicemails anymore. I prefer you don’t leave me a message unless it is extremely important. And this is why – it is because I have become inundated with social media. Sometimes I feel like I want to hide in a corner and unplug, be unreachable for a good few days, but then I would have to do the damage control and explain to others why I didn’t call back, or text, or respond to their Facebook.

I miss the simpler days.

So I took Facebook off of my cell phone (It was draining my battery). But you know what happened? Facebook became my answering machine. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with notifications and getting annoyed with my “friends” who are “liking” things, or commenting, or sending me a message (which I don’t want to do – I don’t want to be annoyed with my friends) – annoyed that someone wants something from me and I want to be left alone or I’m busy doing something else and the little buzz on my cell phone is interrupting me – now I look forward to these notifications. Now I look forward to responding to comments, liking other people’s posts (and truly liking them, taking the time to read them because now I’m allotting the time to do so).

Facebook has become a sporadic treat. No longer an every day, all day social media assault.

And I find that I’m less stressed, and anxious, and overwhelmed. My fuse is longer and I’m less apt to snap at someone who posts something offensive on Facebook (because they probably want a reaction anyway). And I’m more thoughtful, less hurried.

This is something I’m working on anyway – balance (the elusive minx, balance). I’m working on slowing down.

So friends – I welcome your notifications and comments – I now look forward to them and appreciate them. But if I don’t respond right away, don’t worry – I will. I’ve just unplugged for a bit.