Saturday, March 3, 2012

Facebook vs. EdD

I heard on the radio one day, that Facebook actually depresses people.  According to this study, people tend to only publish happy moments of their lives to Facebook.  And who is to blame?  After all, no one wishes to publish his or her entire life to Facebook, and no one wants to read a facebook page that is a 24/7 complaint publication.  But there must be something in the middle there... In any case, I find it to be a pretty accurate description.  People have a few minutes before bed, or in the middle of the day, and they hop on Facebook. They look at pictures, read the news feed, and suddenly, feel less "great" than they did before logging on.  Often, according to this study, it is because people internalize all of these happy posts, and begin to think that the rest of the world is happier than they are.  And aren't we all guilty of this?  After all, if I have a rough day at work, of if my kids are throwing tantrums and wiping their snotty little noses all over my clothes, am I going to update my status with this?  Unlikely.  I don't want to look "unprofessional," and I also don't want to gripe.  When my daughter took her first steps, did I post that to my wall? Absolutely.  Nobody likes to read complaints, but nobody likes to think that their life is inherently less happy than someone else's either.  Solution?  Quit facebook. 

No, I'm kidding.  But in all honestly, that stuff has to be taken with a grain of salt.  I gave up Facebook for Lent, and I have to say that it was a pretty selfishly-motivated sacrifice.  I was tired of the person I was becoming when I wasted my last few minutes of the day on there, when I could have been reading, or even grabbing a few extra minutes of sleep.  My other Lenten sacrifice (because I know you are so interested) is giving up swearing.  That one is a little tougher. 

So why title a post Facebook vs. EdD?  Well, the doctoral degree I am pursuing is not a PhD, it is an EdD (or Educational Doctorate).  The big difference is, instead of a dissertation, I get to write a giant legal publication.  This is much later, however, considering I am in about week 8 of the entire 6-10 year process.  In any case, here's what I'm finding:  Yesterday, I had a terrible day at work.  Whatever, it happens to all of us, and far be it for me to pretend that my life is perfect, or that I respond perfectly to all situations...  I don't.  So I get home, I'm frustrated, I'm just about in tears, and I'm mad about that, too, because it has nothing to do with my family, but for some reason I can't let it go.  Thus perpetuating my vicious cycle of annoyed-with-myself-ness.  Anyway, the kids and I get to playing, we have a nice night, I put them to bed, and then, as per usual, I am asleep within minutes.  I wake up today, and I have one hour to get work done before the husband leaves for his job.  (Obviously, much was accomplished or I would not be writing this presently).  I got to work on my next assignment for the Doctoral program. And do you know how I felt?  I felt great.  I felt accomplished.  Was it challenging? Yes.  Was it tedious?  At times, yes.  But it was mine.  It is mine.  I am in control of it, and the only thing happening to me as I work, is that I am learning.  I'm making connections, and this is all because I chose this.  I'm not going to pretend that I love this all the time, because I do not.  When I have to stay after school until 4:30 so that I can have an uninterrupted 90-minute phone conversation every week, or every other week, I am not thrilled, because I hate picking up my kids that late.  But overall, no one is worse for the wear, and I am (slowly.. ha ha) getting smarter. 

So- I guess a doctoral program trumps my old pal Facebook.  Not to say that I won't be all over Facebook when Lent ends, but at least now I know where I stand.  Fulfillment takes some effort.  And while I get annoyed, greatly, with this effort, the end result is satisfaction. 

Hate to be cliche... but I have to close with this quote:

“Education is about the only thing lying around loose in the world, and it's about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he's willing to haul away."

-George Horace Lorimer,
American journalist and author