The social network Facebook has taken a beating this week by researchers who published studies finding it can hurt everything from your marriage to your health. Is it time to unfriend and unplug? I'm not so sure. Let's take a closer look.
Facebook leads to 1 in 5 divorces?
That's the finding of a survey done by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Case closed? Not really.
Already stressed marriages were most vulnerable, which leads one to believe Facebook isn't causing divorce. It's just facilitating it. When spouses want to cheat, they now have Facebook – along with singles bars, Craigslist, and many other options — to use to troll for dates.
Facebook friends lead to stress?
Researchers found that stress levels went up with the number of friends folks had on the site. One in 10 users said they felt anxious while on Facebook. What the research didn't show, however, is that many people use Facebook as a business, promotional and networking tool. It could be that stress-prone people tend to friend more folks — creating their own vicious stress cycle.
Facebook leads to eating disorders?
An Israeli study found that the more time teen girls spent on Facebook, the lower their body image and the higher their risk for developing eating disorders such as extreme dieting or anorexia.
As it turns out, it's not the social network itself but the fashion images that may really be triggering the poor body image in young girls. Other research has found that Facebook can actually boost self esteem, because of the social support.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that the site is harmless, just that there are other interpretations for this research. Whether the site helps or hurts your health and your marriage largely depends on how you use it.

And then I read this one, her follow-up:
Posted by Alisa Bowman at 05:27:00 AM on March 4, 2011

In my last post, I wrote about various studies that have linked the social network Facebook with an increased risk of divorce, eating disorders and stress. What follows are some tips that I hope will help you to use social media wisely and without ruining your health in the process.
1.     If you are married, de-friend anyone who gets too flirty. I don’t even give folks like this a second chance. If they message me a comment that I know—without a doubt—they would never have the courage to say in front of my husband, they are no longer connected to me socially.
2.     Compliment your spouse. Use your status update and other features to brag on your spouse publicly. Do not use these features to complain about your spouse. Complain about your spouse to your spouse’s face. Compliment your spouse to his face and behind his back.
3.     If you are feeling depressed, unplug. Many people tell me that their mood starts to drop as they use Facebook and other digital media. If this starts to happen, step away from the computer and plug into real life. As a general rule, if you find yourself constantly refreshing the screen and feeler more and more down when more messages don't appear, you need to get away from the computer.
4.     Set a timer. Give yourself 10 to 15 minute segments during which you are on Facebook. When the timer goes off, unplug from the social network and plug into real life.
5.     When you are talking to a real live person, don’t pull out your phone and start answering tweets on Twitter. It’s just rude and who knows what the person in real life is apt to do to you if you pull something like that.

After giving it some thought I came to the conclusion that I agree with how 'bad' FB can be. The time I've spent online could have been used to get more productive things done: spending time with the family, reading a book, playing a game with my son, going to the library, calling a friend on the phone, etc. What will I accomplish if I give up FB for Lent. It's not THAT horrid a task since technically Lent does NOT include Sundays so I do have one day a week to get my updates and check-in with people. I still have email and my phone for messages, texts and calls so why is it such a scary thought to unplug myself from the online world of FB. 

I already have fabrics all over the dining room table anticipating being cut into squares to be sewn into a quilt. I have a trip to the local market planned to get supplies so I can do some baking and I have a calendar waiting to be filled with purposeful events. It will be difficult to not hop online first thing in morning to see what everyone's up to and no, I'm not logging back into MySpace either. 

Will I make it? I hope so. Will I miss it? Most likely. Will it be worth it? YES.

Curious as to how it goes? Check back for updates. . .