I love Facebook, but…

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The other day Peaches made a post where she mentioned liking Facebook for a particular reason, and it got me thinking.

I realized that I also love it, but I have problems with the way I use it at times. I decided to make a list of what I love about it, and the things I try to remind myself to keep these things from getting out of control. Maybe you can relate.

1. I love Facebook for helping me to keep in touch with my family,

…but I also try to make sure that I don’t let this replace phone calls to hear how they are actually doing.

2. I love Facebook for helping me to know what type of activities and concerts are going on in my area,

…but I also try to let myself stay in and read a book without feeling guilty for not going out every night and taking advantage of my lively city. This can easily turn into “You’re boring for not doing enough,” and I try to watch that feeling and not let it get out of control.

3. I love Facebook for letting me share my music and writing with the world because it feels good when people give it attention,

…but I also intend to not rely on external validation to determine how I feel for the day. If I post a song and nobody listens, it doesn’t mean the song is bad or I am bad, it just means nobody listened or took time to tell me that they did.

4. I love Facebook for helping me stay aware of news topics and things that matter to my friends,

…but I also try to not get into a zone of just reading one thing after another without absorbing any of it. This causes my brain to feel numb and my eyes to hurt. Also sometimes, I am prone to getting more interested in the drama surrounding some topics than the topics themselves, which really has never led me to any new awareness.

5. I love Facebook for giving me something colorful and interesting to look at in between other things I do online or to get my mind off something,

…but I also realize that this can quickly become mindless and distracting, and I intend to not have this type of relationship with it for more than a few minutes at once. I also intend to check in with myself after using it sometimes to see if it really helped me feel more centered, or if it made me feel more fuzzy. This is especially good to pay attention to when it’s late and I’m bored. There are just better things to do.

Lesson Learned:

This list reminds me that things done with fabulous intentions can become detrimental to my overall well-being when I don’t explore the ways that I use them or have mindfulness of when usefulness melts into uselessness.Β 

Cleaning, for example. Today I cleaned while listening to a great album by Chris Strand and felt amazing and grounded while doing it. Other times, I clean furiously and think about things that piss me off. The quality of my energy afterwards greatly depends on the energy I put into doing it to begin with.

The same is true for so many things- dog walks, showers, drinking tea, singing in front of people. The energy I approach the activity with and maintain during it really affects how mindfully I do the activity and how grounded or present I feel afterwards.

Gentle presence is a feeling I try to cultivate because it really helps me to offer more to those around me and to feel like I’m actually living my life instead of watching it pass me by. But a baseline level of mindfulness is necessary to even catch myself as I start these activities..so it’s a big cycle, and one that I love devoting so much time to.

Do you feel like you have a healthy relationship to things that you do, and are you like me where sometimes the activities can slide into something un-useful at times?

Hope you all are well!

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15 thoughts on “I love Facebook, but…

  1. Personally, I am on month thirteen of my Facebook “fast”. A little over a year ago I realized that I spent more time checking it, updating it, and interacting through it than I did anything else on a regular basis. It kinda freaked me out to be honest… But that’s how things take over; gradually, unassumingly.
    I decided to deactivate it and challenge myself, to find out just how important I had allow my superficial fb relationships to become.
    What resulted — and what I least expected — was not disappointment or feeling like I was missing out. Instead, I found myself liberated somehow. I was no longer bound to the perceptions that my fb created for me with people I know. Healthy.
    Great post.

    • Thank you. I’m beginning to feel like this and have to watch that I don’t get wrapped up in my Facebook Friends. I tend to spend too much time on the internet thing as a whole. I have to sort of dehab myself.

      • I used to spend way way more time on it, since it was part of my work. Now it’s less time but still sometimes too much πŸ™‚ Wishing you the best Shalilah! At least there are lots of inspiring folks like Brandy Desiree out there to help us see the light on the other side of the tunnel πŸ™‚

    • That’s awesome! I really wonder what I’d feel like on a similar fast. I may try it out sometime!
      I love how you say that- “that’s how things take over; gradually, unassumingly.” God it’s so true.

  2. Love the balance you bring to this! Wonderful “gentle presence.” I have found myself gravitating in the same direction with FB and other facets of daily life. So many things can be great servants but make awful masters! I’ve particularly noticed how true it is that FB seems to draw more interest “in the drama surrounding some topics than the topics themselves, which really has never led me to any new awareness.” Spot on observation. Cultural debates on FB? not so much. Posts by my daughter about our grandkids, most definitely. I’ve thought at times about fasting from FB or even just dropping it, but too many people contact me there with legitimate life questions and needs – and then, there are those grandkids…

    • Can be great servants but make awful masters…did you make that up?! That is brilliant! I wish my grand parents had Facebook, but none of them do. I feel like you would have a wonderful ability to catch yourself getting caught in the trap of drama and quickly extract your attention and put it to useful wonderful things πŸ™‚

      • I have heard that sentiment a few times over the years, so I can’t claim credit for it…but then I suppose there’s little I can claim credit for! You bless me, Jennifer. You do.

        • I want to remember that for forever, if you want to include it in at least 80% of your comments from now on, I would not mind a bit. πŸ™‚ I think I want to just sit with that phrase for twenty straight minutes today even, it applies to so much!

  3. I’m on FB everyday, but typically just a quick check. FB is more of a work networking thing for me. I was never on it for personal reasons. In fact, some times I wonder if I need to do MORE on FB. Sounds nuts, right? πŸ™‚ I am an introvert so even though I blog and do the social media rounds, I still maintain a distance. Where I need a gentle presence is my relationship with my TV!!

    • Haha the TV is definitely a good one to have a gentle presence with! I think I used Facebook more personally some years ago, but now that a lot of my friends are people I barely know, I definitely keep really personal stuff out of it. When I was doing more writing, I had the same impulse of “Gee, should I be on here more to cultivate my online presence or whatever?!” but now, I’m quite personally distant but at least I have a place for my dog photos and to see pictures of people’s babies πŸ™‚ Best of luck with the TV relationship, I’m sure you’ll find a great way to relate to it!

  4. I am backward in using Facebook–like Colleen, I sometimes wonder if I should perhaps use it more but I’m just too introverted to do so. My most detrimental online relationship is with Etsy. I like to go there and type a color into the Search box (it’s almost always “aquamarine”) just to see all the pretty, sparkling, amazing things that pop up. But like eating too many potato chips, what starts out feeling great ends up leaving me with a nasty taste in my mouth and a feeling of doom.

    • Vicki your words are like the crispy magical potato chip that is sort of brown and extra delicious at the bottom of the bag, giving new life and saltiness to an otherwise predictable endeavor. I haven’t used Etsy much at all, but I can relate to that experience..and now I’m tempted to go to it and search for aquamarine…just to be able to relate even more!

  5. I really don`t know, I try to devote my time to things that I feel are healthy but sometimes I`m proved wrong and I have to change my course of action. I try to live in present time, I truly believe it`s the path to happiness and fulfillment but it`s a daily exercise. I deactivated my FB account for a year, after my parents passed away. I didn`t know how to deal with all the happy this and that I got for new year`s eve and then I didn`t want to come back but some friends started to send me emails saying I miss your pictures or your notes and I opened it again and now I post pictures and notes like in the past. Still, there is something about it that doesn`t feel right.

    • Thanks for sharing Ellen! I fully agree that living in the present is such a daily exercise, it seems like the easiest thing but it’s really so difficult especially when things aren’t easy. Sometimes for me, it feels more “right” to use sights like facebook when I change my intention. If I decide I just want to use it for pictures, but nothing else, then it’s a little easier than if I expect to get more from it than just a place to share pictures. Plus if it’s just your friends that want you to use it, and you really don’t want to, you could always take steps away from it if you wanted. I wish you the best!

      • You know, I have this blog here in WP and I kept writing here while I was away from FB and said “you have this place to see my pictures” but just a few visited it because it was not on their phones as FB is, it seems that the extra click was “difficult” … I guess we can talk about social media on and on and find pros and cons with each one we chose to share.

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