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.
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.
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!