I don’t remember exactly when or why I joined Facebook. Frankly, I don’t even remember how I heard about it. I do remember, however, my very first connection was with a dear friend from my childhood. She and I had spent many days in elementary school hanging out and having slumber parties over at her house. Her mom often times rented movies for us to watch and I think we must have watched our favorite movie, Breakfast Club, a dozen times together.
Over the years we lost touch and had not seen or spoken to each other since high school. Facebook gave me the gift of reconnecting not only with my dear friend, but with other people I had not seen in years. My network on Facebook grew and grew, and it became a place for old friends to find each other once again.
When my dad was sick and in the hospital I used Facebook as a source of comfort. When he passed away I needed Facebook as a source of sympathy. When my mom became sick, I used Facebook for the same reasons. I used Facebook to share the incredible story Evening Magazine featured on my mom. Eventually, I used Facebook to announce she had passed away. I sought empathy from my friends and family to help give me strength.
Over the years Facebook evolved from one that served me well and gave me joy, to a place that left me feeling unhappy and unhealthy.
I am a self-professed people pleaser. I continuously fight against this urge to determine my own self-worth based on how happy I have made someone else. The feature of people being able to ‘like’ your post can be somewhat of a drug for someone like me.
When both of my parents passed away and I was deep in grief, I used Facebook as a way to escape where I really was physically and emotionally. I’ve used escapism in some form or another my entire life and Facebook had become the latest enabler for me to escape.
I’m bored, I will escape. I’m sad, I will escape. I’m anxious, I will escape. It became such an issue that sometimes I hit refresh every couple minutes.
Frankly, after talking to several people, I know I am not alone. But I didn’t even need to talk to others to see there so many people out there like me. Just look at the people sitting in the waiting room or the customers standing in line at Chipotle. Ninety percent will have their eleven pound head tipped forward. In fact, there are studies that show our spines are slowly changing because of how we are holding our heads.
I started to notice a correlation between my happiness and the time I spent on my phone, but just like any addict I could not stop. Eventually I realized Facebook was no longer serving me in the way I had found joy in the beginning. I accept that Facebook is valuable to many people and small businesses. In no way am I trying to criticize how others like to utilize Facebook. For months I’ve hidden and unfollowed people or posts I did not want to see.
But it seemed there were more and more posts I did not want to see than posts I did. I don’t want to see pictures of children or animals being mistreated. I know it happens. My husband and I donate to organizations that help the mistreated. I don’t want to use Facebook for my news. Every morning I read through credible news sources (if there is such a thing) to understand the current events. There are now reports of false news circulating through Facebook. I don’t want to be inundated with political propaganda and witness how it is dividing friendships and connections on Facebook. I am sick and tired of being inundated with all the advertising and marketing. Lastly, I don’t want everyone to see what I ‘like’ and frankly, I don’t want to see what you ‘like’ either. It’s nothing personal. :)
All that crap was drowning out all the great stuff that drew me to Facebook in the first place, so I decided we needed a break.
I want to work on being present and appreciating my current situation whatever that may be. I need to work on being mindful with my emotions instead of escaping from them.
I miss seeing the updates and pictures of my friends and family, I really do!! But since I am a people pleasing escape addict, my happiness depended on me taking a break.
If you want to connect you can give me a call or send me an email. Many days you can find me on my mat, out for a run or at the dog park where I can’t help but feel happy.
Let's together pick our heads up. Let’s talk. Mostly, let's feel and share the love.