This post may seem a little hypocritical, but so be it. I’ll admit I was a Facebook addict for while…well, for too long. It had everything to do with where I was and what I was dealing with in my life.
Almost everything I did…everywhere I went…everyone I was with was logged and on display via the Book of Face. I was so focused on broadcasting my experiences that I missed actually experiencing them. I was dialed in….checked in…but mentally checked out.
At the time, the sharing of the activity was more important than the doing. My priority was to virtually include my FB friends instead of being present with the people that were right in front of me. As I look back, I wonder how much I missed…memories that I should have been a part of that I denied myself the opportunity to experience because the perception of my life was more important than the reality.
At first, it was because I felt a sense of freedom and expression that I hadn’t in years. As I emerged from my marriage to Thing 2, I wanted to scream to the world all the fun things I was doing. Initially, I found the balance. I was Facebook active but engaged in life. Somewhere the balanced shifted though…
Then there was the period where I was really lonely. Didn’t matter how many people I was surrounded by — and let’s be honest…at one point in my life, I was rarely alone — I still felt isolated. Part of that was self induced because my heart was elsewhere…existing outside of my body. Facebook was my way of inviting eyes from afar…of including him in what was happening in my life.
It was also a channel for communicating out to the Universe what was lacking…often by trying to show an over abundance of something. If I was feeling sad, my posts tended to be overly positive. If I was mad, I used FB to exchange funny stories with friends. It was almost like a prolonged “opposites day”. The issue…I wasn’t in place to deal with my emotions head on…so I denied them. Projecting out to the world how I wanted to feel…but didn’t.
Next I moved into the phase where Facebook became the vehicle to indirectly offer advice to friends I thought needed it…sometimes including myself. My page was littered affirmations…elephant journal quotes…tiny buddha sayings. While positive in nature, I was still too focused on putting it all “out there” as opposed to stepping back…breathing…and internalizing.
As I finally started dealing with my shit and getting healthy, I slowly realized that the better I felt in my own skin, the less I needed…wanted…to be on Facebook. And the more I started to notice others that are using Facebook like I had…to release anger…to get attention…to promote the life they want, rather than putting the energy into actually making that life happen.
It was at that point…with that realization…that I turned on Facebook. A tool that had been a necessary crutch to carry me through a time when I was emotionally and mentally broken became a tool that I despised. Yet, here I am using it to promote my blog…my SUP classes…share pictures of my new boyfriend and puppy.
The difference now? All those things are real. I’m either sharing in advance or after the activity because I’m focused on experiencing the moment. So focused in fact that there’s a lot that never makes it to the Book of Faces now. Memories that I carry in my heart…shared with the people that are present and in the moment with me.
It’s a big shift with a subtle ramification. I think if more of us spent less time on Facebook and more time on ourselves and our loved ones, we’d all be a lot happier. Take a step back and look at what you’re posting and ask yourself why. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the time you’re taking from someone …something…from yourself.
And I know how hypocritical this is because you most likely found the post on Facebook…where I put it…where I hope you’ll find it. And if that’s the case, thank you…and I’m sorry. Now let’s all go offline and make some memories.