Anyway, I had the magazine propped open against the paper towel holder, and the page fell open to an article entitled "Feel Better Already". Saints be praised! The Universe has spoken loud and clear. Eagerly, I flipped ahead with peanut buttery hands. In short, the article was a list of 21 tips and small changes that you can follow to put an upswing in your well-being.
A few suggestions, such as "Smile, even if you don't feel like it" and "Snack on dark chocolate!", I'd heard of and already put into practice (hello, sea salt and dark chocolate. I'll see you this evening). Some of the tips didn't really apply to me, like using your daily commute as a mini break or getting rid of your dust-ruffle (you've got some freeloading dust mites just whooping up in that thing), since I've got neither of those. And there were the tips that I could probably do if I remembered to put it on the to-do list. There was talk of vitamins and microexercise, taking a hike, using epsom salts. The one tip that reached off the page and tweaked the end of my nose was number 9: "Get some perspective on Facebook."
Do tell. . .
Basically, Facebook can make you feel like crap. Most people have pretty large networks of friends. Each time your newsfeed burbles up with photos said friends lounging on a white sandy beach, or your Zumba instructor knocking off numbers 1, 7 and 12 off of your bucket list, it's like a paper cut to your self-esteem. Your brother's exgirlfriend just got a job promotion? Paper cut. Your tenth grade lab partner moved to Paris? Paper cut.
We spend time on Facebook, but the more we see others doing or having, we then look at ourselves and start tallying up what we're not doing, what we aren't having. Imagine the amount of time you spend on Facebook times the number of times your newsfeed coughs up another happily-ever-after status update. I'm no math whiz, so I'll just say paper cut. Paper cut. Paper cut.
|Ironically, I got this image from a webpage about Facebook Statuses|
I gave up Facebook for Lent. I deactivated my account and deleted the app from my phone. When I told the Hubs that was what I planned to give up, he was all, "Really?! For Lent? You know that's like 40 days, right?" I knew that I was teetering on a Facebook addiction when even Mo expressed disbelief at my choice. I had asked her what she was giving up for Lent or rahter, what best practice she would adopt, when she tried to put one over on me by asking what I planned to do. "I gave up Facebook," I told her. "No way!" came her response. "Like forever?!"
I'll admit it. I was
"It's natural to compare our lives with those of others, but people tend to post disproportionately positive updates and neglect the not-so-glamorous aspects of their lives on Facebook."
Well sure, who wants to see the plain, ugly truth? When you see those drama filled Facebook updates like, "Wondering if it's all worth it," and "Gonna need more than prayers," called vaguebooking, do you really want to know the unpleasant stuff that's sure to follow? Do you want people to know you have unpleasant stuff? There are drama updates sprinkled in the mix because we all have unpleasant stuff that come into our lives. Some of us choose not to show it. Some of us choose to hide it behind status updates and photos so ridiculously perfect they make a shimmering rainbows or a galloping unicorn seem like day old, stir fried doo-doo.
We use Facebook as an escape. It's a time suck. It's a way to pass some minutes waiting at the doctor's office, for the movie to start or the light to change. We're looking for something to zip us away from what's in front of us, if only for a few seconds. The grass is always greener, right? But when it rains, it falls on both sides of the fence.
Easter is this coming Sunday and with it comes the end of Lent. Throughout the last 40 days, I've learned that I can indeed survive without Facebook. There are a crap-ton of other social media outlets on which to waste time and stay connected with people. Will I get back on? I don't know. In order to spread the word about my writing and my photography, I may have to. Facebook is everywhere, and if I want my name and my brand to be everywhere, well. . .
Check out this article by Dilney Goncalves about why you shouldn't have more than 34 Facebook friends. If you un-friend me after reading it, I'll understand.