Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why I'm Essentially Getting Off of Facebook

I love Facebook. I got my account about 3 1/2 years ago, and quickly became addicted. And I mean addicted in a very real sense. I obsess over things I read, I can't look away, I can't pay attention to conversations around me or even TO me, I can't interact with my kids very well, or focus on a simple task because I'm always wondering "What's going on with Facebook right now?" "What are my friends doing?" I also struggle really, really badly with living in the present moment. Facebook doesn't help push me toward my goal of being present, but instead, it pushes me further and further away from it. "Why can she decorate her house so nicely with brand new things?" "Why would they allow their kid to eat that?!" "I need to speak up because they might not know they are wearing their ring sling wrong." And it even dribbles down into my conversations with Chuck when he's finally home for the day. "Chuck, did you see what he posted in that group!? How could he think that's okay?" Or worse yet, I pay more attention to my phone than I do to Chuck. And for what? 

I haven't figured that out yet.

But what I have figured out is that Facebook isn't really the problem. I am. I have little no self control when it comes to spending time on Facebook. I can't control myself when it comes to replying to a commenter that is off his rocker. I can't stop myself from letting what goes on on Facebook rule my thoughts. I just can't do it. And it is so, so sad.

I am literally letting Facebook rule my life.

I've tried taking Facebook hiatuses, I've taken the app off my phone, I've made rules like "No Facebook after 4pm." I've even unfriended people who did not bring me joy in an attempt to make Facebook a more uplifting place for me. But unfortunately, none of those things worked for me. Not a single one.

So lately I've been thinking about what else I can do. The easiest solution would be to completely delete my account and not set a new one up. And that's a fair answer. And even though you can download your Facebook history (posts, pictures, etc.), it's not the same as having all those memories readily available. And the groups? I'm the admin of a few groups that are incredibly beneficial for me to be a part of. I can't just leave those, nor do I want to. And what about the informational groups that I use on a regular basis to glean info from? I don't want to give those up. In these ways, Facebook truly is a gift - it makes learning, getting opinions, and doing research very easy. I like that.

While all these thoughts are jumbling around in my brain, I realize that I know one thing for sure. And that's this: Lucky for me, I DO have control over Facebook and how I use it, even if I'm not able to control myself in the moment.

So at least there's that.

What I decided to do is to basically "unfriend" (how I hate that term) everyone on my list. Not because I hate them, not because I don't want to see their lives, but because...what is it adding to mine? I decided to stay in the groups that were important to me, keep my Facebook blog page, and I'm of course going to keep admining the groups that I admin.

There are a few main things I hope this achieves:

  • I'm hoping it will encourage me to spend way less time just browsing Facebook because there will be much, much less "interesting" stuff to see
  • I'm hoping it will force to me actually tend to friendships instead of just being Facebook friends
  • I'm hoping that it will, in essence, forbid me from entering into pointless debates or discussions since I won't be able to see anything to debate or discuss
  • I'm hoping that it will cause my desire for Facebook to dwindle which will then help me to focus more on the things that actually matter
  • I'm hoping that it will help me realize how much time I've been wasting, and that it will also help me discover new ways to use my time
There are lots of other reasons that stem from the things I said above, but those are just a few of the main ways I think this is going to help me out. 

Now, here's another thing. People's feelings get hurt if you unfriend them on Facebook. My feelings have been hurt by people doing that to me! That wasn't my intention at all, and I even made a public Facebook post stating why I'm suddenly not "friends" with anyone:

Hi everyone! I'm trying something new with social media, and am basically not going to "friend" people on Facebook anymore. I'm "un-friending" all my current friends in an attempt at doing a massive overhaul. Facebook somehow magically controls my life (okay, I let it - it's something I have the hardest time fighting!) But at the same time, I'm in a lot of groups that are important to me and have valuable information that I need access to. I also don't want to delete my account because I love the nostalgia of looking back at old pictures. SO! If you're on my wall wondering why we aren't "friends" anymore, this is why. BUT! If you want to be in contact with me, please please please message me! I love keeping up friendships, and I'll gladly give you my cell number so we can chat or text and of course, we can always message on Facebook.

In addition to that, I'm going to publicly link to this blog post so folks can get a better understanding of where I'm coming from. My intention is in no way to hurt feelings or get rid of people in my life. My very very main goal is super simple, and most kind and understanding people will get where I'm coming from. 

My goal in doing all of this is to simply improve my quality of life by using my time wisely and spending it in the present moment with people that I love, doing things that I love. I'm so over finding validation through Facebook and folks I hardly know. I'm tired of comparing myself to other moms and women. And while yeah, just getting rid of Facebook isn't going to make those issues magically disappear, it's sure going to help a heck of a lot. 

So here's me being accountable to you and explaining why I'm doing what I'm doing. I hope it makes sense, and who knows, maybe even makes you rethink the reasons that you're on Facebook. 

In order to win the battle, you've got to stop fighting. And I think I've been fighting for a bit too long to try to have my cake and eat it too. (Or in this case, have Facebook and live a satisfying life at the same time.)

So that is that! If you have tips for how to manage social media better, I'd really love to hear them. Leave your thoughts in the comments below! And until next time, peace in, peeps!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Life Lessons From Daniel Tiger

Our kids don't get very much screen time, and when they do, we are very selective about what they watch.

Daniel Tiger is one of the few shows that I absolutely love and feel 95% comfortable with. (The 5% that I don't really care for are the shows on vaccinations - but hey, for the kids that get shots, those shows are awesome!!)

Anyway, this morning was in a bit of a lull, and we had an hour until lunch time, so I decided that Q could watch an episode of Daniel Tiger.

I randomly picked an episode for him and got it all set up on the iPad. Then I walked into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. I was listening to the show while I was working, and the whole theme of the one he was watching was about managing anger.

The first thing that stood out to me was how well Daniel's mom validated his feelings when he felt mad. The second thing that stood out was the way she handled his anger. Instead of reprimanding her son for not handling his anger the right way, she said "It's okay to be angry." and then she proceeded to show him an awesome way to handle our feelings when we feel angry. She sang "When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four! 1, 2, 3, 4!"

Aside from the example that Daniel Tiger's mom sets for me, I just love that this show approaches every day situations with love and grace instead of anger and violence. It's a great reminder that kids are humans too, and that they deserve to be treated with just as much respect as you'd treat any adult with.

I'm happy that Qoheleth and Junia can watch a fun show and learn profitable things. And I'm super glad that I can learn from them too. No matter if you're a toddler or a mom of 2, we can all learn a thing or two on handling our anger from Daniel Tiger.

"When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four! 1, 2, 3, 4!" 

And let's be honest, sometimes all the strength we have left for learning is so little, that it's just gotta come from a place like our kid's cartoons. No shame, mama. No shame.