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It's easy to lose yourself on Facebook, looking at pictures, posting comments, and responding to messages. But, the question I want you to ask is this:
Does Facebook make you feel good? And what value, if any, does it bring to your life?
As a yoga teacher and someone with a keen interest in feeling good, it feels right to explore these questions.
Since I can spend a lot of time on Facebook, I want to be aware of the impact it makes. And what I don't want is to let it bring me down, like any addictive habit can.
A few weeks ago, I realized I wasn't feeling so great being on it. I felt stressed and anxious. At worse, very jealous and insecure. And while I'm aware that Facebook didn't directly cause those feelings in me (they were already there, just triggered), I had to take myself away from it. So I chose to temporarily deactivate my account.
Can you relate?
It's hard not to compare yourself to others when you only get a snapshot of their lives. It can be tricky to not feel envious of seeming perfection and happiness.
All kinds of things arise in your own head when you sit behind the screen, such as not feeling good enough, thinking your life is less interesting than people you know, or needing constant validation and superficial love day in, day out.
And sometimes seeing these things in us is too much. Which is why I deactivated my account.
So am I off Facebook forever?
Well, no. I'm back on it now. But I'm certainly grateful for what I've gained from being away. It took the pressure off in a big way, and I was able to see things from a clearer, calmer perspective. There was space for reflection and pause. And I discovered that I liked being away from the computer. I wasn't so wrapped up in other people's lives and my own thoughts about them. I was reminded that I could appreciate being out in the world, engaging, and spending time with friends and family.
What I missed was the ease Facebook provides for getting in touch with people. I missed the uplifting statuses and posts. I missed a place where people get together, in a community-driven way, and share nice things about themselves, their passions and lives. And (if I'm honest), I would have missed not receiving posts on my wall for my birthday.
So, I'm glad I went away. If only for the experience and insight, as well as freshness I now feel with Facebook in having found a new approach. It's good to remember I have choices.
I'm curious: what kind of relationship do you have with Facebook? Does it have a positive purpose, or is it time to make a change with how you use it?