Friday, 8 March 2013

Footloose and facebook free?

So it has been about a month with no facebook. My feelings about it and the experience are mixed. The first week was full of the self righteous glee of self denial. Before my decision to give up FB for lent, I had caught myself thinking in status updates and instead of thinking about how I felt about something, wondering how I could post it for my FB audience. This seemed to fall in the not-too-healthy box of ways of thinking. It took a while for that to fade but it seems now that my thoughts are for an audience of me and me alone. Oh and you...

Another aspect I am loving is not having this constant distraction and checking FB every time there is a second of down time. It used to feel like I was always multi-tasking between FB and my actual life. Our computer is in the lounge and I hated the tension I created between attention on FB and attention needed for my kids and my home and for me and the other things of life. Life has felt more peaceful. A phrase I really like is "do one thing". I learned it on a course I did to help when distress and depression are becoming overwhelming. It really makes a difference to my sense of peace and well being to just 'do one thing' at a time. To not have my attention and mind constantly divided and interrupted.

Another benefit is no longer watching other people's lives unfold before me and being impacted by that. Don't get me wrong. I love FB updates from my friends about their lives and photos of what they have been up to. But it is easy to start comparing my life with others and think something is wrong with mine. Sometimes it also hurts to see how other people are living and brings out the worst in me. I am really not missing that.

One of the most wonderful bits of being facebook free is the page updates from some of the pages I have liked in the past. My newsfeed would be a great way to document the changes in my life over the last wee while. I used to have heaps of parenting page updates which all featured things I was really interested in; breastfeeding, birth, attachment parenting, healthy living etc. But since George arrived I actually find most of the posts pretty disturbing or downright upsetting. I have gradually either unliked the pages or blocked them from my newsfeed but there were still a few I liked to read once in a while. But having none of the parenting "shoulds" confronting me each day has been amazing. I feel so much more in touch with myself as a parent and so much more aware of my own parenting boundaries and values. It is not that I disagree with the sentiments of the pages I was reading, but that sometimes they were a confusing distraction. Instead of parenting with my heart and head, I was trying to parent in a way that some FB page would find acceptable. For a perfectionist like me with authority issues, that is a terrible idea.

But its not all roses. I do really miss the contact with my friends and family. I am an extrovert and it provided me with the people contact I crave when life at home with the kids can feel really isolated. And at a time in life when most of the people I know are really busy and we all live further and further away from each other, I love the chance to keep in touch. I also love the little unexpected gifts of someone's words or insights or their comments. Those little suprises are really so precious on days which feel a bit dreary or tough.

So I am FB free till Easter. Not sure what I will do from then on. I think I will be back on but with some more boundaries and hopefully with it in its rightful place in my life. I guess one of the most useful parts of all of this is that I have been able to do it. That I have the self control and commitment to actually give something up and stick with it. And that is not something I have ever been good at in the past. So that in it itself is good for me. It is growing my character I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment