I am Now Two Weeks Removed from Facebook…

Two weeks ago today, after a very-early-morning toilet moment and subsequent epiphany, I uninstalled the Facebook application from my phone and tablet after turning off all notifications. And today, I can tell you that I haven’t logged back in, not even once, and I genuinely feel like my life is better off for it. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you from what this last couple of weeks have held for me.

The usual disclaimer: I’m not judging you. Plenty of you are able to consume/use social media without negative effects/addictive behaviors. Also, I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll stay off Facebook forever, either. I’m still on Instagram (for now), and I’m still allowing my Insta photos and blog posts to share over to FB, so please know that I’m not against social media entirely.

But, I am against something that’s supposed to bring joy and entertainment becoming a huge time suck and causing stress and dissatisfaction with life. And, with as short as our time here on this earth is, I’m not a fan of something I can shut off and stuff in a pocket dictating my happiness and how I spend my free time. I’m rapidly approaching middle-age, and I don’t want to look back and see that a huge portion of my life was spent staring at a screen (of my own choice).

So here we go: the good, the bad, and the ugly (which is really just the bad, right?)

The Good:

  1. I’m less irritable in general! Since leaving the melee of Facebook, I haven’t seen a single political or theological rant, and no one has tried to sell me something, and it’s glorious.
  2. I don’t feel as bad about my life. It’s still a little shabby, a little overweight, and a lot infertile, but now that I’m no longer barraged with others’ carefully-curated social-media lives, I can maintain a proper perspective about my own little corner of the world.
  3. I’m reading REAL books. I bought a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite for this purpose, so I’ll be able to have several books at-hand but not feel like I’m staring at a blue screen, and I’m currently plowing my way through Walden. I also went to the local library this past Saturday and got a new library card so we can make use of our tax dollars. I haven’t read much since my Master’s program (I had some SERIOUS burnout after two or three novels a week for almost 3 years), and I forgot how much a book feels like an old friend.
  4. I’m staring at screens less in general. The good thing for me about Instagram is that there’s simply not as much to see. I follow a few friends, some celebrities, and some watercolor art and adorable animal accounts, but that’s pretty much it. Once you’ve scrolled for a few minutes, you’ve seen it all. Without Facebook to flip over to, I’ve just got to put the phone down and find something else to do.

The Bad (and Ugly):

  1. I never realized how much I shared random thoughts with everyone. Sometimes I miss it, because there are things that crack me up that I want others to find funny. But then I’m also faced with my own narcissism; do I really think I’m hilarious enough that other people need to see it constantly?
  2. FOMO is real, ya’ll. I’m missing scrolling through my comedy pages and seeing what some of my more distant friends are doing.
  3. People tend to talk to you like you should automatically know what’s going on via Facebook. And when you don’t, they assume you’re being sanctimonious.

But even the bad things aren’t that bad, really. I haven’t felt an urge to go back yet, and as a result, I’ve managed to pare down one more thing that’s causing life stress. It’s much easier to cope with stress when you simply have less stress to cope with.

More to come on this de-stressing, simplifying journey!

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Emerging….

It’s been just about six months.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting.  Lots has happened that’s finally put me in a position where I want to and am able to resume blogging.  I took a break for several reasons…I needed to focus on getting my thesis done, especially since I had to postpone graduation again until this spring, Phil died and I didn’t feel like doing much for quite a while, Davy Jones died, capping off a month of grief (Phil died on the first of February and Davy died on the 29th) and the loss of two of the most important figures of my own musical history, and work became increasingly stressful until I got to the point that I wasn’t really able to function much.  It was all I could do to make it through the day, so when I got home, I basically collasped on the couch and ate.

So, I finished my thesis and successfully defended it and I’m all graduated now.  Unfortunately the stress of work and school took a big toll on my health to the tune of another thirty pounds, so I’m officially needing to lose about 80 pounds now.  However, I got a new job!!  As a result, life is becoming increasingly more relaxed (or will be once I’m more used to the new job), and I’m finally reaching the point where I can emerge from survival-mode and try to heal my body and mind from the trauma of the last year.

I really wanted 2012 to start off better and be a better year in general, but I feel like things happened the way they did for a reason, and I’m pretty sure that the second half of 2012 is going to be so much better considering how much baggage I’ve been able to shed over the past two months.  I spent the first few weeks after I graduated doing nothing but rotting my brain on Facebook and Pinterest, but I’ve been starting to remember what my interests were before I went into self-imposed isolation…frugal living, voluntary simplicity, knitting, cooking good food, and resuming the weight-loss battle.

I’m pretty mad at myself for letting the weight thing get so out of control; we’ve found ourselves getting takeout incredibly often because we’ve been too stressed and tired to cook.  However, Joey just sent off his last paper for his last class of his PhD program, and I don’t have anything to consume my time when I get home from work except going back to the aforementioned things that used to consume my time, constructive things, healthy things…things that make life better.

Since we’re now looking at the possibility of being able to eradicate vast amounts of debt if we resume our previously frugal ways, I’m looking forward to getting back to my roots and returning to the person I was when I liked who I was.  And I’m glad I get to share that with you again:)