Thursday, November 16, 2017

Social Media Separation Anxiety

Recently I found myself on Facebook posting a status update (with photo) and realized that it was insignificant to anyone but me.  Yet I felt compelled to share the post, though I cannot tell you why.

There have been many articles written about how Facebook is addictive. It is true. Facebook is addictive, especially for an approval addict like me. I absolutely love it when people like or comment on my posts!

Like many of you, I'm a multitasker.  But is it really necessary to check Facebook while watching  TV with the family, enjoying lunch by a beautiful river, or going to the bathroom? 

For the past six days I have stayed off Facebook, except for momentary searches related to my job or to check on causes important to me. I have removed the app from all of my mobile devices since I find it extremely difficult to set my phone down or resist the urge to check for notifications twenty times a day. The compulsion to check my Facebook is one of the greatest temptations I face.

I have tried to figure out why I have such social media separation anxiety.  After all, don't I need Facebook or other social media to keep in touch with friends and relatives who are scattered across the continental U.S.?  How will I share spiritual encouragement or helpful information about veganism, health, and environmental awareness?  What about celebrating the birthdays and anniversaries of those I care about or posting pictures and sharing good news of my children's accomplishments?  And last, but not least, how will I ever manage to attract readers to our blogs (mine and Joy's) if I don't share the post links on social media?  How can one market anything these days without social media?

Just a few minutes ago I logged back onto Facebook just to see if anything has changed. Did I really think it would?  I'm still seeing the same old news (and none of it good) from the same old sources. And while I enjoy seeing pictures of family and friends, somehow it's just not the same as keeping in touch via more traditional methods like birthday cards and face-to-face visits. After all, who doesn't love receiving a handwritten note or sipping a cup of coffee with a friend?

Because of all the negativity on Facebook I just don't think it is a healthy place for me to be right now. I need to realign my priorities, find the balance that is missing from my life, and reconnect on a more personal level with those closest to me. That's not to say that I won't pop in for a Facebook visit from time to time to check in with friends from back home -- I still care about you too!  But at least through the holidays I plan on devoting more of my time to personal contact with those around me and enjoying the holidays with my eyes on my blessings instead of everyone else's.

Those closest to me know how to reach me if needed, and for those who don't have my contact info, Facebook Messenger is still an option.

I pray you will unplug, count your blessings this Thanksgiving (and every day), and enjoy the holidays!

Dee Dee


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