It’s been years now since I first opened my facebook account. It was so much fun, that initial phase of discovering friends and family over the Internet, people I haven’t seen or heard from in years; it seemed to be an almost personal website. I could share pictures, stories, quotes, thoughts, ideas; whatever I wanted, with my closest and even long-lost (and some forgotten) acquaintances and friends. Right from the start… I. Was. In.
I don’t recall precisely when I started to feel overwhelmed, irritated, and ready to jump off that social train, but it took some time. It could’ve been the first time Joe mentioned that I wasn’t listening to him, or that I was distracted. I remember having conversations with friends but continued to be sucked in by it every single day.
And then I started reading articles with sage advice talking about presence and mindfulness; what it means, what it takes to give someone/something your FULL attention. And I quickly realized that I had a “problem” with social media, Facebook in particular.
I deleted the FB app off my phone. I even considered disabling it, but deactivating a personal account is not allowed if you want to use a business page. Facebook is clever. They know how to keep you coming back for more. With no FB app, I was finally going to be FREE!
But I still had the Internet on my phone. All I had to do was convince myself I was only going to get on for a second. And so it began…down the rabbit hole… again. It was like a bad dream. I could not get away from FB! And after a short while, I put it back on my phone. It makes me feel; imprisoned, addicted, and most importantly, not in control of my own attention and time.
I’m probably painting a picture that isn’t quite the way it is, even for me. I have been making a conscious effort to be fully present for months now, especially when I’m with others. I have my phone on silent, and notifications have been turned off (for a long time).
I started to notice though that most people, whether at a show, a restaurant or with family/friends, are not fully present. I understood Joe’s complaint. You’re either here, or you’re not. As Oprah has reminded us for years, “all, we really want to know, as human beings are: Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter?” When you’re distracted, the JOY that was being experienced just by being in your company is gone. And there’s no getting that moment back.
Then the other day, I read an article titled, “An Act of Radical Self-Care.” The author, like me, was tired of social media, but still wanted to be social. So she started the process of completely disabling her social media accounts, and she too had a business!
Day in and day out, I am responsible for my choices. This article made me take a step back and ask myself some big questions: What exactly is FB doing for me? How is it serving my higher good? Who am I connected to anyway? What is it I intend to learn there that I can’t learn somewhere else?
I realized that we would carry on business as usual just fine without it.
From now on, this is where you’ll find us; on the blog and your inbox (if you’ve subscribed), and we hope you have, via the newsletter and the occasional IG post. If you want to know where we’ll be, it’ll be on our events calendar.
Thank you, Tammy Strobel, for your article, “An Act of Radical Self-Care,” featured in Bella Grace magazine. And at the perfect time of year. Nothing but gratitude. Thank YOU for having the courage to lead the way.
We are fully aware that this is not the way MOST of the world is thinking or doing (especially in business) and that’s okay. We intend to prove to only ourselves that it. Can. Be. Done. I am no longer fearful of DELETING accounts. We are now in full alignment with our purpose and our flow, no more fighting the current of the hearts.
There are two visuals exercises that have helped me; they may help you too:
- I pictured myself carrying a desktop computer around with me AT ALL TIMES- of course, that would be ridiculous, and the ridiculousness of it is precisely what helped. A lot! Who in the world would do that? No one! Yet, that is just what it feels like I’m doing… walking around with a computer in my hands (or pocket) all. day. long.
- I pictured carrying a person, a grown adult, around on my hip ALL DAY. A baby on your hip all day is one thing, but again, an adult… ridiculous! But that’s what it feels like when I’m giving someone (anyone) my attention whenever that phone dings. Not even my kids deserve my constant attention (they are all grown), and there’s only been one emergency that I can recall. Everything is figuroutable (thanks for that Marie Forleo), whether they can reach me or not, they’ll find a way, or they can wait until I am available and we can talk. (btw…does anyone talk anymore?)
I would love to hear your feedback. Do you just love social media and can’t imagine being without it? Or are you like me, ready to jump off that train? Leave a comment below, if you’d like, and let’s start a conversation. 🙂