A couple of weeks ago I explained I’m in the midst of a 30-day Facebook detox or break, whichever you like to call it. I like the term detox because it does feel like I’m flushing some toxic thoughts and feelings out by restricting my Facebook access.
My ramblings about this break aren’t meant to convince anyone that Facebook or social media is evil, because while I feel it can be, I don’t feel it always is. Nor am I saying I’m better than someone who decides to be on Facebook on a regular basis.
People can connect with each other in many positive ways through Facebook, share images of grandchildren with grandparents, sometimes calmly share new ideas (emphasis on sometimes), and connect with people who have shared interests. These are all good things.
What isn’t good is how Facebook is set up to addict you to the constant need to never be left out and to feel you are loved simply because your notification bell made a little ringy-dingy (yes, I did just say that in Lily Tomlin’s voice. Yes, I am old enough to remember her doing those skits and if you’re not, do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube, which can also be a time suck, so beware!)
I feel bad that last week I made my list of what I’ve learned so far with this break so negative, which is why I thought I’d share some of the positive aspects of signing off Facebook for 30 days. These are not listed in any particular order of importance.
1) I have had time to actually be bored and think. Yes, being bored, as I’ve mentioned before, is a good thing. When we give ourselves time to be bored we not only feel less rushed internally, but we open ourselves up to ideas – creative and otherwise.
2) I have more time to explore my passions and interests. I’m interested in photography, as you know, but I’m also interested in art and cooking. I’m finding more time for exploring cooking, but haven’t really sat down to get back into art like I want to, so that’s something I will be working on as this break continues (and hopefully beyond).
3) I have more time to gain knowledge or relaxation through books. I’ve been able to dive into books that make me think and books that don’t require me to think too much. I’ve been enjoying working my way through the latest Mitford books by Jan Karon and then for some deeper reading I’m reading about how our mind works via Dr. Caroline Leaf’s books “Switch on Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health,” and “Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscienctific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life.” I’m also reading “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” by Mireille Guiliano which I wrote about on my health blog which you can find HERE.
4) I have time to actually think about what I am eating. Both Leaf and Guiliano put emphasis on slowing down while choosing what you will eat and also while you eat. Leaf says our bodies take in nutrients better if we think about what we are eating and have a relaxed, positive attitude while eating. Standing up to eat, watching TV while we eat, talking on the phone or rushing around are all no-no’s to Guiliano and Leaf.
5) I have had time to cook some food ahead of time and freeze it to be able to pull out quickly on busy days so I don’t make bad food choices. This goes along with my effort to get healthier. I’ve made a few batches of homemade applesauce, froze some sweet peppers and some kale and also marinated some chicken in olive oil, sea salt, balsamic vinegar and garlic salt and froze that to pull out one day for dinner.
6) I have time to listen to podcasts and sermons. I enjoy listening to podcasts while I cook and I was able to do this some even when I was goofing off on Facebook but now I’m doing it even more. I mainly listen to Christian podcasts like Joseph Prince and Elevation Church. For humor I listen to The Skit Guys and for psychology I listen to Dr. Leaf (and then I spend the rest of the day talking to everyone in a South African accent and they answer me by asking me to stop talking to them in a South African accent.)
7) Time to exercise. That’s right. I’m actually exercising. Mainly just “Walking At Home” with Way-Too-Perky-Leslie Sansone. If you haven’t seen Leslie before she leads an aerobic type program of working out that mainly involves walking in place with some other movements thrown in. I like this workout in all seasons because I can actually burn some calories. If I try to walk with my children outside we have to stop like 500 times to look at bugs or see a dog or point at birds or tie our shoes or pick up leaves or wait for someone to catch up or … well, you get my drift.
I’ll list additional benefits to this break in future posts.
Things I still need to get better at, despite the Facebook break: folding the laundry faster, cleaning the kitchen after I cook, sorting through my closet and getting rid of old clothes I don’t wear anymore, consistently exercising, reading the Bible, and pondering my place in this world (which I don’t do because it sends me scurrying down the rabbit hole of thinking about how far off course my life seems from where I thought it would be by now.)
The bottom line is that so far I’m actually enjoying my time off Facebook. I’m missing knowing what’s going on with some people, but I can always catch up with them later and even call them to find out how they are.
Actually call someone?! Crazy!
At this point, I can’t imagine spending as much time on Facebook as I once did, even when I start signing in regularly again.
So, how about you? If you haven’t thought about a full-on, long Facebook detox, have you thought about reducing your time on it to accomplish some goals?