I recently went on a lovely, week long, tropical vacation with my husband and a couple of our dearest friends. Before I left, I promised myself that I would spend the week in the moment or in a good book. No mindless internet, minimal email and absolutely no Facebook. Why was I so adamant about this? Because more and more, I find myself filling every down moment cuddled up with my smart phone. Standing in line? Better check my phone. A lull in conversation? Better check my phone. Sitting at a stop light? Better check my phone. You get the pattern here, right? I bet you do, because I see many of you doing the same exact thing!
I realized awhile back that this pattern was becoming my new normal, and I didn’t like it. So I started paying attention and realized I turn to Facebook every time I get a spare moment. All the time! I find this rather funny (in an odd way), because I love quiet and solitude. Why would I fall into a habit of avoiding it?
Truthfully, I have no idea why. There is just something about the constant contact that is addictive…maybe it’s the fear I might miss something “important”. But it really doesn’t matter why…the point is that I decided to take a break while I was on vacation. But I was seriously concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Are you wondering if I was successful? Are you a bit curious? Did I struggle or cheat? What did I think of it? You probably know the answer already...It was awesome! I checked for emails once a day, twice if I thought there might be something from my daughter. But I did not open Facebook, despite several emails from them. Facebook quickly became aware of my absence and started emailing me…to be sure I was aware of the growing number of notifications I was missing out on. LOL. I was pretty sure none were too earth shattering!
Vacation came to an end and we returned home. A day later, I finally logged in to like something I knew my husband had posted. I didn’t care to look at anything else, so I didn’t. The next day (2 days after return) I logged in to acknowledge a post I had been tagged in, but I didn’t care to look at anything else, so I didn’t. 3 days after my return I logged in, did a quick 5 minute scan of my notifications, liked a couple pictures people posted for Father’s Day and that was it. I am really loving less Facebook in my life. Over a week later, I am checking Facebook 1-2 times a day, for 5-10 minutes. Does this give me time to see everything in my newsfeed? Nope…and I’m okay with that.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook has some wonderful qualities!! I love seeing pictures of friends and family I can’t visit often enough, I love my friend’s inspirational posts and I love some of the funny ones as well. I love learning of new books from my favorite authors, meditation programs offered by my mentors or herbal tidbits posted by other holistic practitioners. All of this stuff is great! Luckily, I have made it a habit to unfollow people that post things I don’t really appreciate, so my newsfeed tends to be pretty positive and happy, but it still seems like many of us are falling into the trap of confusing Facebook with real life.
So I am making a commitment to myself, to increase my mindfulness…and the only way to do this is to decrease time spent in mindlessness. I am committing to minimal Facebook. I encourage you to do the same. Maybe your Facebook isn’t your thing. What is your mindless poison? Too much TV? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Snapchat?
Could you spend a little more time being present in the moment rather than reaching for your computer, tablet or phone every time you have a moment to yourself? Maybe instead, just sit and enjoy that moment of peace. That is certainly what I’ve been doing, and loving every minute of it.
Here in the U.S. we have a holiday weekend coming up. Consider putting social media in timeout for the weekend…to just relax and enjoy living in the moment. Try enjoying real, live socialization with friends and family, or get out in nature for a solo walk. Enjoy some introspection, read a book or watch some fireworks. Often, life is better when you live it unplugged!!!!
Enjoy the peace!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.