The Power of the Pause

It was evident within the first 24 hours, that I was impacting my life in a positive way. I was becoming a bit of a Facebook zombie and it was time for a change. Rummaging through the multiple layers of the Facebook world was becoming mundane. It was time to take a deeper dip into my own world.

It was the Thursday before Christmas and my husband and I were doing what many do, scrolling through the never-ending newsfeed of Facebook. In doing so, we we’re filling our minds with the unnecessary. We decided to take a break from the ‘book’.

This voyeurism and insertion into other lives happens quickly. At first, it’s fun and harmless. Before you know it, it becomes a second job of constant well wishes and worries. This can become an endless hamster wheel of ‘weighing in’ on everyone’s lives. This attachment begins to grow roots in our minds, taking up valuable space that should be reserved for a select few.

This can happen unknowingly. We innocently begin peeking in on what’s going on in the lives of those we know (and those we don’t, too!). This huge social machine comes with the same emotions that we might not have seen or experienced since we left our adolescence; jealousy, envy, criticism, ridicule, agenda-filled conversations, passive aggressive behavior, and game playing.

This can be drama-filled and socially cruel on a level and speed that we would never have imagined prior to Facebook’s existence. Basically, people are the same on Facebook, as they are off of Facebook. Except this platform has a huge reach, therefor a bigger impact. A new form of bravery and self importance now exists. Are lives being enhanced or diminished, as we scroll?

Don’t get me wrong, I love many aspects of Facebook; connection to people, business development and inspiration. It can deliver joy and love around the globe, in seconds. It’s reach is gigantic and if used for the good, it has enormous potential to help, heal and create happiness.

It comes down to the user. How do we absorb the continuous information speeding through our minds. Is it useful? Does it distract? Does it contribute to our well-being? Asking ourselves how do we feel, as we log off of Facebook, can be revealing. If it uplifts and enlightens, keep on scrolling. On the contrary, if it’s time-sucking or energy depleting, maybe it’s time for a ‘time-out’.

Pausing our Facebook world can bring valuable information. What are we losing and what are we gaining? I appreciate it’s value and I am thankful for the avenues of communication it brings. I have simply changed the way I use it. I no longer feel obligated to like everything, give my opinion, or to wish happy birthday every day. I’m using my time differently.

For me, it’s been a delightful and mind-freeing experience. I continue to post pictures and send a wish off, here and there. I have not been ‘news-feeding’ and it’s freeing. I’m feeling blissfully left out and beautifully disconnected. I wonder and imagine more. I’m focused and connected to my actual life. I have found time. I’ve practiced more yoga, attended more dance parties in my daughter’s room, creatively brainstormed about the future with my hubby, decluttered my house and created this website where I can do what I love, which is to write! Not too bad, for just a few weeks away from the Facebook feeding frenzy.

How we ‘feed’ ourselves is important? Are we satisfied and fueled for a productive future? Facebook was not making my life better, not in the ways I want my life to advance. It was hijacking me, temporarily and preventing me from absorbing myself into my real life. I have discovered, again, just how fun it is to carve out my own happiness. Balance and betterment is my goal.