Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reflections on my Facebook one month absence

It is October 1st and my decision to step away from Facebook for a month is finally over.  Here's the post of my reasons to make this decision in the first place and now that 30 days came and gone there's a lot of things that I learned.  I remember in one of my psychology class my professor would say that it takes about 30 days to create a habit and hopefully me being away from Facebook has created a good habit.

Only time will tell if I created a good habit of not always checking FB but I do know that there were things I noticed within the 30 days that affected my life.  Here's a brief run down of it:

1. I actually put away my phone.  Other than taking pictures and putting those pictures on instagram, I noticed that I was actually in the moment of what was happening.  Whether that was being with my girls at Disneyland or having lunch with a group of people.  Majority of the time my attention was on people and not on post about people.  Sadly in this society having your phone put away is not a natural thing.  Most people are on their phone when they are at a party, at a dinner or even when they are on vacation with their family.  I look around and I always see peoples' faces down and not engaging the world and the people around them.  It was a refreshing and felt truly free being away from my phone and not thinking about what other people are posting and doing at the same time I'm doing something.

2. I actually talked to people face to face.  It's sad but true that when I was on FB all the time I would just look at my feed and see what was going on in peoples' lives and then I would be okay with it. I wouldn't bother to call, text or even hang out with them in person to engage in a one on one interaction because I already knew what was going on in their lives (well for the most part).  But being away from FB gave me the freedom to call someone and hang out with actually talk to a person rather than read a post or feed on my phone or computer.  I realized how much I miss personal interaction, seeing their smiles and hearing their laughs when we talk about life.  Seeing their hurt and being able to comfort them with a hug and not just words that I post on social media.  for 30 days I met with a lot of people and it was great getting to know them again.

3. I actually didn't miss much.  I think many times when we check our feed all the time we have this fear that we are missing something important, that we are being left out of something that is big.  But after I looked through my notification and feed today I realized that I didn't miss much.  I did see some things that I'm glad FB told me about, like my friend giving birth to her son, but for the most part everything was mundane things that didn't really affect me too much.  Life didn't stop when I was away from FB but life didn't move so far away from me because I wasn't connected to FB. 

4. I actually miss seeing pictures of people.  As I stated in my previous post FB is not entirely evil and bad, there are a lot of good things that come out of FB and those are the things that I miss.  For instance, seeing pictures of people and their adventures.  Seeing pictures of my friend's newborn baby.  Seeing post from my sisters and brother-in-laws of their families and how my nephews and nieces are growing up.  And this is the main reason why I didn't delete FB; we have so many family members that are not able to see my girls on a daily basis that posting pictures of their achievements or adventures keeps the family close. 

So those are the 4 things that I noticed while I was on the FB sabbatical.  It was refreshing and I think stepping away here and there will help me not get all addicted to it again; but hopefully I have learned how to have self-control.  That was one main thing I wanted to learn.  I was addicted to FB and I wanted to kill that addiction and learn to have self-control.  It was a hard journey...never realized how long 30 days is but it was a great journey as well.  I'm praying that a created a good habit of doing the first 3 listed still and live in the moment and not just post the moment.

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