Sunday, March 23, 2014

My New Rules for Facebook

If you have talked to me much in the past year, you might have discovered that I struggle with Facebook. I want to find a healthy balance where I can see it and use it as the wonderful tool it is -- a way to connect people. However, in my desire to stay connected, I sacrifice some of my feelings of self-worth and a lot of my time. Facebook often becomes a joy stealer instead of a positive tool in my life.

In the past, I have gone on Facebook fasts. I will deactivate my account for a month or so. However, I do not think that a Facebook fast is the answer in the same way that I do not think food fasts are the answer to losing weight. In order to lose weight, people have to make a life-style change. In order to have a healthy relationship with Facebook, I need to have a shift in my thinking. I need to figure out how to get some self-control in this area without ignoring it, because if I ignore it, the addiction will likely just manifest itself someplace else.

After my Facebook fasts, it usually does not take long for me to get trapped in my old Facebook habits. I use it more as a way to find some type of significance for my own life. In my head, I have to check my Facebook to see if anyone needs me/ messaged me or has updated any upcoming events.

When I don't see any of these notifications, I then let my mind wander and start to Facebook spy.
 "Hmm, I wonder where this person is living? I wonder how many kids this person has? I wonder what job this person has?  I wonder what that former crush is doing with his life? What, they bought a house?"
 And so the downward spiral to self deprecation goes, and frankly, I am weary from it.

So in order to find a healthy balance to my Facebook use, I am going to follow these guidelines and try my best to stick to them.  I have also posted them by the computer and told Rob so he can help keep me accountable. 

Facebook Guidelines:

1. When checking Facebook, read all the messages and notifications first.

2. When lonely or frustrated with life, do not check Facebook. Instead, do something uplifting like read a book or go on a walk.

3. Do not click on the "see more stories" button. If I am clicking on this button, it means that I am no longer treating Facebook as a tool but as a vice. "Do not do it!"

4. No searching for people I am not Facebook friends with to spy on their lives.

5. No using Facebook to communicate with people I could otherwise call or communicate with via text message.

6. Only check Facebook one time a day. Nothing is so urgent that I need to check it multiple times in a day. 

7. Pray daily to better understand my self-worth in Christ.

Well, there you have it folks. I hope that with these healthy guidelines, I can continue to develop a healthy relationship with the tool we call Facebook.

 How do you maintain a healthy relationship with Facebook? I'd love to hear your ideas.


Carol said...

Hi Portia, loved the honesty of your post. I especially liked your guideline #2, because it's true that there are way, way more uplifting things to do than Facebook-surf when being in a funk. I don't have a lot of rules about Facebook usage except that when I find myself just checking the newsfeed, well, it seems like I crossed from Facebook checking to just wasting time! So that's my particular struggle. If it encourages you, I think a lot of people use Facebook to publish their happy moments and wonder stories only, especially given that anything on Facebook lasts forever. Most people don't post when they are not doing well. So it doesn't always give you an accurate picture of how people are really doing, and it's easy to be misled and think everybody's lives are glamorous or picture perfect...
Anyways... Thanks for posting and being so mindful of habits that add to a happy life:)

Portia said...

Thanks Carol for that perspective. You are right--people don't usually post when they are not doing well so it's not a great picture of reality.

Genevieve Greathouse said...

Portia this is a great post!
I especially love the last one! :)
I will probably follow these,haha. I need to!
love it.