Alarm goes off. Check Facebook.

    Feel alone.

Sitting at stoplight. Check Facebook.

    Feel pissed off.

Break between clients. Check Facebook.

    Feel sad.

Pee break. Check Facebook.

    Feel left out.

Commercial break. Check Facebook.

    Feel not good enough.

Finish getting ready for bed. Check Facebook.

    Feel empty.

~~~~

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There are so many articles and opinions flying around lately about the monster that social media can be, all relevant and important. But like everything else in our lives, we each need to find our own balance, and this includes balance with social media and technology. I think we must learn to disconnect some from our technology, every day and engage with our loved ones, in person! And, even sit with ourselves doing something quietly. However, I also think that in some ways the negative light being shined on social media is unfair, and is a light that we actually need to shine on ourselves.

I think my addiction to Facebook portrayed above is pretty classic and what many of our days can look like. This was over a year ago. I never walked away from Facebook feeling good, connected, positive or happier.

However, I was also in a pretty shitty place myself. Angry, sad, bitter and feeling very alone about our failed IVF journey and just starting my journey of accepting a childfree life. So, of course, my Facebook wall left me feeling all of the above; alone, pissed off, sad, left out, not good enough and empty.

But if I am honest with myself, this was also a lot of my own doing.

I was addicted. Instant gratification of checking my wall left me satisfied for a split second, and the completion of the behavior left me feeling awful but still wanting more.

I was sad and mad; just at the beginning of my journey to choose to get better. So of course, I was never going to leave Facebook feeling any better.

First things first, I detoxed. I started by only allowing myself to check 4 times a day, in the morning, at lunch, evening and before bed. No more stoplight checks or in between sessions. Then the next week down to 3 times a day. Then finally down to 2 times a day, lunch and evening. No more first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Those moments need to be spent being grateful and centered.

Then, I cleaned it up. I made sure to like pages that post the things that were going to improve my life; laughter, thought provoking articles, inspiration, beauty and positivity. And if you didn’t use it in these ways, then you didn’t make the cut. If I wasn’t quite ready to defriend someone (even if just for voyeuristic curious reasons), I hid them. Finally, I changed how I engage with social media myself, always being cognizant of what I was putting on my wall and posting on others.

These changes meant it wasn’t long before social media changed for me, no longer the enemy but something that actually enhances my life for the better. Which I think was probably what it was meant to do in the first place. I would like to believe that social media was conceived to make people think, laugh, grow, engage and connect! I have connected and reconnected with so many people, from both past and present, through social media. And these are not superficial connections, but ones where we actually write each other regularly or even meet up for lunch. We are engaged in each other lives, building friendship, connection and love.

When I am taking care of myself and practicing happy, I use social media to enhance and not compare. I like to hear about the changes your in lives. I love to see your children and pets grow up and do funny things. I enjoy reading the diverse articles everyone posts. I relish the beautiful pictures and quotes.

With all this sparkle and rainbows, I will admit my addiction has strengthened some, checking Facebook more often than my detoxed 2 times a day… but I also make sure to disconnect every day.

So bottom line, you won’t find your happy on your social media walls. You will only find your happiness from practicing it every day, and of course, within yourself.

~~~~

Eat breakfast. Check Facebook.

    I think.

Between sessions. Check Facebook.

    I laugh.

Between commercials. Check Facebook.

    I grow.

Before night time routine. Check Facebook.

    I engage and connect.

How do you use social media to enhance rather than hurt? How do you make sure to find the balance?

16 thoughts on “Make Friends with Social Media

  1. theforgottenones says:

    Wow you are so in control! I had to delete FB because it was making me miserable. I tried to cut myself down to a few checks a day (didn’t happen) I was able to delete the app off my phone but still compulsively checked on my laptop. Some of the worst offenders in my FB were family members so I didn’t find blocking them would be a good move. I knew it was a problem when I refused to check it on Christmas day because I couldn’t bear to see all the happy families and kids. So I deleted it. Cold turkey. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything important since all that I ever saw on my feed were people telling their infants how much they love them (?) and games and some pretty lame rotten ecards. I applaud your self control and your positive take on social media and I hope to some day feel the same, until then i’ll keep asking my husband what drama his cousins are starting and accepting the screenshots he sends me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jlbf4 says:

      Thank you, it’s taken painful work but so worth it. Sending you positive thoughts and strength! Thank you for reading!

      Like

  2. ana74x says:

    Still struggling with the balance, I have the compulsion to check it all countless times a day. I think smartphones have a lot to do with it, but could I go back to an ordinary phone that is just for phone calls and messages? Probably not.

    Great post, and I’m so glad you found a way to make it positive for you.

    Like

    1. jlbf4 says:

      Thank you! Since I feel good about it, I’m definitely checking too often again, but at least it enhances. You’re totally right about the smart phone! Maybe I could try hiding the app or at least take off the home screen…

      Like

      1. ana74x says:

        I have tried that, but if I could uninstall them it might help. Facebook cannot be uninstalled, lol.

        Like

  3. busynothing says:

    I hear you! Managing social media is part of my work life, but funnily that has a way of killing the buzz. I have hidden most of my contacts on my personal side, and that helps a lot. Totally agree about following accounts that bring beauty or inspiration. My downfall is Twitter though. And my number one thought while browsing is “what an idiot.” Really? This is how I’m spending my time? Lol.

    Like

    1. jlbf4 says:

      I can’t get into twitter, feels so incongruent to how I want to feel, to busy, always on…

      Like

  4. BOTR says:

    For as long as I’ve been on social media, I’ve never friended anybody I knew in real life; I much prefer to keep my offline and online lives separate as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jlbf4 says:

      How does that work exactly for you or how are you able to keep them separate? For me, I use it to really connect with people in my life near and far.

      Like

  5. Justine, I think with this blog and the book launch for EVER UPWARD that you need to have Facebook — I can’t imagine how you would survive without it … it’s one tool to help promote success.

    For me, I have been off Facebook going on three years now. There was an incident where I used it defuse how I was feeling … no names were mentioned … simply vagaries but my boss who I should have never been friends with on Facebook to begin with laid into me. I deleted the post that hadn’t even been up for an hour. I blocked her from Facebook. I got worried and blocked others. Then I put my account on hold … then I deleted the whole thing and never looked back.

    Although Facebook sounds like it’s working for you now and it helps get the word out about your writing, this initial post has reignited all the negative feelings I have about Facebook … more fuel to feed my need to stay away from this particular media site. I am supportive of those who love it, like it, use it well, use it for self-promotion as they need and see fit … but for me perhaps I’m too sensitive and insensitive at times too … maybe I’m to impulsive with my words wanting to express my self in the moment not being able to truly ever take anything back.

    I liked my friends better when they were more mysterious and I didn’t know what they ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I liked myself better when I wasn’t on Facebook and my husband did too.

    In place of Facebook I enjoy blogging and Pinterest … I don’t have a Smart Phone so I’m not tempted to log into Facebook … but if I did have one I’d have to create an account again — something I’m not willing to do.

    I’m really glad you broke free of some Facebook chains and figured out beneficial ways to have this social media work for you and not against you!

    Like

    1. Thank you! Fortunately and unfortunately I use a ton of social media for the book and the blog right now. Trying everything I can to get it noticed but my personal relationship with it has definitely changed for the better. Doesn’t mean I don’t have lapses though, that’s for sure. Here is Ever Upward’s FB page https://www.facebook.com/everupwardblog. Thank you so much for all your comments today. Seriously has made my insane day better! J

      Like

      1. Cool! I will have to look over your FB page.

        Glad to help with your day — you’ve already helped mine!

        Like

      2. Oh I’m so glad! Seriously, I really appreciate our conversations today!

        Like

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