But First… A Joke
Everyone has heard the old saying, “April showers brings May flowers”. But what do May flowers bring? Give up? Pilgrims. Mayflowers bring pilgrims! Get it? Ha! Ok. I apologize for that absolutely terrible joke. I only laughed at it like the first few times I heard it, because it is so bad. But with all goofy jokes aside, this April, I decided to make my own “storm” per say.
A Confession About Facebook
First off, I need to make a major confession. I am an addict of sorts. I am addicted to Facebook. It started out simple, just checking up with friends from the past, then stalking a few “frenemies” just to be sure that they were having a bad day because they deserved it for calling me names in the third grade (gosh, I think I should be over that by now, but being called “Betsy-Wetsy” was tough, man!). Then the games came around. While the Crocklings were napping, this stay at home mom built a very impressive farm, solved a few murder mysteries, and won a few rounds of “Words with Friends”. Games kind of wore out their welcome once the kiddos grew out of naps, and next levels became difficult to reach without spending actual money for points (I’m cheap). Then, the game requests became annoying. I got out before I could get hooked on crushing candies. But I think when my addiction really got bad was when I could have the Facebook App right on my phone.
The App was a game changer, folks! I had access to 875 of my closest friends at my very fingertips 24/7. I had access to drama, jokes, recipes, viral videos, news, sports, music, misleading memes, and friendship ending political debates. There was even a time when I would check Facebook, and already have the weather updated for me by a local friend. I didn’t even have to look out the window for myself to see that it had snowed a few inches overnight. I had plenty of pictures of people’s grills covered in the white stuff as my proof.
Facebook Has Its Uses
I’m not saying all of Facebook is bad. It can be a great resource for learning about activities in your community, or finding out what time church service is, and if it wasn’t for Facebook, my adoptive brother never would have re connected with an old college friend whom he ended up marrying (she is PERFECT for him, by the way). It’s a great place to check up with and learn more about great programs such as Transfiguring Adoption, or to find a group of people to support you (I am a member of several adoption support groups). It does have its merits.
It’s About MY Behavior
My problem wasn’t with Facebook; it was with how I behaved with it. It was the first thing I checked in the morning, and the last thing I checked at night, and I found myself taping on that app icon way more times than necessary during my day. I was wasting time. I was sharing my pain, and my creativity, my pride for my children for the wrong reasons. I’m a people pleaser. I was looking for “likes” to validate me. I was comparing my worst to the best others were projecting out there, and getting very depressed. I was in too deep. One day, the internet was broken at my daughter’s school, and she told her teacher that she was sure the cause for their problem was that I was at home taking up the entire internet on Facebook. It was time for a change.
We Are On A Break
So, this April, I decided to take a break from Facebook (I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg is devastated). I deleted the app from my phone, yet kept messenger on in case someone needed to contact me for TA or if one of my church kiddos needed to contact me. Since I have everything at my fingertips, I don’t use the computer for non TA related things, so I didn’t check my computer, either. I thought I needed a huge amount of strength for this. I prayed, I panicked (a lot), and I do believe a little cartoon angel and a little devil showed up on my shoulders and had a conversation that went like this:
Angel: Betsy, you can do this
Devil: Yeah but you really don’t want to- I mean, look at who keeps winning the political primaries!
A: you don’t need that negativity!
D: You won’t know what’s going on!
A: You can check the newspaper! Now do it!
D: You won’t survive!
A: You will!
D: the world won’t survive without pictures of your pets! Think of the world!
A: Do you really think people like your pug that much???
And so forth. It was terrible. But with a great imaginary drumroll, I deleted it! And….The world did not end. WHAAAATTT!!?? That’s right, the world is still here. I am still here, nobody died, there were no nuclear meltdowns (at least I don’t think there were). I mean, the lights in my house didn’t even flicker. Nothing!
The Positive Aftermath So Far
So what, now? I began filling my days with more important things. I stared reading a book I had been meaning to read, I started several bible devotionals, I binge watched a hilarious show on Netflix, I researched new exercise routines, exercised more, made more phone calls, spent better quality time with my kiddos, made up goofy stories to text to my husband while he was at work (he likes it when I flirt) and cleaned out every closet, drawer, and cabinet in my house, and wrote like 10 half blogs (it did not cure my adhd brain, sorry).
But most importantly, after a small time of withdrawal, it’s like a fog was lifted. Negative thoughts weren’t there as much. I wasn’t worrying about other people and what they thought of me. I was worrying about living my life and taking care of the tasks in front of me.
To quote a song from The Beatles, “I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone”. Now, I am letting my May flowers expand and grow. I’m not getting rid of my Facebook. Now that my challenge has hit an end, I will severely limit any time spent on it. I’m simply not interested in it anymore. And while my pug is so very interesting, I haven’t gotten any personal requests for photos of her. I guess there is more to me than what others think.