May 21, 2015

My Facebook Dilemma


Years ago, I made choices that improved my quality of life: no TV reception; no newspapers; minimal Internet news; no Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram; no smart phone; daily meditation; weekly connection with friends; increased time outdoors; morning and bedtime routines. These purposeful choices mirror what I value most: awareness, connection, curiosity, integrity, and kindness.

Still, I feel the tug of social media. I post my photography on Flickr. When I'm intentional, my use of Flickr fills and inspires me; when I'm mindless, my use depletes me. I've stayed away from Facebook because I know myself well: I could get lost in externals. I hold many identities, some of them too tightly. One of these identities is thoughtful-and-caring-friend. In person, this flows naturally. In the stories of my mind or in the online world, this takes a different path: Joy, you must attend to everyone and comment on all posts; if you don't respond, people will think you're unkind;  you should check regularly if people still love ("like") you.

These thoughts feel real, but they're not true. Anytime I search externally for validation, the search never ends. This search is a band-aid that covers my uneasiness. The real medicine is looking inward--giving myself the attention and love I seek.


Social media is interesting and fun. Yet it can separate me from what I most value. And there's a fuzzy line in between. For me, there are two rabbit holes: confusing likes, shares, comments, and favorites with my own self-worth; and feeling a strong pull to keep up-to-date, to not miss out. The latter leaves me anxious. The former leaves me hollow. 

When wise friends told me I needed a Facebook page for my business, I cringed. But I listened and eventually agreed. Because I always have choices. I come to Facebook in my own way, with my heart and eyes wide open. I needn't publish a personal page. I come to Facebook not as Joy Jordan "this is my daily life, let's catch up" but as Joy Jordan, both a student and teacher of mindfulness; a person trying to be mindful on social media; a person who needs to hear and share this message:

You have permission to just be; to be and breathe.
You have permission to attend to yourself; look inward.
You have permission to disconnect from the online world
You are so much more than your popularity on social media.
You are unique and beautiful; be you.
You are worthy, as is.

7 comments:

  1. So beautifully put! Thank you for putting into words what my brain couldn't.

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    1. Hi, Sherri! Thanks for your generous compliment. I'm glad my words resonated for you.

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  2. Joy, I so agree with Sherri. You have stated beautifully what I know to be you and your intention for living... and you are modeling a way to be, truly BE in this life: mindfully, heart-connected, true. My own FB choices have been different and I've struggled, re-evaluated, shifted how I am in that on-line world. And I get to shift again!

    Thank you for being YOU, Joy. Our world is better for it.

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    1. Jeanne, this comment fills me with love and gratitude. Thanks for being YOU. :) I like your main point: you can shift; you can make changes. Often we mindlessly plug along, yet there are important choices in front of us. Thanks for sharing this message.

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  3. I closed my FB account last summer. I have not missed it for a second. I spend my time on Flickr and Instagram. FB was overwhelming and I felt I could not choose what came to me. As you say guilt of not liking or watching the cute cat clip, politics etc etc. I totally understand it's a very good way for a business. When I will become a therapist I might consider to open a new page. Thank you for writing about this subject. People find me strange for not having FB but I feel a big relief. // <3 Agnes

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    1. I don't think it's strange, Agnes. Trust that relief--it's a wonderful thing.

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  4. Andrea Lemke-RochonJune 2, 2015 at 5:36 AM

    I've fasted from FB time and again to re-balance and re-evaluate. I too have fasted from the news, not completely. It has helped to be more mindful, less mindless. I appreciate how well you echoed what's in the depth of my soul about this subject. FB can be life affirming, if it doesn't become a time a sucking distraction.

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