I read an article today about a woman who realized that Facebook not only took over her life, it left her feeling depressed, disconnected and alone. How could something that identifies itself as “social” leave one feeling lonely and in despair?
While Facebook and other social media outlets offer an opportunity to connect with family and friends, more often than not, these programs replace our in-person interactions. Keeping our nose to the screen pulls us away from the opportunities to connect that exist right before us, perhaps under our own roof. Instead of engaging with those around us, we plug into our computers and “smart” devices and in many ways, unplug from our partners, children, even pets.
I have certainly had days where I found myself constantly checking into Facebook, while on line at the grocery store, waiting at a doctors appointment, eating breakfast, between checking email. It almost felt like an addiction. I even remember feeling exhausted by it and definitely disappointed that I accomplished less. I also felt far away from my family even though we were in the same space.
Since Facebook never turns off, the temptation to log-in exists 24 hours a day no matter where you are. That’s scary to me. I know that I have made a conscious effort to check in and post less frequently. As a business owner with a Facebook page, I must exercise greater awareness of not getting pulled into the run-on posts of family and friends when posting articles for our clients.
Can you join me in taking a much needed Facebook break? Instead of indulging in the pictures and stories of Facebook “friends”, try giving your within-reach relationships needed time and attention. Or, schedule times to meet with “far away” friends and have lunch or catch a movie, or spend a day somewhere. I know that when I make the effort to plug-in to my life instead of the computer, I feel more focused, attentive and engaged with my world. Go ahead, try it!