Beginning tomorrow, September 1, I'm gonna try something that is going to be really hard for me. I have become a bit over-consumed with social media, specifically Facebook. Most of my time on Facebook is good, but some of it is wasteful as I get caught up taking in and focusing on too much of the negative stuff. I can also numbingly pick up my phone at any free moment to scroll through my feed when I could be spending that time on so many other things I love doing, like my business. Instead, I become fatigued and distracted as I allow myself to be saddened or angered, confused or convicted, moved to comment when I shouldn't and paralyzed in doubt when I should.
Like anything, there are usually two sides, and Facebook is no different. Recently, Facebook has been life-saving as it has been utilized for rescue efforts of Hurricane Harvey as well as to facilitate the outpouring of ways to donate and volunteer. Stories of heroism, hope, and unity fill the feed. On the flip side, one can also read critiques of what the POTUS and FLOTUS were wearing while they visited the devastation in the state. And, on a more local level, the uproar of differing opinions about the recent decision to rename my old high school allows both sides to become braver to vent emotional and lengthy commentaries with no intent of bridging the divide.
Don't get me wrong. Personally, I am grateful for the amazing benefits of Facebook and prefer to see the good it does. There are so many beautiful connections, stories, and dreams come true because of Facebook. But, when you start experiencing the unhealthy side effects, it is time to evaluate. One major self-awareness that is detrimental has been finding myself scrolling while homeschooling my son or while relaxing at home with my family.
I don't want to miss any more moments right in front of me. I want to grow my vision from my phone or computer screen to the path before me of persons, places and actions, or to simply be still.
During this time of unplugging from Facebook, I will be consolidating my online presence to Instagram & this website. (And Pinterest. I love Pinterest. It makes me happy. Well, except for when I experience a Pinterest fail where my result looks NOTHING like the Pinterest photo. Yet, I still find joy and the bravado to say, "Nailed it!")
I am also hoping to get back to writing some books that I have been wanting to start or finish as well as to better serve my local retail boutique booth locations. This is still a scary decision, because I have been told by many other business owners that Facebook is where the action is to grow a business, or to simply HAVE a business in today's world. I have seen that to be true. In fact, you may not be reading this if not for a Facebook connection.
However, I also have the daily privilege to see my husband have a meaningful and growing business without the use of a website, Facebook or any other social media account. His business consistently continues and grows from old school methods: good ole word of mouth. In this day and age, this way of doing business may seem dinosaurish (I think I just made that word up!), but it can still survive and thrive! I have great hope that it always will.
My decision to reconfigure my online presence has another reason: Fantasy Football.
Yes, I am in a Fantasy Football League for the first time this year! So, I need to spend my Internet time learning about my team and what to do each week. (Is Troy Aikman still playing? Just kidding! I am not THAT oblivious or dinosaurish! This could seriously be a legit word! Quick! Call Webster!)
My husband and children have been involved with Fantasy Football for 16 years. And, they don't just have one league. They are Fantasy Football acrobats juggling several leagues each year. Due to a last minute cancellation of an owner at one of their drafts, I seized the opportunity to get off the porch and run with the big dogs! I am excited! (But, I don't see Tony Romo on the list of eligible quarterbacks. Is he hurt? Again, just kidding! That joke is SO dinosaurish, right? Eh, I am already getting tired of that word. Don't call Webster.)
It's not just about Fantasy Football, though. It's about doing things that I used to love to do but traded my time to do them for hours of Facebook scrolling. Things like reading, painting, photography, calling friends and actually talking to them (now that's a weird concept, right?), writing & sending greeting cards (again, a strange concept), and being in nature up close rather than through images on a screen.
Again, I reiterate that I do believe in the benefits of Facebook and social media, and I am extremely grateful for those benefits. It is when it becomes more important than the people, moments, and dreams right in front of you in the now. It's a personal decision every person makes; hopefully, without judgements from others. Today, it's a decision I have made today to unplug. Another day, it may be a different decision I will make.
All of this is to say here's how you can stay connected with me and my Encouragement For The Heart Blog & Boutique beginning today:
1.) Follow @e4heart on Instagram!
2.) Through www.e4heart.com. And, while you're here, consider joining my e-mail list by subscribing with your email to receive my blog posts & communications in your inbox!
I may return to Facebook in the near future, but at this time, I look forward to seeing what YOU are up to and sharing my work & personal life with you through the above opportunities.
I want to leave you with a little encouragement from Ecclesiastes 3 that speaks to me as I try not to feel like I am going to be missing out by not being on Facebook. That there is a time for it, and a time not for it, in my life. And, that my desire for satisfaction of my work should prevail.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
Some things to think about...
Less than 24 hours of my unplugging Facebook for a better connection, and I am already having withdrawals. Is there a Social Media Anonymous group somewhere? Sign me up! Hello, my name is Bonnie, and I have a Facebook addiction. I'm glad I'm here.
And, I'm glad you are here at Encouragement For The Heart!
Hi! I'm Bonnie.