A couple of days ago I felt like my agitation with everyday life had reached it's tipping point. Not so much with my family as much as with everything else. There was this constant tightness that rested just beneath the surface in a tense little ball of swirling irritation, nervousness, and sadness that sat in my chest. I knew I needed to do something different, and since Facebook seemed to always make that ball grow, I thought that I needed to take a break from it.
So here I am on day 3 (I think it is?) on my Facebook break. I have checked in twice now at the notifications to be sure I am not missing important messages from the sales groups I belong to, but since I had not I didn't read any of the other notifications. I have not checked in over 24 hours. I do have a few items for sale, so I probably should soon, but I am almost enjoying my small hiatus.
You may be wondering if that ball of tension has reduced since I have taken a Facebook leave of absence. It has, but not really. It has shifted, and it has dispersed into a ton of tiny emotions, as if the ball were made of glass, and it had cracked, and shattered. The pieces went into different directions, and landed in different places, each with their own meanings assigned. As each hour passed I began to feel the significance of each shard of glass from the tension ball.
I began to notice where the pieces lay, and the shape, and sizes of each. As the hours turned into a day I began to feel the ache of piece where they lay inside. I struggled for a distraction, but my usual go to was not available. It was as if I had been using Facebook as an external distraction of my own pain, anguish, upset, anxiety, and every other emotion one could ever feel. Without it I started to examine all the pieces of glass from the ball of tension I'd been carrying for their significance. I realized that a lot of my inner turmoil was something I may have been projecting
onto others, or at least finding in others, and blaming them for causing. Of course, not directly, as in having arguments, but as a general feeling. I felt so vulnerable, and raw often while perusing my FB feed, and found it so hard to deal with the negative outpouring that often does come with social media, unfortunately. I think I found this so hard, because my ego is not in a place it needs to be right now to deal with the world in a strong way. I can't look away, and not take things personally, because when I am in the space that I am in right now it feels personal. I don't recognize where other people end, and I begin, because my boundaries are blurred, and I'm looking for stability too far outside myself to be centered.
Of course interacting with FB, and all social media is by definition socializing. I find myself happily wading with friends one moment, and drowning in the depths of the online social ocean the next without much warning. I still have not learned how to take a little, and leave before I get overwhelmed. I'm not sure there always is a warning, and if it is avoidable. I can go somewhere, and have the best time, and still be overwhelmed, and need a break the next day. To avoid social overwhelm, for me, would be to avoid any, and all social contacts, and that is not only not possible, it is not a life I want to live. I have to learn to pace myself, though.
Last but not least, I do suspect that depression has some role to play within this whole scheme. Depression has a way of turning things inward onto ourselves in ways that make the world feel so heavy, and dark. I don't think that I am full on depressed, but perhaps a bit melancholy on some days. Dealing with the negativity of Facebook on those days is too much.
I know there probably are a number of readers that are thinking, "Well, this is exactly why I don't do Facebook." But, I don't think this issue is limited to just FB. I have been here, and done this myself before there was such a thing as FB. There is always something that a person can toss themselves so fully into that they find a way to distract themselves from, well... themselves. It's not a new thing, and it is basically what any addiction is based on at it's foundation. Not that I would actually go so far as to call Facebook, or Twitter, or whatnot an addiction, but I do think a person can display addictive behavior in how they utilize those things, especially if they are unknowingly using them to escape dealing with their emotions. I know people that escape into playing games (on their phones, or consoles) as a way of escaping reality. It's somewhat the same thing, except with social media you can create meaningful connections with others, and that's not going to happen while playing Candy Crush. I have made some really, really good friends online, and even in real life from online, so I am not disparaging Facebook, or any type of online connecting. I just feel that sometimes I need a break, and I need to recognize when I am using something as a means to distract myself from dealing with my own issues.
*Small note: I am still sharing links via share buttons, so if you see this blog, or any other link shared on my page it doesn't mean that I have been to FB, necessarily. I don't have any idea when I will come back. Could be tomorrow, or next month.
Thanks for reading.