Thursday, November 18, 2010
Setting Boundaries in Social Networking - My Facebook Fast
My sister and I have recently established our own girly ritual. Every week we drop everything we're doing and meet up for coffee. We sit for hours and just chat. It keeps us connected. I love it. A few weeks ago she brought me a set of Joyce Meyer CDs entitled "The Safety Zone: Establishing Boundaries that De-Stress Your Life" - YAY! Just my cup of tea... or organically grown coffee in this case, because that's what my sister and I sip during our chats. This morning I finally got around to listening to the discs and it dawned on me how seriously out of balance my life has been lately.
I've blogged before about setting healthy boundaries in my life and getting my priorities straight. The two go hand-in-hand for me. Well, it's time for me to set some boundaries again. I've been working like a crazy person, trying to juggle my social networking time with my blogging time with my God time with my family time with my friends time with my "me" time. Notice the order of those priorities? Yeah. Me too. SERIOUSLY out of order.
Something happened in October. My life went bonkers. My oldest son joined Scouting. My youngest son's neurological disorder started causing him some problems. My driver's license expired and we didn't have the money for renewal so I had to schedule everything around my poor husband's work hours and he had to do all of the errand-running. My kids both suddenly hit a growth spurt and outgrew their clothes so I was scrambling to try to make sure they had enough to get them through the month. Halloween drove me insane because this year's trick-or-treat was on my tenth wedding anniversary and we were scheduled to attend a fall Boy Scout camp that weekend. Some personal things happened in my extended family and some boundaries needed to be set but I just didn't do it. I tried to be Super-Woman. HELLO? Did I not learn ANYTHING over the last year of my journey? The joy's hard to find when you won't slow down enough to see it. Practice what you preach, Meggs!
Now, I have an immense network of people I consider friends - yes, actual friends - whom I've met online and communicate with solely through Facebook. But the truth is, I've allowed Facebook to become a time-sucking vampire in my daily life. If I'd have had the good sense to just drop my laptop for a break every now and then when all of this over-scheduling and drama-dodging started, I'd have never gotten burned out to the point that I had to slam on the brakes and totally walk away from Facebook. But nooooo. I had ZERO established boundaries on Facebook. I told everybody everything, and it was completely unnecessary. Here's the thing... I'm pretty sure that while some of my pals find it entertaining to know what I had for supper, who I got to visit with today, where I went shopping this morning or what I plan to do for date night, they're not going to die without that information. I have no idea how in the world I got so cocky that I believed the whole Facebook world would fall apart if I decided to leave it behind for a while. How self-centered and ridiculous is that? I mean, really! My Facebook friends were fine before they met me, and they'll be fine if I decide to take a break every now and then. My world does not need to revolve around disclosing every single detail of my daily life on a social networking site.
As Joyce Meyer says, it's time for me to let go of culturally imposed pressure and stress. She has a great point. These days in America it is almost fashionable to be stressed out. Well, I've never really been a 'fashionable' girl, so I'm ready to go against the grain here and tell you that I've had enough. I am not Super-Woman. I am absolutely unashamed to tell you that. As a matter of fact, I'm kind of proud of myself for being able to drop the "keeping up with the Facebookers" mentality. I am not the queen of Facebook. I'm sure my friends don't need - or WANT - to know every move I make.
Have you ever felt pressured to be on Facebook or Twitter or MySpace just because you felt it was 'expected' of you? Is your News Feed a constant contest between you and your friends to see who's got the most drama, the most difficult job, the most loaded schedule, the cutest kids, etc? I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who's allowed social networking to suck the life out of me? I'd love to know your take on social media and where it sits on your priority list.
I have no idea how long my Facebook 'fast' will last. I'm just gonna go with the flow. Thanks to Networked Blogs, new blog posts will automatically show up on my Wall so my friends and followers will still know when something new comes along. So...I'm gonna go do something productive for now... and I will not be updating my Facebook status to tell you what it is. Ha!.
Until next time... may you be blessed - and inspired to pass it on!