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!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Megan, I need to know everything you are doing. I really need to know. Don't stop updating your status. I may die. Can you guess who this is?

Jon said...

Was it your Facebook friends placing demands on YOU, or were YOU taking responsibilities on and assuming burdens yourself? Were your Facebook friends trying to compete with you, or were you feeling the need to compete with THEM? Both questions worth asking yourself, don't you think??
A wise person once told me that when I find myself stressed and overburdened by "baggage", whether it be a shortage of time or resources, or just mental and emotional burdens, I should ask myself-- "who put this baggage there", and "Does it NEED to be there"-- more often than not, I find that my "baggage" is self-imposed and useless... not always, but most of the time... just something to think about... I wish you peace, and a free, uncluttered, unburdened heart, mind, soul and LIFE... take care! :)

Meggs said...

Kerri, is that you?

Jon, it was me. That's the whole point of this blog. It's me. that's why I'm getting away from it. It has to become something more than my self-centered-ness. =) I'll see you soon... just not sure how soon. Hugs!

Kerri Slade said...

Busted!

Anonymous said...

Meggs, your logic is impeccable here. You're no good to anybody if you are no good to yourself! Enjoy the vacation! Marty

Lynn Tolson said...

Meggs, my life was enlightened and enriched by meeting you on Facebook. I do see you in the newsfeed, and I am glad to hear whatever peaks and valleys you walk through. Yet, I know that including social networking into a daily routine can be a distraction from priorities. Love and Light, Lynn

Jon said...

That's find Meggers- just as long as you remember how it all started, and who can stop it-- take care of yourself-- only you can do that... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Meggs! I'm the 'other' anonymous! (the Nut one) :D
I just laughed a lot reading this post! It described perfectly me too.. so guess what? You taught me something! Let's close the notebook and start reading again!
I wanted to know how is going with the stomach bug but reading that I bet you're getting better... :)

Peace

Sis said...

I think we are both learning that the improper boundries are self-imposed. But you are right to let a computer get to you is going too far. I think we both learned the same lesson this week. Mine was with famly and yours with the computer. But we are in control of what we "let" distract us from God's work. It seems easier until we have built such chaos that we just do not know what hit us, then we walk around feeling like we are running into a brick wall at every move. I love you and I love my sister time coffee! I now feel my week is not complete without it. The only thing that will change for me by you not being on facebook is I will have to call you to talk to you- hmm, I think I still know your number!!! Proud of you!

Anonymous said...

i created a second account because I finally realized the FB posts were overwhelming emotionally and I did not know it. I log in to the old one for non-triggering posts. I log on to the new one to visit with my survivor friends when I know I am aware of my state of mind. Without this control, FB was consuming me.

All this being said, Meggs is a life-SAVER and a destiny changer, and her group (We Support Mackenzie...) is a MUST for all thrivers, survivors, and generally decent humans. My initials are BS!!

Meggs said...

You all are awesome! Thanks for all the great feedback on this post... and yes, Anonymous, I'm feeling better! Thanks for asking. =)

Love y'all!

Erin Merryn said...

Meggs,
Having boundaries is healthy and this post is something many should read. Facebook can be so time consuming and if people really took a good look at how much time they spend on facebook or the internet alone it has consumed many people's lives maybe a 12 step program will one day be created for facebook addicts! lol!
Just another thought Meggs. I have two facebook accounts. One under my pen name of my books the other under my real name with all my high school/college friends, and family. Maybe creating a 2nd account under a nickname or something. Just a thought.

PoeticPrincess said...

Well said Meggs, I've been taking a break from facebook myself. We get so caught up in social networking, that we forget to take the time out for ourselves, and as a result, our personal relationships (including with God) suffer because of it.

Beauty and the Green said...

The break will do you a whole lot of good, I've done this before myself. Sometimes its the only way to put things in the proper perspective.

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