Facebook. It’s like saying an ex-boyfriend’s name. I cringe and my eye starts to twitch.
For months I had been contemplating deactivating my account for many reasons. While I was supposed to use Facebook to keep in touch with friends by reading their status updates on my feed, I actually wished to not see the feed because it stressed me out. This person was doing this, this person feels the total opposite way I do about politics, this person is complaining about their day, and I would get so absorbed into what other people were doing. I’d check in constantly. It’s not that I didn’t care about my friends, I simply spent too much time reading on other’s lives than concentrating on my own.
Then, I assumed, that other people were absorbed with what I was doing. So, I tried to keep up. I’ll post this fun picture, Cheese. I’ll take a picture of my dog while I’m back home, Smile, Paris. I booked this job, I’ll be here on Sunday, I’m doing this and that, and in a few months I’ll be doing this! Post, post, post, update, update, update. Stay relevant I thought, market yourself so you can book a new job, get publicity, prove your worth to your Facebook friends/fans. Show everyone your life is valuable and you deserve to live!
And then I had one of those realizations. It came to me at church (as most divine thoughts do), in a women’s bible study earlier in the week. The false expectations we put on ourselves, or that we assume others put on us – to succeed, to be amazing, to be happy, well that can really be draining. The discussion got my heart stirring and my mind thinking.
I’m one of those people who has many mountains I’d like to climb – metaphorically, not physically, clearly as I do not enjoy engaging in rigorous activities. I want to do something, do it well to prove it to myself I can do it, and then I move on to the next. After all, life has many crossroads and lots of time to discover yourself through creating, engaging and exploring. This problem of attempting to be good at everything also leads to perfectionism which left me in tears as a teenager when I couldn’t ice skate, rollerblade, or rollerskate – I didn’t want to participate in anything I wasn’t naturally good at. Even knitting and crocheting has been a challenge as I huff and puff while my mom tries to patiently teach me.
All this to say that removing the distraction of others and worrying about what my status update will be today, to remove the ability to shout from the rooftop (or through a Facebook post) what I’m accomplishing tomorrow, has left me calmer, quieter, and sane. Social media is good and bad – it can be used as a way to keep in touch, but if used too often can be used as a platform to simply prove something to yourself or an unhealthy means of trying to get attention. Even checking your blog statistics to see how many people are reading, clicking, searching your page can be unhealthy. Being deactivated on Facebook means no one has to know if I’m busy or not, and I don’t think many will notice I’m gone and the sooner I can realize that, the better I can focus on who I am really trying to please. The enemy will try to lead you astray with lies and distraction and I really felt that I was being constantly distracted by those things. I’m trying so hard to listen to what God has for me – is it rest, a new endeavor, a new hobby, being a better helper to my husband, digging deep within myself, or drawing closer to Him right now? The only thing I know is the less distractions and approval of others is the first step to peace and quiet. Lord, your servant is listening.
Diana Elizabeth is married to her bestest friend in the entire world. Mr. Wonderful is really the only person she needs in her corner and he’s always been there to support her even if she wants to get out of bed at 4 am for a wedding or sleep in past noon because she’s exhausted from shooting one.