Ever since I became a mother seven years ago, I've had a love-hate relationship with Facebook.
I remember feeling really grateful for Facebook and a smart phone when I was a breastfeeding mom, holding my baby for hours and hours everyday. I liked the ability to be social with adults on Facebook, and only needing one hand to do it. That was great, because one hand was all I had available most of the time. The rest of my body was busy in the acts of motherhood.
But, I also noticed sometimes that the multi-tasking of engaging on social media stacked on top of the daily tasks of parenting an infant and toddler left me feeling stressed. Sometimes it felt like a good escape from the tasks at hand with the little people in my charge, and sometimes it felt like it created more stress and more resentment in me, more comparison of myself to other parents, and a quicker impulse to search for a solution to a parenting issue online from an "expert" rather than trusting my own instincts and parenting skills. I noticed when I engaged with other parents and moms on Facebook, I was harder on myself as a parent, quicker to put shame and guilt on myself for not being some perfect model of parenting (that I now know doesn't exist), and less patient with myself and my children.
Some days I find Facebook really helpful. I feel like it serves me in some way, connecting me to local events or resources, providing a place to discuss a particular topic or issue in a facebook group, providing me with a platform to keep a public diary about my life and to showcase the amazing work we do through Proud Mama Support Services, and giving me a window into the lives of my friends and loved ones. And who doesn't love pictures of babies and cat videos?
But, I don't like how ever-present it's become in my life. I don't like the habits it creates in me, and I know that they don't really serve me well. After I spend some time on Facebook, I don't really feel very good. I find myself sometimes scrolling endlessly, feeling beholden to check my notifications multiple times a day, and getting emotionally invested in hot-button discussions that in the grand scheme of things are really not that important. Even if the topics themselves are important, defending a certain position in a Facebook thread is probably not the most fruitful or effective way of making change.
This year, in my personal and professional life, I'm focused on living BIG--with Boundaries, Integrity, and Generosity (Thanks, Brené Brown!). With that being my focus, I've noticed that Facebook--the way I use it, how much I use it, and how I feel when I use it--doesn't always fit with my goals for my life and how I want to be spending the majority of my time.
I know that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. So, I'm making a public decision and inviting anyone who wants to, to join me in a month-long fast from Facebook. Yes, even as a business owner. If you're intrigued, read on.