Musings from my Facebook break

Facebook Break

In an effort to regain my balance with technology, I turned Facebook off for the past three days. You can read all about why I did it in the post: Why I’m Turning Facebook Off for Three Days. During this time, I kept a journal of what was coming up for me. Here are some excerpts:

  • This morning I woke up wanting to talk to you. I felt disconnected, but from who? I couldn’t actually come up with a name.
  • Today I wanted to share my amazement that Tori Amos is 50. I wanted to say, “Yay, Lean.Green.Kitchen is a sponsor for a local event tonight and I put on jewelry!” I wanted to see what everyone was up to this weekend. I wanted to find an old recipe that I posted on the FB page a few weeks ago. I wanted to share that I cut my finger doing something so stupid. But I didn’t. Instead I completed many tasks that I’ve been meaning to get to (for months!) undistracted. I stayed engaged throughout the work, with no pop-ups on my screen alerting me to FB.
  • I must let go of the desire to see it all and know it all. My friends are much too dynamic, interesting and complex for me to know all about them in any moment of time. It is unreasonable and damaging to me and them to make that a goal.
  • Facebook is a way to be connected. For those of us who spend hours alone or with others we wouldn’t choose to be with, it offers a safe place to share, support and “see” loved ones. We are able to bear witness to each other in struggle, celebrations and the mundane. We can feel close when we are far. This has value. It becomes an issue however, when we are in situations where we are surrounded (physically) with those we love and we lose connection with them because of our attention to screens.
  • On my personal page, I love connecting with so many people I care about. I also love sharing my little world. I know it brings my family joy to see my kids growing up in real time.
  • Professionally, the Lean.Green.Kitchen page provides me a place to share my real food journey with others who are interested. I have always flourished in likeminded teams with shared goals, and the FB page is a friendly place for sharing ideas and inspiration. From day one it has been a safe place for me to open up about my passion for conscious eating for my family. Facebook connects me in a way that Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram can’t.
  • Today in the car with my husband, instead of talking about whatever I was seeing in my Facebook newsfeed, we chatted about what was important to us and had a very sweet conversation about our kids and their future. It was not a conversation that ever would have flowed from a Facebook feed.
  • My personal norm became a need to respond quickly to things. I set that as an expectation and now I need to reset it. This is not reasonable and it causes me unnecessary stress. If someone connects with me through FB, I will get to it in a timely manner, not an immediate manner.
  • Today I reached out to a few people individually and had some fun interactions. I made a future lunch date with a long distance friend and read a book I’ve been real excited about for months.
  • I was laser-focused on the computer and made a list of several things I’ve been meaning to do. I was able to get in and accomplish them in a timely fashion. I didn’t have the feeling that time had been wasted. I didn’t have to come back later to complete tasks, because I hadn’t been distracted from anything. Winning!
  • My morning began quicker. I was not distracted by 400 friends while getting myself and the kids ready for the day. I didn’t multi-task and instead began the day in bed with a mini “peace-is-within-me” meditation. It took one minute and I hopped out of bed, versus the 10, 12, maybe 15 minutes it usually takes me to compulsively scroll FB before I let myself get up.
  • I check my email a few times a day, but that gets boring pretty quickly.
  • Before bed I watched Modern Family with Matthew, something I normally might have done with the laptop open to Facebook for additional stimulation. It was really nice to just chill and watch the show without being bombarded by the world around me. I went to bed without a “final check” of Facebook, and wrote a few notes, read a few pages and fell asleep feeling very centered.
  • I reach for my phone constantly throughout the day, and then just set it back down. There is nothing triggering me without the Facebook app.
  • In (my favorite movie of all time) The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya whispers, “I want my father back, you son of a bitch” as he kills the man who senselessly murdered his father. In this one sentence you hear all of his pain and longing. Today, on my final of three days without Facebook, I find myself looking at my turned off phone and whispering, “I want my minutes back, you son of a bitch,” with the same intensity. It was crazy how many times I touched my phone and then remembered, there’s nothing to do here.

 

So now the real test begins. My Facebook absence made two things very clear: I enjoy the connections I make on Facebook. I over-use Facebook as a distraction and it leads to imbalance in my life.

I must develop new norms for my Facebook use, beginning with a structure that I can use to keep me in check until I develop new habits. This will be a process – here are some things I am trying:

  1. No Facebook in my bedroom.
  2. Reinstall the Facebook app on my smart phone and keep it in a folder on the last page of apps, making it hidden and harder to access.
  3. Separate time chunks for Lean.Green.Kitchen page management and personal page check-ins.
  4. Conscious attention towards not worrying about seeing “everything.”
  5. Facebook Free Day each week.

We’ll see where this leads…

Why I’m turning Facebook off for three days

**When I read this post after writing it, I thought to myself that this is a not-so-pretty window into my Facebook struggle, and it doesn’t show me in the best light. I decided to share it anyway, because it is real and important. I am not alone in Facebook over-use, so maybe this will help someone else recognize where they are with social media. I feel like I need to say upfront that I love Facebook and think it has the potential to be used in a healthy way for the betterment of humans. But like anything, it can be abused.

If you are a first timer here at the Lean.Green.Kitchen, you may be thinking two things. One, what does this have to do with the kitchen? And my response is that as a part of the Lean.Green.Kitchen’s Spring Fling Challenge, we’ve gone a little broader in our scope this month to focus on two things in addition to our regular real food programming: self-care and cleaning up for summer. This post is all about the self-care. You can read about the Spring Fling here. Two, you might be wondering who I am, as this post is just a little piece of me (and certainly not the piece I’m most proud of). For that, I’d refer you to other posts (like this one and this one) where I feel like the brighter, more positive pieces of myself shine through.**


fb post2

It’s gotten to be too much. I am officially maxed out on Facebook. And it is all my own fault. My wish to know what everyone is up to, to stay on top of my favorite blogs, to share my little corner of the world is mixing with my compulsive, maybe even addictive characteristics and altering my daily life.

For a little background, I know I cannot play phone games (I tried Jewels with Buddies, SongPop, DrawSomething, Words with Friends and others I can’t remember the names) because it is like a vortex where I must be on top of the game at all times. I feel good when I’ve got my rounds all played and feel bad when I get behind. This ain’t right people. They are games. Not jobs. Not kids. Not important in any way. But I would end up with visions of their screenshots flashing in my dreams at night while I slept, sometimes even waking me up to play. True story. So now I don’t play any of them. (I haven’t played one round of Candy Crush, it appears to be instantly habit-forming.) And lately I’ve started to realize that Facebook might be my new obsessive game of choice. And it worries me, greatly. So I put together this list of the ways my Facebook time is impacting my life and it just flowed out like that little voice in the back of my mind was saying, “so glad you asked.”

Here are the reasons why I’m taking a three-day power nap from Facebook for my Spring Fling Challenge #selfcare.

  1. Physically: The repetitive motion of moving my thumb to roll through post after post on Facebook multiple times a day has resulted in me actually noticing at the end of a day that my thumb is strained and achy. I believe the Huffington Post called it “Text Claw” and it’s becoming a real thing. I can only assume the long-term effects of how much we all use our phones for social media are not going to be great. Between eye-strain and painful thumbs, I’m thinking an intervention sooner than later seems appropriate. I do not wish to be a forty-something with Text Claw, that sounds embarrassing.
  2. Emotionally: Have you heard the term FOMO? It stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and the definition states that it is: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. Now, I really don’t have “classic” FOMO, because my need for partying is very small. But I do identify with the fact that after reading and observing Facebook, my brain short circuits because it wants to do and try so many things. For every recipe that I try, home improvement/decorating tip I attempt, cause I deem worthy, there are tens, hundreds, maybe even thousands that I don’t get to and feel emotionally like I’m missing out.
  3. Mentally: Turns out, I can’t be in two brain spaces at once. As much as I attempt to give my kids, husband, family and friends my full attention, sometimes the pull of what’s going on at the Facebook distracts me – even if the screen’s not on. I’m working out my next post in my head, feeling badly for some far-reaching friend’s rough day, wondering if so-and-so had her baby, hoping that my Lean.Green.Kitchen page has secured a few more likes. Some times it feels so crowded in this body with all the chatter, I can’t fathom listening intently to anyone else. But do I take the requisite time and energy to quiet these thoughts? No, because I choose (it’s an unconscious habit, so I find it hard to even use a word like “choose”) instead to read inspirational quotes with awesome fonts (which I truly love) and connect with whoever happens to be plugged in right now about whatever happens to be on the feed right now. Talk about a loss of personal power.
  4. Energetically: I know this little phone has crazy energetic waves that reach out into the “interwebs” and bring me information and connection. My massage therapist finally talked me into putting the phone in airplane mode at night because she is so sure those energy waves negatively impact sleep patterns. I am concerned that we don’t know the ramifications of being so close to this radiation all.the.time. I’m not really enjoying feeling like a smart phone guinea pig.
  5. Spiritually: As a human who thrives on being grounded and centered, Facebook has moved away from being a life enhancer and into being a crutch. A way to look busy, avoid slow moments, a cheap connection trick. I turn it on first thing in the morning, literally before my feet hit the ground and the information I gather there becomes my first mood of the day. My feed is filled with lots of amazing things and amazing people so thankfully most days I see good stuff for these ten minutes. The only problem is I have a compulsion to see everything, to get through the feed all the way to where I left it the night before, so I don’t (can’t) take the time to actually read or click or engage in anything that might be fulfilling. So I feel rushed, busy and incomplete before I’ve even gotten out of bed.
  6. Straight up ridiculous: The other day I had a whole debate in my head between which I’d rather have stolen, my car keys/car or my phone. My car costs THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS and GETS ME EVERYWHERE I NEED TO GO, and yet I still thought the phone would hurt more. WAIT, WHAT??

This is not who I want to be. This is not intentional living. This is me working for Facebook, instead of it working for me. This is a bad habit that needs to be dealt with before it becomes something much harder to give up. I’m going #selfcare-cold-turkey and turning Facebook off for the next three days. We’ll see what comes up for me when I no longer have over-stimulation from Facebook. I’m going to put in the effort to not isolate myself from society for the three days, but find new ways (which are my old ways) to engage for a few days. From there I hope to have perspective for a long-term solution. I truly love so much about what Facebook adds to my life, so I would really like to find a healthy place to co-exist with it.

Does any of this resonate with your social media habits or those of a loved one? How do you maintain your balance on Facebook or other social media outlets? What level are you on Candy Crush ;)?

Here are a few links that make me go “hmmmm.”

How Your Cell Phone is Harming Your Health (Infographic)

For Your Children’s Sake, Put Down That Smartphone

9 Common Pursuits that Rob Us of Happiness (Number 6)

Feel Like a Wallflower? Maybe It’s Your Facebook Wall (FOMO)

Screen Free Week (It was actually last week, but you can make it whenever you need it.)

 

Salad Spree Round-Up

Woo Hoo! Spring is here and everybody is eating salad again. As I was pulling up an old salad recipe from my blog, I realized that with so many of you new to the Lean.Green.Kitchen site, you may not have seen all the salad recipes posted a year ago. So I’ve gone ahead and linked them all up into this Salad Spree Round-Up. May they give us ideas now that the days are getting warmer!

Mexican Caesar Salad Mexican Caesar Salad recipe

Spring Pearl Couscous Spring Pearl Couscous Salad recipe

Beet Orange Stack-Ups Beet Orange Salad recipe

The Simplest Salad The Simplest Salad recipe

Confetti Pasta Salad Confetti Pasta Salad recipe

Cherry Chicken Curry Salad Chicken Curry Salad recipe

Red, White and Blue Quinoa Salad Red White and Blue Quinoa Salad recipe

Fruit Salad with Lime & Mint Fruit Salad with Lime & Mint recipe Do you have a favorite??

Looking forward to posting some more salad recipes soon!