"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
-- Henry David Thoreau
I took a break from Facebook.
Let me just say I love Facebook. I have the coolest 1,000 friends ever and I learn something new every day. And since I continuously edit my feed to remove anything undesirable or toxic (Trumpish things, etc.), I've harnessed the power of Facebook to add more "good news" and let more light into my life with stories from my best friends, my Institute for Integrative Nutrition posse, the Transcendental meditation crowd, yoga buddies, and of course, my precious daughter and her family, etc. Facebook is my news source and a way to keep up with a broad group of friends all over the world. It's a one stop shop for the funky tribe I've met and I feel closer to them because of our connection on Facebook.
So, why did I step back? How about this, for starters: I felt a not-so-subtle sense I was obsessing on it... compulsively looking to see "what's happening on Facebook," rather than what's happening in my own life.
Lo and behold, as soon as I took the FB app off my phone (um, 32% of my battery life was going to it and 8 hours a week!)--omg!!!--I immediately noticed how difficult it was (can you say "really addictive"???), which made me even more convinced it had become a "thing." I have taken breaks in the past, but this time I quietly put it down with an intention to really "give it a rest." And I mean all of it. Even my beloved coaching page for Intrepid Life.
My goal was not to give it up completely and forever, but to detangle the neurons that had my brain so hooked on it. (Google "Why is Facebook addictive?" and you will find amazing resources and articles on the topic.)
At first I felt very out of touch . . . and then slowly, I noticed something. I was engaging in the world again, and more fully. I noticed a deeper connection to everyone I was with. I was fully present, open and "there." I consciously took the time to work out, and have fully present meals with my friends, family, dates and clients. I felt closer to my true north, my inner voice and my own wisdom.
With my face forward, open, smiling--not stuck in my iPhone--I noticed the plethora of cuties at all of my favorite haunts (Whole Foods, the cool new coffee shop, my favorite local independent book store, yoga class). I was engaging again and so were they. We were, you know... flirting, old school. Crazy. Where had these guys been?
I think part of it was timing. But I also believe part of it has to do with the biochemistry and even the neuropsychology of my having taken a break from Facebook. Moving my attention away from what I was plugging into with every "hit" of Facebook and onto more "present moment" experiences changed my inner rhythm, slowed me down, made me less intense - all of which, I'm sure, could be measured via changes in my blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
I have a strong belief in the science of neuroplasticity: we can and do recreate new pathways in our brains. (Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life is fantastic!) We have the ability recreate our habits and retrain our impulses, addictive patterns and "go to" behaviors with consciousness and effort. (I also use Transcendental Meditation to help with this.)
So, Intrepid One, consider taking some time (a few hours or a few days) to reboot your brain with a break from Facebook. You never know who might show up!