Facebook. Ahh yes. It’s a term that defines the 2000’s. You say “facebook” and you’ll get a variety of opinions on it. Many times I shrink back when I tell someone I have a facebook account, as it’s begun to have such a negative connotation!
Facebook can do one of two things for you (and maybe even both)
“I just ran 8 miles!” “I’ve just lost another 2 pounds!” “I am attending the best kickboxing class ever!”
People are reporting in telling you all these victories they have in their lives. It inspires you. It encourages you. It makes you want to push harder and press higher. You say to yourself, “If _____ can do that, then I know I can!” So you sign up for the next 5k, get a better eating plan and get rid of all the bad food in the house. “Yes”…you tell yourself, “I can do this”
Funny how those same sentences above can also discourage you. You see how these people are out in full force, working against the nature of the will and here you are licking your fingers from a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. This can be when the hater mentality comes out and you start rationalizing your behavior while minimizing theirs. Listen up. I’ve been there. I’ve done the same thing (and I’m typically one of those posting all the updates!) You end up getting off of facebook totally discouraged.
We’ve got a few responses when the Facebook Factor arises:
♦ Examine yourself. Many, many, many times the problem is not with the other person, it’s with yourself. It’s the disappointment you have in not making the wisest decisions with your time. A mature, wise person will not turn that frustration onto the “facebook overachiever”, but will look introspectively seeing where there’s room for improvement. (Again, I’m speaking from experience)
♦ Disconnect. If this is happening too many times and it’s really taking a toll on you, then maybe it’s time to take a break. Some people will totally drop their facebook account for a time, and others will just hide those particular people. Maybe you need to spend less time on it. Whatever method you choose, sometimes a space is needed.
♦ Realize people use facebook for different purposes. I was just talking with someone who said they had to disconnect from facebook because they didn’t want to necessarily know every single thing that people were doing. Some people use facebook for highlight updates and pictures. Others use it to detail through their day. (I am a total transparent, people loving person so I would be on the “overuse” side!) There’s no facebook police to tell us that we’re on it too much or not using it enough. Step back and realize that God has created each of us differently in ways we express happiness, sadness or fear. Facebook has now become one of those venues in which we can do that.
♦ Remember that people are in different phases of life. Don’t let the fact that someone is in a different season of life than you, discourage you. Your best bet is to realize that and then figure out the best plan for YOUR life. Run your race. You will only leave discouraged and frustrated if you try running someone else’s.
♦ Use it to propel you forward. Remember what you felt when you first saw the “facebook overachievers” post those exciting updates? You probably were happy for them! You wanted to give them a virtual high five. And again, it maybe even encouraged you to improve. Think of it as FREE motivation!! Turn it around. Soon enough, you can be the “facebook overachiever” and propel others forward in healthy habits!
(I invite you to read a post that my friend, Courtney at Women Living Well wrote about facebook and the effects of it on each of us.)
So tell me. What has the “Facebook Factor” played into your health?