Her eyes stared deeply into mine, as if she could see right through my soul. Her jaw was tight and her eyelids tired. Her brows seemed permanently drawn. She was sad and confused because she didn’t recognize the face looking back at her. She wondered, how did I get here?
Within seconds the glass shattered and blood started dripping to the floor. The girl with the lonely face now looked back through a thousand little pieces.
I wrapped my bleeding hand in my shirt and walked away from the mirror, vowing to never look back.
It can be hard to see how the world we create for ourselves is affecting us. Sometimes we need to take a hard look at ourselves, our habits and our feelings and evaluate whether or not they are conducive to the life we want to live, the only life we get to live.
Not recognizing my own reflection staring back at me, I took a step back (before putting my hand through the mirror) and answered my question of how I got to where I was. The answer is what I later learned to be called the compound effect. I got there slowly, consistently and over time. I got there from going through the motions and ignoring all the very negative feelings being addicted to a drug brings.
In a very different, yet very similar way, what happened back then with me is happening to a lot of people every day. Behaviors that are applied slowly, consistently, and over time, lead us to wonder, “how did I get here?” Don’t get me wrong, this can have a very positive effect depending on the situation, behaviors and outcomes, but today I’m talking about the flip side.
I’m talking about the moment when your screen time pops up right when you’re in the middle of watching “how to make the perfect pineapple upside-down cake” and you can see the hours of your life that have passed, likely without anything to show for it.
Last week I shared,
This week I present,
3 Questions to ask to Evaluate your Relationship with Facebook.
After 10-15 minutes of scroll time, I challenge you to ask yourself,
- What did I learn and how did it positively affect my life?
Let’s face it, even though I wasted the time to watch a video on the perfect pineapple upside down cake, I didn’t really learn anything. I can’t recall today what any of the steps were. If anything, I learned, or reconfirmed rather, that I am never going to make a pineapple upside cake. My time is best served sitting at the table, fork in hand, reaping the benefits of someone else’s baking skills.
What content are you taking the time to watch and read on Facebook? Was the post, video or page that you landed on the original destination when you opened the app?
I’ve heard the feedback that people log on to “see what’s going on” or to get the news. Are you “seeing what’s going on” with people you interact with, connect with and talk with in “real” life? Why do we feel the need to see what people who are not in these categories are “up to?” Do their activities bring value to your life? Are you learning important life skills through the pictures of what they ate for lunch?
I can personally say that the positive things I’ve learned on Facebook only make up a very small percentage of my time spent on the site.
I feel I could write a book on things I’ve learned that cause negative and low vibration feelings. For example, learning that if your opinion isn’t conducive to others, the keyboard warriors, most of whom you don’t actually know, will rip you apart and tear you down for thinking differently than them.
I’ve learned that WE are a product and an underlying agenda.
Yes, I’m talking about political examples, but you can apply this question and evaluate the findings based on your own Facebook habits.
- How has your life improved?
Several weeks ago my girlfriend and I were chatting about a post both of us saw from a mutual “friend.” The post insulted a specific group of people and the person who posted asked that any of his friends who disagreed with him unfriend him. It fired me up enough to quickly de-friend him after leaving the comment: Peace Out ✌️
My girlfriend told me that she thought about the post all morning and wanted to send a private message.
I asked my girlfriend, “so something you saw on social media infiltrated your brain and took up your thoughts for the entire morning?”
She truthfully answered that it did. I had to follow with, “how has that made your life better?”
Insert crickets and “I know, I know.”
If we spent as much time volunteering for the organizations we want to support instead of spending time getting riled up over the people who oppose us, we could actually influence change.
If you’re spending time on things that don’t add value to your life, you’re taking away time from things that do. You may even be taking away time from the value you add to other people’s lives. Eventually time will pass and you will wonder, “how did I get here?”
How do you feel?
This question should shed the most light on your relationship with Facebook. When you put the phone down (or smash it) and walk away, do you feel joyful? Do you feel uplifted? Motivated? Do you feel better educated or appreciative of the information you just learned? Do you feel relaxed or invigorated?
There’s enough things in life that we HAVE to do that trigger the opposite of the feelings I just mentioned, so why willingly add to the chaos?
If you are experiencing the positive feelings mentioned above, ask yourself, what percent of the time does this occur? If it’s only a fraction of your overall time on the app, it might be time to re-evaluate your relationship.
Putting my fist through a mirror wasn’t enough for me to just walk away from my bad habits. I had to make a plan and find alternatives to fill the void I thought drugs were filling in my life. I had to continuously self evaluate and make a plan. So much of my time was spent using the same way so much of our time is now spent scrolling, I had to find healthy alternatives to replace my not so healthy behaviors.
Next week’s post will offer suggestions on alternatives to using Facebook and filling the void you think you might have, should you cancel your account.
Due to my departure from Facebook on Jan 31st, next week will also be the last time I share the Breadcrumb Trail on Facebook. Please stay connected by Subscribing Here and receiving each week’s post in your e-mail every Saturday morning.
Please share the Breadcrumb Trail with your family and friends and help grow the community of people who strive to always choose courage over comfort.
May God bless and protect everyone reading.