Sunday, February 2, 2014

Facebook IS Making YOU Sad.

I've just returned from vacation.
A Facebook Vacation to be exact. I took almost a month off from the social media network despite my business minded peers. On the verge of rebranding my storefront and the recent launch of my ebook, I was warned of how unwise this was. But I do this thing where I march to the beat of my own drum so I removed the app from my smartphone & only responded to questions for appointments/business. But if you were on break Why did you do that? Because even though I updated my cover photo for people to email me at my personal email, my facebook inbox kept receiving notes like Dear Michelle, I know your not on facebook but......

Now, while I was gone on my semi digital detox I would run into people on the street who would say
"You saw my post right?" assuming I knew what was the current goings on with them, slightly offended when I shook my head no. Or if a current local news topic, celebrity event or viral thing a ma bob would occur I'd get the furrowed eyebrows in return when I was naive about such things.

I have to tell you something kinda felt awesome to NOT be in the know.

And while I was gone I remodeled my store. I quit smoking. I spent sincere QT with my daughter engaging in child like activities; that I usually blew off with one hand on my lap top to urgent answer emails. I colored & engaged in even more spontaneous dance parties. I let it all go!
I read more & created a new web business with success. But perhaps the best things that happened as a by product of being less virtually accessible and caught up in everyone's stuff, images and lives is that I actually fully lived my own without worrying if I was being engaging, fascinating or not participating or marketing enough with 'my audience'  and fell in love.  I fell deeply and madly in love with my life as is not comparing it to what was going on or not going on around me or despite of me.  I stopped measuring my success in comparison to my friends or wishing that I was enjoying better scenery and weather in California. I literally learned to embrace right where I am.  I even fell in love with WINTER.
That happened.
I also allowed myself to be present and fall even further - deeply, madly in love with the most amazing partner!  A brilliantly intelligent, hysterically funny, emotionally raw, ridiculously handsome and highly remarkable human being who's connection, at first I resisted. My inner critic and need to get other peoples opinion on my usually very comedic yet tragic love life just wasn't there anymore. But I'll save that mush for my Valentines blog (wink wink).

My true lesson through all of this was:
Life, less contrived and processed online and a lot less involved in other people's status updates is really amazing when lived.


Coincidentally enough, since my return to Facebook this past week, my boy Mastin Kipp put out a video on The Daily Love about how Facebook is making us who live in the virtual community - sad.
I also read an article in The New York Times regarding scientific research on the exact same thing. Boom!  RESEARCH!

I've preached and will continue to remind myself and those with open hearts that along with the fact that our technology,
(Don't Be  A Living HyperlinkILL COMMUNICATION)
IS the very thing that is supposed to connect us faster and instantaneously - it is ironically keeping us further from real HUMAN connection. (Hence my never ending campaign for FREE HUG FRIDAY).

Ladies and gentleman, real human connection is not a downloadable app. Friendship is at an all time disposable high because of mass hearding friends online. And why would or should we have expectations of other peoples engagement or lack there of with us just because they happen to currently exist in our friends list.

So how then do we deepen our human to human bond? How do we become less dependent on scores of social media to create a community that is not only personally supportive but tangible?

And let me ask you this; what would happen if you walked away from your life online?

Are you consumed with social media and what your instafriends and tweethearts are doing?
Do you think that everyone is reading your updates and status thoughts and they are getting you on a level that is real time?
Do your family or friends complain that you need to spend more time in the real world?
Do you have permaphone hand?  You know your phone is always in your hand because you can't get enough of what others are doing online or how they are responding or not to your life lived there?

If you answered yes to any of those questions
you may just need a digital detox!


In the meantime, let's engage in discussion. Yes I know it's online but I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Maybe you did a detox and you don't feel the same? As always, take what you need from this and leave the rest.  And know that no matter where you are I am holding space for you in my heart.

In love and bliss,
Mick G

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