Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Facebook "Forbearance"

    For the past couple of weeks, I had been avoiding making visits to my Facebook account.  Even though I titled this blog article Facebook "Forbearance," I'm still not completely sure if that's what I want to call my chosen lack of Facebook experience.  I've been calling this period of time my "Facebook Ban" or my "Facebook Fast," but neither title seems to fit.  Facebook abstention?  Facebook stoppage, maybe?  Whatever words or label may fit the situation, it was still a choice I had made of my own free will to cease any and all visitation and activities with Facebook for two whole weeks.  And the experience was an overall positively refreshing one!
    Up until this point my experience with Facebook hadn't been all that bad.  Sure, every once in a while I come across a post that either annoyed or irked me, but it normally wasn't something I couldn't handle and was easy to ignore.  But within the past few months or so, the amount of posts that come across to me as negative, or extremely biased and/or contradicting, blatantly stupid or judgmental, so on and so fourth, had felt like they just sky-rocketed out of control.  And some of it felt targeted, maybe not specifically and personally towards me, but targeted in such a way that it included me.  And I was extremely hurt by that.  It's like having to relive The Year of Hell in sixth grade all over again sadly.  Some of it came from a page I liked thinking it was going to be cool, but turned out to be nothing more than biased opinions and click-bait articles.  I promptly unliked the page after coming back from my two weeks ban.  But the rest of it came from people who claimed to be my family and friends.  (At least the other six-graders that bullied me were open and honest about not liking me.)  People I can't unfriend without potentially causing ripples and fissures in already well established social constructs and make various social gatherings extremely awkward.  I really don't want to risk that.  I may not be perfect, but I'm not that low and horrible.  Besides, social gatherings are awkward enough for me without me making them even worse.  I do consider myself to be a shy introvert, after all.  But it's not like I gave up and gave in either.  I did my best to defend and protect myself and I did my best to fight back.  I made indirect posts and statuses pointing out how hurtful they can be and how they may have unintentionally both lowered themselves and hurt me at the same time.  How can you say that you're tolerant and accepting of everyone and everything when don't act like it all the time?  It's like being willing to go to church and behaving yourself but then turning around and scrapping off "Pray for China" off a pair of someone else's chopsticks that you borrowed because you don't want anyone to see you with them.  It doesn't make any sense!  Why are you making yourself look so horrible when I KNOW you're really not?  Or at least... I hope you're not.  But either my words were not seen or they were not understood, because it didn't stop.  I had enough and needed a break away from the madness.  Two weeks, I told myself, I won't go back on for two weeks.  And that's just what I did.  It was one of the best decisions I had ever made.

How I was feeling just before the Facebook ban.
    I've been back on Facebook for about a day or two now, and so far so good.  Everything seems back to normal and positive, which is absolutely wonderful!  But I have no problems about having to do it again if need be, especially when I have the full moral support of my father on my side.  When my dad approves of something, it is a big deal and it is something to take notice and acknowledge, as he doesn't do it often.  When dad liked the car I got, I knew it was a good car.  When he likes the cupcakes I make, I know I made some really good cupcakes.  When he approved of my decision of avoiding Facebook for two weeks, I know I made a really good decision - especially when he wanted to join me!
    After skipping out on Facebook for a period of time and realizing all the benefits that come along with that, a "Facebook Forbearance" is something I'm going to recommend to people every chance I get!  Not only did my overall mood and spirit improve tremendously, but I had more time to devote to other projects: my semi-new blog, catching up on my October Horror Movie Marathon goal, starting a make-over project on some furniture, etc.  (Speaking of furniture, I noticed some shelves out in the furniture dumpster this morning that I think my husband might like, I must remember to get them!  Yes, I'm a dumpster diver and proud of it!  Just wait until I post my furniture make-over I currently working on as it was a dumpster find too!)  But, in all seriousness, don't freak out and close out your Facebook account just yet if you can get away with it.  Just take a breather and avoid it for a week or two, or perhaps a full month or two.  Whatever you feel like is good for you, do it.  You will not regret it!  It's like taking a much needed vacation and it gives whatever and whoever you're having to deal with on Facebook cool their jets and grow a little.  And you'll grow too and have a fresh perspective on things.  The only hard part you're going to deal with is the first couple of days you might be itching to get back on and see what's going on with everybody and what you're missing.  Don't do it, fight it, it is worth it in the end! 

    In the mean time, check out this article on The New York Times website I heard about from a friend of mine.  Apparently Facebook did an unauthorized psychological study on its own unaware and unsuspecting users on how positive and negative posts effected them emotionally.  Click here to check out the article on this controversial study.  It's pretty interesting, wouldn't you say?  Makes one wonder...

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