It’s hard for me to completely unplug from Facebook. I’m a compulsive Facebook checker/scroller/commenter/cheerleader/opinionater. It’s not something I’m especially proud of.
After we married, my husband purchased a book for me which gave me a little insight into what kind of problem I had. The book was called, Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I put off reading it for months. On purpose.
I take FB hiatuses in small doses. A day or two. A week at most. And I feel somewhat refreshed but eager to jump back on and see everything I’ve missed.
This week it’s a bit different. My insatiable need to unplug took over me while in the middle of writing a poem for the Texas Teen Book Festival’s direct omission of Mexican American writers.
It hit me right then. I’m not working enough on my writing. I’m not working hard enough in my community.
I recalled the webinar in my Compel Training writing forum on the craft of writing and distractions. The main question, louder than a mariachi’s trumpet at a quinceanera, was: What are your distractions?
Without pause, I know it’s my childish need to consume Facebook like a sour packet of Skittles. I can’t just have one. I can’t just log in once a day. This is a problem.
I’m being open and transparent about this because I feel many of us have also been sucked into the world of FB. And to tell you the truth, it’s hindering my writing, it’s blaspheming my mind, and it’s robbing the light particles left in my soul.
I cannot be an effective writer, mom, wife, employee and reader if I’m a professional Facebooker.
Saturday morning over coffee, I had a great conversation with a church sister on this very thing. Her brilliant solution made me mimic the same as she’d done. “Hide everyone. No one will appear on your feed and you can choose, at your own discretion, whether you want to go through the hassle of going to someone else’s page and reading their updates.”
After a productive writing session, later that same afternoon with another dear friend, I hid everyone from my feed. Then, I sat with my decision and made a choice to not log into my personal FB. At all.
It’s been a few days and I log in specifically to view my Compel Training leaders group, the writing group I lead for Compel Training and my writer page.
Here is what I’ve learned from this short detox which has made me want to stretch the hiatus out longer.
- Being present recenters my spirit
Nothing beats having physical conversations with people I love, strangers, and friends. Conversations with my children and husband are more filled with life. I don’t pick up the phone in the car anymore. We’re all more inclined to talk to each other because mom isn’t hiding behind her phone on road trips. I can’t help but think of everything I’ve missed while being glued to FB.
- Writing recenters my spirit
I am a writer. I cannot be an effective writer while I’m wasting time reading about things which are sometimes none of my business. This makes for high distractions and a production that is less than my best. Writing is my calling and what makes my life whole as a creative. My spirit cannot be in tune with my soul if my writing life is off balance.
- Reading recenters my spirit
Instead of picking up my phone, I now pick up a book. If I’m bored, I read. This makes for a happy heart and a happy writer. It also allows me to lead by example. My children will now take books in the car instead of their electronic gadgets. This is more of a struggle with my son, but more often than not he brings his books. Like mom. Active readers make happy families.
- Spending time in conversation with the Most High recenters my spirit
If I’m plugged in electronically, I am unplugged in prayer. This is the truth about my life. I find I am happiest when I’m in direct conversation with the Almighty. While cooking, cuddling with my husband, laughing with my children, or joking with my friends, I am conversing with the Most High. When I wake early in the morning, I let my eyes stay shut while I pray over my day.
This is what the last few days have been like for me and I don’t want to stop now. I’m not sure when I will come back to my personal FB page. How about you? Do you plan on unplugging to re-center your spirit?
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