Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Personal Journey

Hi! I'm back! Maybe just for a little while, and I'm okay with that.

I have been having several conversations lately, and reading several articles, that lead me to the conclusion that Facebook and other forms of social media are not making us any happier. Rather, they are making us more lonely, more jealous, more discontent with our own lives. I have had that experience, to be sure. If this is true, then why do we continue going back to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, etc. Why do we feel naked without our smart phones? Why, after being away from the internet for a while, do we feel a nagging need to go check all of our 'noties' (notifications).

As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like the temptation to be on social media is perhaps even stronger than for other individuals. Our little ones are having a bad day, we feel stressed and lonely, and we just want to see what other adults are doing. Cue checking Facebook. Cue scrolling through our homepage seeing all of our 'friends' doing wonderful, adventurous, non-mundane things: traveling overseas, having a home that looks just like the Pinterest pictures, whose picture-perfect children who are so well-behaved, the list goes on. We are in the midst of a comparathon and we begin to feel worse about ourselves and our lives, and we're even more unhappy than when we first were checking Facebook. It's a vicious cycle. And it is one that I can give into SO easily. Too easily. It's second nature for me. Ugh.

Obviously, some of you wouldn't care one bit if someone's home looked like Pinterest, so just change my example to one that fits you. If you're a student, maybe everyone's college life just looks so much better than yours. If you're job-hunting, everyone seems to be landing dream jobs. If you're single wishing that you were not, you might find yourself seeing status updates about engagements or new relationships. Discontent, anger, jealousy, can all settle in too easily.

People do not share reality online. They share highlights. The best parts of their days. Granted, you do have some people who vent through status updates, but on my home-page, those are very rare.

So now what? What am I going to do to battle this? I'm going to restrict myself to only checking Facebook on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I'm going to blog about the journey here.

The gist of what I'm hoping to discover, whether or not Facebook is worth having, is being talked about in other places, I am not the first to think of this. I just want to see how it affects my own life. And maybe, just maybe, I can encourage you to evaluate how and why you're using social media.

Please feel free to tell me what you think, and if you're going to try it out.

Disclaimer: I do not think that all social media is evil. I may or may not leave Facebook entirely after this. Admittedly, I will probably feel like I'm missing out on all the newest news of my friends, and there will probably still be things that happen in my normal life that make me feel jealous, envious, and angry. Facebook and other social medias are not the problem, they just give an easy and quick way to fall into those feelings and habits.

Here we go!


  1. Way to go, Megan! I have never examined why I use social media and I think I will benefit from your journey. Thanks for being willing to share!

    1. Thanks, Laura. I'm excited to see what I find out! :)

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  3. You have some good insights, Megan. We feel so drawn to it, like we are missing out if we don't go to it. It is fun to see what friends have been up to and what they or their families look like. But I too feel discontented and lonely after I spend too much time on it. I think we need to get back to socializing face to face and spend time doing some real life activities. ~~Cindy

    1. I agree, Cindy. More face to face and real-life activities. That's what I'm hoping for!

  4. Great summary of the problem, Megan. I am looking forward to reading about your journey. This reminds me anew of why I've tried to stay off Facebook in the first place...though I'm not doing a very good job of it right now. I think one question I continuously need to ask myself about all this is: how deeply do I REALLY see this as a problem? If I realize how important it is that I flee from sin - and that comparison, jealousy, etc. is sin - then I would make more of an effort to check myself. As it is, I don't take it seriously enough. Even as I pray that the Lord would help me in this area, I will pray for you, too!