Friday, June 13, 2014

Happiness & Facebook

I decided a few months ago I would scale back on "liking" or commenting on "political" and controversial issues on +Facebook. More or less, it was an exercise, an experiment in controlling my happiness. We could probably interchange the word "face" in Facebook with "brag", "look at me!", and/or "I'm the (Wo)Man". Sure, I am guilty of it too...I post things I am interested in, my family I want to dote on, culinary things I have done or am into...BUT in the beginning I just wanted to stay in touch with friends and family from around the world and see what they were doing! And in turn, give them a little piece of what I am doing in my life.


Somewhere along the way I got caught up with arguments and debates about politics, controversial topics, outrageous news stories THAT, come to find out, weren't even HALF true from "reliable" news sources! Everybody has become a journalist/reporter with their own brand/perception of truth! Sharing and re-sharing things so much that even if they were a hoax of untruth, they have now become perceived as a FACT!

Since I have scaled back from so much participation from the negative or "unsolvable" (because debates on theology, politics, gun control, et cetera are not necessarily negative, but your not really going to "win" or solve the problem on Facebook, lets get real about it!) and concentrated on the motivational, uplifting, positive aspects of peoples lives on Facebook I truly feel a level of my happiness has returned! I didn't have to QUIT Facebook, I just tailored my news feed to omit people that tend to post a LOT of this type information. AND I quit participation in "likes' or comments that keep a continual stream of replies that keep sucking you back in to "unsolvable" things! Have I un-friended anybody? No. Although it is true you can block people from showing up on your timeline without un-friending them, I chose to handle it by showing restraint. Eventually Facebook "algorithm" shows less and less of that stuff on my wall.

There are probably studies out there that can even confirm what I am going to tell you next: In my opinion Facebook can feed your need for approval until you are dependent upon it. That's not healthy. Do you post stuff on Facebook to see how many "likes" you can get? Or lure someone into a debate? To shock people? To have comments affirming and approving something you've done, seen, heard, and/or agreed with? OF COURSE YOU HAVE! SO HAVE I! And for the most part, I don't see this as wrong...but it can create a "need" and that's the part I consider not healthy. I'm no doctor, but I have experienced enough things in this world to throw my "two cents" in on WHAT NOT TO DO if your like me, or prone to certain behaviours!

Once again, all of this is merely my perception, my opinion, my own personal experiment that I have seen results in for myself. Try it out. See if over time you find yourself happier, see if you feel like less doubt has crept into your world for things you were certain, confident, already pretty sure about.

Things that make you go HMMM. Remember the Arsenio Hall show and/or that song by C&C Music Factory(I think)? Ok, maybe not. Facebook still, after all these years, does not have a "dislike" or "hate" button. You can "unlike" after you have "like" something, but you can't start out by "disliking" it. Whats the psychology behind that I wonder? Hmmm.

What you can expect from me is to continue posting things (pics, comments, shares...) on friends, family, food, and faith! Occasionally I like to "weigh in" on other things...like if we are talking about certain products we like, or books we have read, an injustice...but I have already scrolled my activity back to reflect my happiness and I already have close family, friends, mentors, and pastors so I don't need to "grow" an addiction, a dependency, on acceptance approval based on Facebook.

NOW to my friends that I usually give a hard time too, debate, and otherwise heckle...Oh yeah, I am still going to BRING IT!