Sunday, 20 February 2011

Knowing your limits

I had a great conversation with a good friend the other day. She was telling me that, after a week long "fast" from Facebook, she was going to be signing off of Facebook permanently.

"Why?" I inquired. The answer astonished me. She said that she had come to realize that it had been a negative influence and force in her life. Her experience with the online program had led to feelings of self-doubt, had fostered friendships of the shallow rather than deep type, and had consumed her time and thought to the point of addiction. In this recognition, she decided to take the step to eliminate it from her life completely.

Now, this is not about demonizing Facebook. I use it, in a very basic way, to facilitate communication with friends and to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away. I have been blessed to learn about the events in their lives that I otherwise would not have known, since distance often means little to no communication.

What amazed me about my friend is that she saw something in her life that was putting her out of balance and took the step to fix it. I think she is such a courageous woman. It is so easy to sit and mope about how one is unhappy with one's life, but to actually get up and do something about it takes courage. I know I fall into the pity-party-for-one, woe-is-me trap far too often. I complain that there is nothing to be done and I must just "endure to the end" in my state of misery. Granted, sometimes circumstances are beyond my control. But the way I react is always within my own power. Often things could be changed by making small, or sometimes drastic and undesirable, alterations to my life. Sometimes, our of pride, I hold on to something far too long. Sometimes I don't want to see other options, preferring to wallow in the mire of self-pity. Sometimes the change required seems to big, too difficult to make.

That is why I was so thankful for the example my friend set. I'm sure her decision wasn't easy, since there is much positive communication she might have engaged in on Facebook. But she called her habit an addiction, and just as an alcoholic shouldn't hang out in a bar, or agree to have "just one drink," she recognized that her life could be much improved by eliminating the program from her day to day activities. She has inspired me to examine my own life more closely and to be proactive about things that aren't working for me, my marriage, my family, or my relationships. Life can be better, if you want it to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That is why we didn't have cable growing up. I knew that I was addicted to tv and, although I didn't want to give up watching it altogether, I didn't want to be in front of it all the time. It's like being addicted to chocolate (which I am :-) and so I either don't bring it into the house or I make a pledge to only eat three squares a week (which I can keep to).

Love, Mom