Blog

Angel’s Facebook Fast

 |  | 13 Comments
Angel's Facebook Fast
Angle Pricer

Angel Pricer

Among the many insightful comments on my last post came one that I’m making the focus this time. It’s from Angel Pricer, a young writer who’d been longing to share herself and her “word soup” with a wider world. I am happy to oblige! HEEEEERE’s Angel:

 

Thank you, Suzanne, for your invitation to expand on my last blog comment about how totally liberating it was to disengage from social media. Turns out you were complicit in a universal conspiracy designed to get me to read my journal for what yearned to be plucked out, added to what I call my word soup, and shared. Here’s my social media withdrawal story.

 

About a week before I took action to step away from Facebook, I felt a burgeoning sense of freedom within, which seemed altogether at odds with the emotionally empty expressions I was too often finding in the social media realm. I felt full of spirit, on the cusp, I sensed, of a great erasure of the day-to-day me and a merging with the eternally present observer me.

 

Facebook was the primary way in which I engaged with the world-at-large. But even there, I was mostly observing, only inserting a few words here or sharing a song or post there. My interactions were not providing the deep connection of being-to-being that I long for—as an evolving woman and as a writer—and deep down I knew they never would.

 

I realized that this essence, this freedom that I Am, cannot be portrayed, packaged, sold, bought, consumed or dissected. And it was dawning on me that such portrayal and packaging is exactly what I had been trying to do with it—with myself!—within the social media realm and beyond.

 

Something else I realized—and a good example of this is your invitation spurring me to read my work and push through my resistance to sharing it: whatever we need to know and do is most freely given, and received by us, when our awareness is unfettered by the noise of the outer world.

 

From my emerging feet-planted-on-the-ground perspective, I began sensing how much more there is to life (and especially to the life of the spiritual writer I fancied myself to be) than watching others recycle sage words online just because they resonate, while neglecting to take their essence deeper—as if resonance with a grain of truth were equal to BEING that truth.

 

Those critical wakeup moments of mine came at the start of the crazy-making holiday season, in all its material glory. I’ve been at odds with the Christmas season from my earliest childhood. But last year I was made even more uncomfortable thanks to Facebook, where I saw too many people announcing their spiritual good works, at the same time as they feigned humble acceptance of the very praise their action were meant to elicit.

 

 All that pre-holiday hawking and squawking was the final push I needed to pull the plug. And so I did. Following a meditation one day, I heard the words “Facebook Fast,” and off I went.

 

For the first few days, I felt like an addict in withdrawal, recognizing the compulsion to check my feed about four to five times an hour. Slowly the urge subsided, creating more space within. Only then was I able to fully feel the pangs of discomfort that I soon recognized as remorse. I was every bit as guilty of not having lived up to my spiritual ideals as the would-be sages and do-gooders I’d taken to task on the other side of the computer screen.

 

Free of Facebook’s attractions and distractions, I’d caught myself in the act of a “holier-than-thou” hypocrisy. So I  made the (for me) big decision to step away from the so-called “spiritual,” both online and off, and to explore instead what it might mean to embrace all of life—as a whole, not-holier-than-thou human being.

 

As I found myself opening up to a larger, more inclusive world within and without, I was also moved to focus more seriously on sharpening the skills of my craft. I even entertained the idea of doing writing that is not overtly “spiritual” or “self-help” related, a novel and exciting possibility for me.

 

It wasn’t a pretty time and I felt very alone. But boy was I growing! When my 30-day fast was over, I was in no hurry to re-engage with Facebook. By then I was deeply involved in the exploration of a fictional character and proposed book series I’d long hoped to embark on. But best of all thanks to my time-out, I felt more comfortable than ever BEING myself, and noticeably less in need of defining, promoting or validating this “being.” A huge development.

 

Suzanne, based on your vulnerable last blog post, I understand you are on the cusp of an “erasure” of your own. I hope you’ll keep sharing your experience with us. And thank you so much for encouraging me to share mine.

 

Thank you, Angel, for jumping in with both feet to inspire us. I for one can use all the support I can get to step back from what I, too, find to be an ever more vapid, often unsavory virtual world. (And hey, don’t even get me started on the the “real” one!)

 

So, dear readers, have you taken a break from information overload or the world at large? If so, what happened? If not, are you tempted to? Or do you have a different perspective altogether here? Please keep your valuable comments coming—about that or anything that stirs you. And if you enjoy our blog and haven’t already, why not join the tribe and subscribe, and kindly share this link with your friends.

 

Categories: Self-Care
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

    Thank you, Suzanne, for the opportunity to commingle our efforts as we explore both the dark and light sides of the social media world.  I wonder what shadows might be sparked for our readers? Stories of success?  Pondering what it all means in the moment?

    • Suzanne Grenager

      It was fun to work with you, Angel, and good to share your inspiring story with others. I too look forward to hearing from our readers about what is sure to be a range of experiences. Thanks again for showing up so fully!

  • Donnafleetwood

    Two of my favorite writers in the same space. Sweet! I also did a 1 week Facebook fast recently because I found myself falling into the shadow of judging others…I was veering into the dangerous land of Opinion Nation. It’s hard to practice non-duality when you are like a spy stalking out the crazy rants of those who I have labeled (friends?). And yet we are all friends and if I can’t stand in that place of non-judgement, it’s time to pull away for a while. After a week, I found the impulses to check in had lessened and what I was reading was really NOT ALL THAT INTERESTING! I’m reminded to stay close to those I can learn from (friends like Angel and Suzanne) and stay in that space. My discipline this week was not to check email before 8 am, when a normal work day should start. I was not altogether successful, but did notice that when I practiced, it was a sense of freedom. I was able to have some very enjoyable me time before my To Do’s started. Angel and Suzanne, keep writing!

    • Suzanne Grenager

      YOU are sweet, Donna, to say such kind, encouraging things about us. Thank you! But thanks especially for being so honest about your own tendency to judge your Facebook “friends,” and also for sharing with us how well you handled it — by pulling away to reflect, as Angel did. Good for you, too, for starting a new daily routine around your a.m. Internet activity and for paying enough attention to your dear self to experience the freedom that unleashed. Yes!

      As for your observation that the FB posts are “not all that interesting,” I couldn’t agree more. Either the level of what’s being communicated has severely diminished or I am getting more discriminating (though we hope not *judgemental* :) about what I’m exposed to online. I notice that hardly any posts, whether on FB or blogs, are doing it for me lately, which is making it ever easier to stay away. Yay! Wonderful to hear that you used *your* times-out for self-nourishment. Keep up your good work, girl – inner & outer!   

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

        Oh, the fine line we balance upon, Suzanne!  At least we’re in great company :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

      Donna, it is wonderful it is to connect with you here.  Your words carry a picture of ‘you’ to my heart in a way I wonder if it would were we not also in-person friends.  I think back to the times of growth and judgments of my own on a different level, sitting in your sunny office and feeling the warmth of your experience as a helpful guide.

      I am grateful for the challenges we’ve all endured, and the honest reflection upon which that draws us closer to that oneness we all crave.  

      Thank you for your support!
      Love,
      Angel

  • Bdorbian

    Angel and Suzanne – when I feel like Facebook is beginning to “control” me, I deactivate my account for a while. During those times I am often amazed at how much time is freed up. Being off of Facebook also encourages “real” conversations with friends about meaningful topics. I think it is a great medium to locate old friends, but I feel it becomes an addiction that really offers very little value.

    • Suzanne Grenager

      Amen, and many thanks for weighing in, Betsy. I did not know it was that easy to de-activate — and only temporarily, too. Very helpful information, that. As you can see, I (and others) agree about the lack of lasting value, especially relative to the deep conversations we can have with each other when we free up time and energy to *really* connect. Let’s raise a glass to good old face TIME.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

         Here, here!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

      Great point, Betsy!  I remember freezing in fear as I contemplated temporarily deactivating mine.  All the ‘what-if’s’ circling around my head…ouch!

      Those “real” conversations are the root of what binds us all together.  It’s up to us to do what it takes to make ourselves available to enjoy them…whether on, or offline :)

  • Vicki Fox

    Very interesting topic, ladies.  While I have wondered what it would be like to pull the plug from Facebook for a bit, I have not been brave enough to do it.  At times, I do find myself using it to fill a void when I am feeling lonely, and I will admit on some of those nights, I would be better served to turn off the computer and head to bed.

    On the other hand, FB was paramount in my connecting with classmates and getting the word out for the high school reunion I helped put together four years ago.  It has also kept those reconnections alive.  It has helped me get the word out about my Women of Intention gatherings.  And if it wasn’t for FB, my mom who was stranded on Long Island during Hurricane Sandy would not have been rescued by an angel from Rhode Island who was coming down to get her Mom.

    I think it is about our intentions and how we are using Facebook.  It is also about balance and moderation.  And with that said,  since it is a bit after 10:00 pm, I am going to turn off the computer (even though the voyeur in me would like to check out my newsfeed one more time) and head to bed.

    Thank you for this inquiry.  I enjoyed your collaboration. 

    Blessings,
    Vicki 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1077290440 Angel Pricer

      Well said, Vicki :)   Just now, I found myself checking Facebook ‘one last time’ before going off for some physical activity.  Again, faced with the sense that there’s nothing all that compelling go on here.  Yet, just yesterday I enjoyed sharing a little snippet of life with others.  I’m finding that whatever suits in the moment is what’s best, and not perseverating over moments past (and perceived lost) is what works best for me right now :)

    • SGrenager

      Yes, yes, Vicki. Your are very right that for some of us, and you in particular, Facebook has opened important doors and allowed for what would otherwise e nearly impossible connections and re-connections. Thanks for reminding us of that. Moderation in this and many things is indeed key. Blessings (abundant, not moderate :) on your good work via FB and especially out in the real world!

blog subscribe button


Welcome to my Blog:

Do you long to be your truest, most loving self? So do I. I created this blog to help us both be that. Choose posts from the categories below and please comment on what the words stir up.

Archives:

cover