Facebook: The Great Distraction
August 2, 2012

Sometimes making a commitment to get healthy involves a lot more than we originally expected. The sacrifices you have to make along the way can challenge you to give up things that you have clung to for years. For me, the journey of getting out of debt and losing weight requires serious focus to achieve the end result. If my life feels out of balance in one area, my goals will be harder to reach.

For example, recent distractions have caused me to feel out of sync. The political debate facing our country and being shared all over Facebook has caused a great divide not just among political leaders, but also friends. Those you have been close with for years can get under your skin based on comments and opinions. We are all entitled to our political views, but yesterday I hit my breaking point after reading all of them. I felt frustrated that every time I got on Facebook I was flooded with people pointing fingers, political memes, and the like. I love my friends dearly, but felt if I read one more comment from either side of the political spectrum, I would unfriend half the people on my list. Therefore, I made a choice. It is their Facebook and they are entitled to say what they want on it. I don’t have the right to stop them, that is the beauty of free speech. I do, however, have the ability to choose what I read and don’t read. So for the first time since I joined Facebook on November 5, 2005, I decided to take a break. My husband laughed and said it would take just a day before I caved. He knows I am slightly addicted! I check in first thing in the morning, every time I get a notification on my iPhone throughout the day, and right before bed. It is amazing just how much something can consume you if you get it power.

I have him to thank for making that comment and challenging me to think about just how true that is. He’s right I do want to cave. The first thing I thought this morning was, “I wonder how my friends and family are doing on Facebook.” I wanted to sign in, but was reminded of my husband’s words. Last night, I told myself that along with doing a 30 minute workout for 30 days in August, I would also take a break from Facebook for this amount of time to unwind and rejuvenate. To focus my attention on the things that matter most in my life right now. To give my desire to get out debt and lose weight the attention both of these things deserve. To allow people in my life the freedom to say what they want without feeling personally hindered and frustrated by their words. To use the extra time in my life to fuel my body to accomplish greater things. To spend more time blogging and connecting with others on a similar journey. Lastly, to unplug from the distractions and tap into other sources that can bring positive words during this season of my life.

As a result, I hope when I return to Facebook that I am filled with a renewed sense of peace. That I can take my friends words more lightheartedly and with a sense of humor. And most importantly, that I will be less consumed by Facebook on a daily basis and able to continue focusing my attention on restoring my life to a place of wholeness.