Why It’s Time To Take A Facebook Break

Yesterday, I wrote a post where I was wondering who I am.

Today, I realized the best course of action would be to take a break from Facebook.

I love Facebook for so many reasons, the main one being that I can keep in touch with my friends and family from all over the world. It allows me to be a part of everyone’s lives even when I’m not able to see or talk to those people regularly. I also get to be a part of so many different groups and have been able to make friends via social media throughout the world.

But, on the flip side, it’s not real. We only see what people want us to see. It’s not a bad thing to be able to celebrate the good times and experiences that others have until things aren’t always where you want them to be in your life. Then, you end up focusing on what you imagine to be their perfect lives to be like and how imperfect your own life is.

You forget to see the good happening in your own life. You forget that the lives of others aren’t perfect either. And when social media becomes a negative instead of a positive aspect of your life, it might be time to step away from it. It might be time to put Facebook, Instagram, Twitter in the corner while you figure out what is important to you and your life.

This is where I’m at right now. I want to be able to focus on me again. I want to focus on my family. I don’t want to sit and obsess about the lives of other people and how it seems so much more exciting than mine.

This isn’t the first Facebook break I’ve taken. I had to do this in 2012 when I felt like a part of my life was just not moving in the direction I wanted it to go. It helped me tremendously. It felt great to refocus my energy off of social media and back onto myself and the people I love. I was able to shift my mind towards the things I wanted to accomplish instead of just feeling bad when others accomplished something. I was able to be happy for my friends when good things happened to them instead of just jealous that they weren’t happening to me.

So, in my efforts to shift my energy in a direction that I can be proud of, I have decided to take a break from Facebook.

 

Are You Really Happy Or Just Happy On Facebook?

A few years ago, I wrote a post about “My Perfect Facebook Life“. I actually had to take a break from Facebook for a few months because seeing other people’s lives looking so perfect and amazing all the time made me feel like I was missing something.

Out of curiosity, when you take a look at other people’s posts on Facebook, does it feel like everyone is out living life and you’re sitting wherever you are looking at them live their lives? Even their food for dinner seems more exciting than whatever you’re doing. It’s like, all of a sudden, you realize that there is this great, big world and you aren’t everywhere. I have fomo enough without needing to be reminded where and when I was or was not invited somewhere or if I missed an event. Knowing what happens elsewhere without me really does mess with my mind.

So how do you get past it? Can you look at other people’s lives and just see it as their experiences and enjoy your own experiences for what they are?

Do you sometimes feel like it’s a competition to make your life seem like it’s the most interesting one? Or to show that we’re the most loved or that we have the most friends? Or are people really just innocently wanting to share their lives and it’s just crazy people like me that feel this way?

Are people really that happy all the time? If it’s so, I think it’s great and I want to know that person’s secret. If it’s not, are we lying to the world by only showing the good stuff or are we just presenting what we should because it doesn’t make sense to share all the crap? Do I look like one of those super happy people or like I live in reality (assuming my reality isn’t super happy all the time)?

I think I just need to find a way to deal with Facebook and the way it is.

How about you?

When We Change, Do Our Friendships Change?

Facebook keeps us connected with a lot of people we have met in our lives. I still have friends on Facebook from high school and college. And, honestly, it’s interesting to see where we end up.

Somehow, over the last few years, I’ve become completely separated from most of my friends from college. I had already separated from the friends I made at the first college I attended but now I’m not really in touch with the friends I had made at my second college as well.

When I look over the last 10 years and see the amount of friendships that have just faded, I wonder if it’s me. Is it that I’ve changed or that I haven’t kept in touch? Or is it that these friendships were never really solid in the first place and were more a matter of circumstance? Have I stayed in touch more with those people who I share a mutual interest with or was there something different that kept us connected?

We want to keep those around us that helps us be better people. And when we don’t feel good about ourselves around some, we choose to give ourselves some space. But when we look at the past, it is sad to realize that there are so many people we have walked away from or that have walked away from us.

Could we have done something differently? Could I have done something differently? Would I have wanted to do something differently? Would it have to take a sacrifice of self in order to maintain these friendships? Or just working through difficult times with certain people?

How much of ourselves do we have to give in order to stay friends with people who we have outgrown or who have outgrown us? Is it worth it? When I see so many people I know still socializing and celebrating each other’s life events (thanks completely to Facebook), I definitely do wonder if I missed out.

I know I need to focus on the people who are currently in my life and continue to work on those relationships. I don’t want to take them for granted and there is a reason that they are in my life now. I don’t want to dwell on what could have, should have, would have been.

But every now and then, I do wonder.

Someone I Love

In my last post, I talked about passion versus validation. Now I want to talk about something related but in a different way.

When I was dating, I figured out something: 1) I could either be the person that I thought the other person would be attracted to or 2) I could become the person that I would have found attractive. I know that, growing up, we focus a lot on what makes us cool and popular. We want to be wanted by the person we are attracted to (and maybe even the people we aren’t attracted to). We like the things that we think others will want us to like and we do the things that everyone else does. But is this really us? Do we respect ourselves? If we were on the opposite side, would we want to date the person we are?

This is something that even relates to my life today as a wife and mother. Stepping into that role really messes with your self-esteem in some ways. I mean, doesn’t long-term get boring? Especially after you’ve had a kid? Now, you’re tired and have gained weight and don’t have the same social life going anymore. How can you get your significant other to even notice you?

My insecurity levels have definitely gone up after having a kid. I feel like my husband has continued to move forward career wise and can do a lot more things than I can at the moment. Being stagnant hasn’t been the best place for me. The feeling was worse right before and after I had my baby. A few months after the pregnancy, it started getting better. But I still felt really dependent and kept wondering if he was still even attracted to me or if he still loved me.

I hate that feeling! I don’t like questioning how he feels about me and I really despise myself for thinking negatively. I realized that the problem wasn’t him. The problem was myself. I haven’t been attracted to myself. Not necessarily looks-wise only but also my personality. If I was someone else, I would never look twice because I’m emitting qualities that I am not crazy about.

So I’m going back to my dating mantra. Become the person you would be attracted to. Do things that make me feel good about myself. If I ever question how someone else feels about me, I know to tell myself that I’m being the best person I can be because I really do like who I am.

The only person that is responsible for making me feel good is myself. And I deserve to be with someone that really loves me. I’m lucky that I also have my husband and family and friends but the only person that is required to love me all the time is me. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Be someone I love.

See Your Phone? Put It Away!

15 years ago, if you went to a social event and you didn’t know anyone there, you had 2 choices: you could either try to make friends or you could sit in a corner and be by yourself. Now, you have a third option: you can sit by yourself with your phone out.

Have you noticed that people seem to be beyond addicted to their phones? I went to a social event recently and even though all of us don’t see each other that often, there were a few people around the table still on their phones. There’s definitely a range of what they could have been doing. I’ve seen people sitting on their phones in a social setting and playing games, texting other people, or just surfing the internet.

I’m not saying it’s the end of the world but honestly, doesn’t it worry you just a little bit? I want my kid to learn how to talk to people. I think a lot of us developed the ability to be social because we didn’t have the phone as a crutch when we were growing up. Now it seems that it’s used as a distraction in all cases.

You see it all the time. How many of you have seen 2 people sitting at a table at a restaurant and both have their phones in their hands and neither is talking to the other? I have had people talk to me but, at the same time, have an ongoing text conversation with someone else.

What’s going to happen if you don’t look at your phone for a few hours? We used to get by without having constant access to the outside world all the time. If something wasn’t happening in the exact location we were at, we didn’t know about it. Is that so bad? Why are we so scared of missing out on what’s going on somewhere else?

Also, why is what’s going on somewhere else more important than talking to the person that is sitting across from you? Why is it more interesting? The funny thing is that we could be with that other person and we’d be sitting on the phone talking to someone entirely different. Sometimes, I don’t even feel like talking to someone who seems to be more interested in their phone/text/social media conversations than in speaking with a real, live, present person.

There was one time I had gone on a vacation with my family. I was so tired of dealing with the outside world that I decided that I wanted to live in the moment. In order to accomplish that, I decided to leave my phone in our hotel room. It was liberating to not be so attached to something. I was able to really focus on hanging out with my family.

I know we all need our phones. I have a kid. I like to be in touch when I’m not with her just in case she needs me. But I do want to be able to put my phone away when I’m with other people and don’t need to necessarily be in touch with someone that isn’t present. I want to be able to focus on the moment at hand. I want to be present and be able to socialize with the people that are right there next to me.

Can you do it? Can you put your phone away and not look at it for a few hours? Can you break the addiction?

Small Talk

We’re Indian. Which means that even if we don’t know someone, we kind of sort of know them. So when we run into them at social events, we have to make small talk. It’s how we socialize. It’s how we get to know people. And it’s how we make sure that it’s not awkward when we see them again.

I spent a 30 minute ride home with a family friend who I’ve known my whole life in almost complete silence. Her daughters are really good friends of mine so I asked how they were doing. And that was the end of our conversation. We just had nothing to talk about. I couldn’t even think of what to say so I just sat in silence until I reached home.

There are times I will run into people that I have met before and be at a complete loss of what to say to them. Other than the standard “how are you doing” and “what are you up to”, I have nothing to say. I know small talk comes easily to some people but I’m not sure how.

I have a cousin who once told me that she manages to start conversations by just asking people about themselves. She found that people love talking about themselves and this helped her jump start any conversation. Is it that I’m not that interested in people? Or maybe it’s just that I’m too scared to start talking about anything. Maybe I’m worried what’ll people will think of me.

It’s interesting to me that that insecurity is still around. I’m at a place that I’ve established myself. I know who I am. And if I say something that everyone doesn’t like, should I even worry that much about it? I am well aware that everyone might not like me at this stage in life.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve done my job making new friends over my whole life and now, it’s harder. Now, we really have to make an effort to know someone else. Now, we have to try to find common ground that isn’t just provided to us. Before, we made friends of circumstance. We went to school with someone, they lived near us, we were in the same social group outside of school. It takes a lot to pass the insecurity we might have in order to make new friends.

Now, we have to work at it, especially if it’s a situation where you are truly there just to make friends. You have to put yourself out there. You have to find a way to make the small talk so that you can really get to know the people that you meet.

Small talk. Fun, huh?

Social Anxiety

The idea of walking into a room full of strangers and having to talk to them scares the crap out of me. I’m assuming it’s because they might not like me. There are people who can go anywhere and will walk out with a room full of friends. I have one friend who I have gone out with in the past and she will know everyone in the place by the time she leaves. I know someone else that somehow manages to get to know everyone and has no trouble (at least that I can see) talking to anyone at anytime.

I wish I had that ability. I moved recently and while I am still in touch with my friends, I do have make new ones that are geographically closer. I haven’t had to make new friends in years. A lot of the people I have become friends with in the last few years I have met through other friends or through doing activities. I find that much easier than having to make friends without any type of familiarity in the process.

How many of us go through this social anxiety? I’d like to think it’s normal to feel this way. So how do those other people do it? How are they able to just talk to anyone? I honestly have to psych myself up when I know I’m meeting a group of new people for the first time. I have to convince myself that they will like me for me and that the worst that can happen is that I don’t talk to them again. I’m in my early thirties so I really should be over the idea that everyone has to like me.

I wonder where this fear comes from. Is it based on doubts of ourselves? Am I just not sure who I am? Is something else? I was never very popular. I always had my group of friends but I was definitely a nerd. I do feel as though I was judged while growing up for not being “cool”. Maybe this tag has remained with me as I’ve grown up and regardless of what I have done in my life, I will always feel like I’m not quite accepted for who I am.

I also wonder if the people who make it look so easy to just blend into a group also feel the social anxiety. Is it something that everyone go through whenever they step into a new situation? Or are there just people who are completely at ease no matter who they are talking to or any new place they go?

What is the secret to get rid of the social anxiety?

A Letter To My Child

To my baby,

I don’t know what to say. I can’t believe you’re here. I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. Your father and I had to go through a lot before you came but you’re here now. Our perfect little baby.

I finally know what it means to watch my heart walking around outside of my body. The first week or so, one of us had to stay awake while you slept because we wanted to make sure you were okay.  I didn’t know then what I know now,  that you are tougher than you look. But I still always worry when you’re not smiling at me. I still wake up at least 3 times a night to make sure you’re doing fine.

It’s been tough.  We are learning each other and teaching each other at the same time. There are days I’m completely frustrated and exhausted but then, you do something new that I’ve never seen before and forget everything and am in awe again.

I love to fact that you do smile at me now. It feels like you know who I am, even though I’m not sure if you do. I can’t wait to share more with you. I want to laugh with you, dance with you, live with you. I want to teach you everything I’ve learned so you don’t make the same mistakes. I want you to see the world in the best light possible. I want you to always be happy.

I can’t believe I’m writing this letter to you. I hope you get to read it some day. For now, I’ll settle for you being the love of my life. Thank you for coming to us.

Can I Yell At You Already?

Am I the only person that gets tired of taking the high road?

When someone does something to hurt you or treats you badly, it’s completely normal to want them to feel that way too. But, if you’re a good person or at least try to be, you don’t end up doing anything. The most you might do is try to talk to them to see if they will understand. The ones you can talk to might end up becoming your friends since at least the possibility of communication is there. The ones you can’t talk to though, those people you end up walking away from.

But what happens if you can’t walk away from them? There are people in this world you are sort of stuck with. Family, coworkers, family friends. And things happen. And you can’t always walk away from them so easily. You have to figure out a way to live with them. You have to figure out a way to tolerate being around them and whatever they do.

Is it just me or does it get tiring always having to be the good guy? Have you ever noticed that there are people that come across your life that you wish you could just shake some sense into? There are times I know I haven’t been the good guy and have ended up fighting with and/or yelling and screaming at people. But, then, I will usually apologize. It doesn’t mean that I will get an apology in return (we are assuming that there was a cause for me even getting to a point where I wanted to yell and scream). Sometimes, I wish I could just do what I wanted and not overanalyze it further. What would be best is if the other person understood why I was so upset and could really talk to me about it and we could resolve it. But, if they were like that, I’m assuming we wouldn’t be at a yelling and screaming point ever.

The world is made up of different types of people and we find those who think similarly to us to be around. Sometimes, I wish I could just sit and observe those people that I don’t understand. I would love to psychoanalyze them to really understand why they are the way they are. You can see the people that radiate confidence and those who seem completely insecure. You can figure out by the way people react to things based on the way they see themselves. There are people I just don’t understand and I wish I could figure out a way to really understand them.

Maybe it’d help me to feel better about taking the high road.

Yes, I Want To See You….Maybe

Have you ever made plans with people and then, as soon as that day comes, you hear an excuse to cancel that plan? I once decided not to go to an event my friend was having just because it was really far and I didn’t want to drive all the way. But I didn’t want to tell her that I was just being lazy. So I tried to find an excuse that wouldn’t make her feel like she wasn’t worth me making the trip down there. It was really a lame thing to do. 

Why aren’t we just honest about how we feel about something? Or if you are the type of person that usually cancels, maybe it’s just better not to ever promise anything. I know we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings but then again, are we sure that that person already doesn’t just know that we are making an excuse?

We all do it. I know there are things I need to get done by a certain deadline and there are times where I let that deadline slide a little. 

I wonder how we would all be if we stopped BSing about reasons to not do something. Are we really protecting someone else’s feelings or are we just trying to not feel guilty ourselves? I mean, I also wouldn’t want to hear from someone that they are more interested in doing something else other than hanging out with me. That wouldn’t help my self-confidence at all. 

Maybe we should just be friends with the people who do look at us as priority, that wouldn’t cancel on us without a good, honest reason to start with. I had this friend one time that would always just say that he would see about the plans that I was offering to him. It made me think that he was waiting to see if a better, more interesting offer was going to come. Otherwise, he would follow through on my plan. Why would I want to be friends with people like that? 

More importantly, why do people do that? I just don’t understand why you’d make plans with someone that you don’t consider high priority anyways. Is it just so that if nothing else happens, you’re not sitting alone at home? I would rather be home than out with people that I don’t consider my friends. 

The one last part of this I wanted to bring up are the group of people who tell you they will talk to you and even tell you when they will contact you. And then, that day comes and goes and you never hear from them. I know someone who keeps giving me future dates with promises of contact and yet, I haven’t heard from them at all yet. It’s gotten to a point where I don’t even bother clearing my day because I just assume that I won’t hear from them. 

All it takes is a little honesty and some effort to keep your word. If you can’t follow through on something, be straight about it. If you constantly can’t follow through with something, don’t say you will. Maybe it’s better to be the spontaneous person and just show up to places so no one is actually disappointed, only pleasantly surprised. 

Let’s stop the BS and maybe we can all trust each other a little bit more.