Last week, a friend of mine got his Facebook account hacked. His response: he deleted his account. When I mentioned he had gone from being hacked to no longer there his response was “No FB == No FB Hacking.”
It got me thinking. I had never been hacked, but would my life be better without the constant feeling that I need to check in on FB to find out what was going on? After all, while I do appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch with people from the different parts of my life and the different parts of the planet where they live, hadn’t it all become a bit much?
I mean seriously, try having a conversation with a group of adults at a restaurant and see how long the conversation lasts after the first person pulls out their smart phone. It will be mere seconds before the entire group is checking their Facebook feeds, or twitter, or email, or fact checking some aspect of the conversation. I admit complete guilt on all of those counts. I can often be heard saying “why guess when you can know” as I reach for my esay access to Google. You can “know” but the price you pay is that it prevents you from enjoying ( or immensely disliking ) the people you are there with in the moment.
So with stuff like that in mind, and being mindful of what I was going to do next, I ripped the bandaid right off. I made some cute graphics ( see: https://www.facebook.com/BigBangBurgerBar ) and I issued a post announcing my departure. It’s not that I don’t want to keep in touch, its just that the virtual world is too often at the forefront of mind at the expense of the real world and people who I can actually talk to ( over the phone and in person ).
In my quest to reclaim the portions of my life that were being frittered away on status updates, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone last Friday. I went to Toronto over the weekend and I was amazed at how well making a public declaration AND removing my ability to engage worked.
My smart phone stayed in my pocket much more than it used to. My level of curiosity about what was going on ( elsewhere ) wained significantly in less than 24 hours.
Some will disagree, but I find Facebook to be an interesting outlet to help us ignore where our feet are right now.
By keeping my attention on the place where my feet reside, by reducing the number of tools that allow me to look into the future or the past, I have a better chance of remaining in the here and now. And, if you believe the Buddhists, what’s here and now is all there is. The rest are fictions of your mind to drive you to distraction.
I tend to think most of us know this in our heads. Integrating it into our daily lives is another thing completely. It take an ongoing effort to attend. Mastery reduces anxiety and suffering.
Sometimes when I am out walking, my head replays the moments of my life. Only they’re the moments of my past or the moments I am creating in my mind about the future. If I am not mindful, “If only I had done things differently” can become the sound track to these moments in my head.
Or maybe I’m having a conversation with a client who isn’t even there, about how frustrated I am that they didn’t pay me on time or at all. These are judgmental, and by living in them over and over again, I continue to attract more of them which in turn takes away from being present in the here and now.
Anger, resentment, fear, jealously, envy, worry, doubt, and mistrusting are all things that can feel very real to us at the time we are experiencing them. However, they are of the mind, and just excuses to hang on to yesterday or to live in tomorrow. Now is were the action is. Self control of the mind is where your power is.
Perhaps you’ll find a reason to embrace the here and now today. Enjoy!
PS> I know some of you will note that my blog is broadcasting to Facebook and that without Facebook you wouldn’t be here reading this. True enough. That said, I won’t be spending time on Facebook to like or comment. I’m just going to keep writing about things I find interesting and encouraging people I know to reach out to me using the phone, email, and in person visits…