The Discipline of Hope | Facebook Sucks Your Life Out

20 Aug

I don’t miss Facebook. Not like I thought I would. In fact, I’ve been doing just fine without the additional noise of Facebook in my world. The friendships that are most valuable to me, and that Facebook helps me feel connected to, are still just as valuable to me. Facebook is not the string the holds important friendships together. And if that’s all it takes for a friendship to feel alive to me, then I question the strength of my friendship with that person, or the strength of my own effort to connect with my friend in a context that doesn’t include the internet.

The other thing I don’t miss is the pressure to keep up. To make sure I comment on someone’s picture or clever post, otherwise I’ll seem rude or not interested. There’s so much more space in my head to give to other possibilities of the moment.

I’m happier with who I am because I don’t have the ever high Facebook measuring rod. The presented perfection of photos where you look “just so” and your children are perfect, and your home is a castle and your husband is a hunk. I’m happier without having to measure up to the perfection that we (all) present on-line.

I’m also happier because I’m judging you less based on your flaky posts, or political posts, or offensive posts on religion, or welfare losers, or president Obama. I am happier without knowing your views on everything.

I’m happier spending my morning cuddled up with my kids watching Baby Einstein and telling Zoe how to spell “leopard” 18 different times. I’m happier living that moment fully, rather than updating my status on what it is that I’m doing.

I’m happier spending my evenings in bed, teeth brushed, face washed, lamp on, reading a book I bought two months ago that I’m finally enjoying, blazing through the words and savoring every last morsel of “Namesake.” I’m happier not feeling the need to make sure you know about how cultured I am because I’m reading a book.

I’m happier spending my mornings writing for my blog – and not hitting publish. Just writing for the love of it. Because sometimes words are more precious when they’re not shared with everyone.

I’m happier spending saturday afternoons watching movies with Peter in bed, and laughing afterwards, cuddled under the covers, windows open, curtains blowing in the wind, Nutmeg hogging the bed, my laptop nowhere to be found.

I’m happier because I’m realizing some baggage in my life is simply habitual, and not deep-seated. That sometimes it’s simply a choice to not pack it all in. To choose what my heart feasts on.

I’m happier not reading that news piece about the drug mother who sold her infant daughter into sexual slavery in America. I’m happier not reading every blog about every child who is fighting a terminal and surprising illness, and every mother who is hanging on by a thread through it all. I’m happier not being scared to death that it might happen to me, or my kids.

I’m happier not feeling compelled to convince you that obstetrics and midwifery in America need to change. I’m happier not trying to stand on my own soap box.

And while I know things must change, and injustice exists and should be acknowledged and needs a voice, I’m happier not letting my small flame be consumed with the sea of wrongdoing in the world.

Because sometimes choosing to keep my focus on the beautiful and sublime is just as much a discipline in self-sacrifice as speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

There is a sacrifice and cost in choosing hope, in making an effort to think on these things:

Things that are true, things that are honest, things that are good, things that are beautiful, things that are inspiring, things that are healing, things that are hopeful.

This is my discipline. Steering my heart towards hope, beauty and peace.

May peace spread its wings over the expanse of my heart. May it rise from the ashes of self-doubting, and may it ever be held with hands of hope.

Ever learning,


7 Responses to “The Discipline of Hope | Facebook Sucks Your Life Out”

  1. Sam Harper August 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    The presented perfection of photos where you look “just so” and your children are perfect, and your home is a castle and your husband is a hunk.

    Or in your case, a genius.

  2. Jennifer Bradford August 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I am right there with you. Facebook feels like such a CHORE, and I start questioning the quality of my relationships. You put how I’m feeling into words much better than I could have. Thank you :)

  3. Angie August 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I read this last night, and it was right on time and on point for me. I deactivated my FB account a week ago, and I didn’t miss it while on vacation. But yesterday, when I got back to my routine, I was tempted …. I have some time to fill now. But the things you say are so true. My news feed was full of the negative news cycle and unspoken pressures to compete. Using FB had become draining rather than energizing.

  4. 40 is the new 13 August 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    So well said. This is an amazing, profound and thoughtful post. I’m very glad to have found it. It’s made a difference for me today. Many thanks.

  5. ima2two September 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Never made it to that level of fb’ing but I can see how someone in your shoes could grow weary. As always – great read and so incredibly transparent. Loved it!


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