Single Mom Slice Of Life: What I Learned From My Facebook Fast

Single Mom Slice Of Life:
What I Learned From My Facebook Fast

The elections may be over, but now the world – and by the world I mean Facebook – is still filled with arguments: Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or gun control depending on which group of friends you read.  I was beginning to actually look forward to the boys screaming at each other over whether Stupidhead or Butt Nugget was a worse name to be called when I realized, I wasn’t being thrown into arguments online – I was voluntarily subjecting myself to it.  Add to that that nearly every post was being taken personally and usually by people I hadn’t even been thinking about when I wrote it.  And yeah, okay, maybe I took a few postings (7) that maybe (definitely) had nothing to do with me,  to heart as well. 

So, in an effort to find the good in life, I unplugged from the bad.  I made a conscious effort to not check Facebook for a month.

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DETOXING

pamela315

Creative Commons/pamela315

I was, well, amazed at what I first found out about myself and how involved I had become.  When you make a conscious decision to do something, you suddenly realize every time you DON’T do something.  For instance, I found that I wasn’t checking Facebook when I first woke up in the morning. I wasn’t checking it 20 times throughout the day, commenting on everything, for every reason.  I wasn’t making the main topic of my conversations about the cutest picture, most ridiculous posting, or possible attack on my character by a friend of a friend’s friend (have I mentioned I also have a bit of an ego issue?), and I wasn’t subconsciously awaiting the little “ping” my phone makes when I get a message.

Read More: Our Story Begins: Technology Free Summer.. Why We’re Doing It And Why You Should Too!

WHAT I LEARNED

Wendy and her boys, Nick and Justin

 

Facebook is loud.  Once the roaring of other people’s comments had faded, so did other things.  I found myself driving to and from work without the radio on and was perfectly content.  The TV didn’t get turned on as soon as I walked through the door.  The conversations that started out with, “Hey did you see my post about…” weren’t mine anymore.  The things that upset me were things I saw, touched, heard first hand and as weird as that sounds, I was also able to get over it a lot faster without ten other people feeding the flames.  I was also able to help settle the Stupidhead vs. Butt Nugget discussion with a smile instead of a sigh, among other real life teenage conundrums.

Read More: Single Mom Slice of Life: Can’t Say No

MY NEW NORMAL

GreenReaper

Creative Commons/GreenReaper

Okay, so fine, it’s not an actual drug, but I did relapse a little.  I, of course, still have Facebook, and I still check it, but not as frequently, and without the urgency I once had.  I skim over the drama and smile at the good.  In an effort to look for the good instead of dwelling in the bad, I’ve challenged the boys as well.  Now a part of our daily ritual is instead of recapping what happened to them, we discuss what they did.

Read More: Single Mom Slice Of Life: Why Weird Is The New Normal

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It’s pretty amazing when you can lead by example about the mark you leave on the world, instead of the blows that life deals you.  So I ask, what is it that you do to control your life, no matter how big or small, instead of letting life, and its many trappings, control you?

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Wendy Syler Woodward has been a single parent for 10 years, with two boys ages 12 and 16. Originally from southern California, Wendy moved her family seven years ago to Phoenix where she manages a law firm for work, writes for fun, and this year returned to college for her B.A. Follow her on Twitter @WendySyler.

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