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.



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!


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



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


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.