Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Manifesto

Manifesto comes from the latin word "manifestus" which means obvious or to make public. 

I've been on quite a journey the last few years and the older I get the more I feel like I need to learn which is quite the opposite of what I thought at 25. {who's with me?}

My 2015 Manifesto is quite obvious to all of us, but very few can follow through. I feel as though I've been, personally, learning these things here and there for the last few years, but for 2015 
I've decided they will be my target goal for every breath that I take. I think that part of what led me here was the "detox" I've been going through since October. 

Right after my mom died I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with grief, sadness, sorrow, responsibility. . . In addition to that, I was overwhelmed by the new role of making decisions for my dad and guiding my brother. Something about those moments led me to take a Facebook detox. Don't get me wrong I've always been a fan of social media and think it's a wonderful way to connect, but I also think it's a horrible way to consume a lot of time and take away joy from seeing what everyone else is "doing." 

It's been a few months and I've practiced the habit of posting very few updates, very few comments, and being less "like" happy. I've been more intentional of the way I'm spending my time. I left some groups that weren't enhancing my experience and turned off all notifications for all groups and pages. I muted some people from my timeline and deleted others completely. 

That detox taught me that I am in control of my time. I must be intentional about even something as trivial as social media. And if I should be intentional about something so menial, then I should REALLY be intentional about the things that truly matter to me: relationships, reading, writing, finances, family, health, connecting with God. 

It taught me that in order to guard my heart I need to guard what I see and hear. And let's be honest. Much of what we see or hear on Facebook or other social media outlets isn't always the BEST for us. {Is it bad? Maybe not. Is it good? Maybe. But is it the BEST?} 

It taught me to be who I am despite what the world says I should be. It taught me that if I spent less time wasted I would have more time to spend on the things that bring me passion. It has taught me that I probably need to speak less in order to HEAR HIM more. 

If I am wise about my intent I will pray more, love more, believe more and find my thankfulness even on the worst days. 

So, here's my public declaration for 2015. What about you? Do you have goals you're working toward for the new year? Do you write them down? Would love to hear how you'll be shaping your next level, so comment or email me! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why a Facebook Detox is Necessary

So about a month ago I decided it was time for a Facebook break. Again. This is like the 10th time I've come to this conclusion since 2008. I just get fed up. There's always so much noise in my head anyway and with all of the content, groups, and notifications sometimes it's just too much. Plus, (PLUS), I manage and admin a few pages. I'm pretty sure I don't want to calculate up how much time I've spent on all of that. {embarrassing}

Every time I meet someone who tells me "I'm not on Facebook," I sort of step back and think how smart they are secretly! Something about being "off the grid" is intriguing and after the last few years, I'm all for stepping back and evaluating what things actually bring joy to my life. 

So this time, my goal for my MIA status on Facebook is longer than just a month. My first goal was just through the holidays, but now that it's been over a month I'm thinking I should shoot for longer!  

Besides checking the pages I admin and my messages, I don't know what's going on with anyone but myself and right now that's really helping me focus on what I'm doing. 

Here are some things I've learned: 

You need more time. Facebook is stealing it. Trust me. Once you start scrolling through that feed and get sidetracked by this personality quiz or that "interesting-but-possibly-fake news story," it's hard to look away. They have a hundred and one ways to take away your time and your sense of identity. Since I've been off of Facebook, specifically, I've read about 6 books, spent more time with my family doing puzzles, crafts, cooking together or just hanging out. 

Knowing every status a person makes doesn't make you better friends. And vice versa. I am "friends" with roughly 800 people, plus about 40 are following me (seeing all of my public posts most likely because of Jace) Some people I'm friends with and have seen in public, but even after making eye contact and smiling they keep walking. {why are we friends again?} Some people I know just from Facebook, but if I were to see them in real life walking down the cereal aisle at the local grocery store they would probably think I'm rude, because I don't recognize them! 

The things you want to see are being hidden from you by the algorithms (a fancy word for THEY ARE CONTROLLING YOUR EXPERIENCE). I swear I miss some of the most important goings-on from my most favorite friends because Facebook doesn't think I want to see them. And the pages I actually like and want to hear from often, nope. Those pages are out the window and replaced by the pages who've PAID for me to see them more often. I just can't. So I'm now making a point to be intentional with the people I see on a daily basis. I can control that experience and connect on a more personal level. 

Here's more about this philosophy from Forbes:

You need less of them and more of you. I'm convinced that Facebook is the worst of the social media giants. Not only are they controlling what you see but it also creates a space for you to focus more on other people and less on you, your family, your dreams, and your spirit. Is it just me or is that the biggest problem ever? 

But, really, trust me, the trouble is we all think we have enough time. 

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." ~ James 4:14

And this is why Instagram is my jam right now......low maintenance, photos only.