Facebook is Not the Devil

When it comes to this blog, I do not do much self censorship. Occasionally I write something that is a bit controversial, fully aware and accepting that I might piss someone off. And while I do not look for arguments  I am ok with you disagreeing with me, and am happy to have a respectful discussion about why you do. 

For this post, however, I am putting a disclaimer out there.  I am aware that many people struggle with very real addictions and very real emotional distress. You are working hard, through soul searching, and meditation and therapy and medication, to make your world less scary, less sad, less overwhelming. If in the midst of this journey, you have decided (like Glennon Melton of Momastery has http://momastery.com/blog/2013/09/26/6-reasons-social-media-dangerous/) that Social Media is contributing to your misery, than by all means cut it out. Breathe. Do your thing. This post is not for you.

But for the rest of you, your misery is not Facebook's fault. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Louis CK's video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c. And I am the first person to admit that playing too much Candy Crush Saga is bad for your brain. I even took all the email and Facebook notifications off of my phone this summer, because I was getting annoyed with all the interruptions. I still pull out my cell whenever I am stuck waiting somewhere (in line at the post office or for an elevator, cause who wants to just stare at those numbers) and I can occasionally be found updating my status from the playground. But occasionally I do try to just enjoy the sunlight. And, while I admit that I could be a bit more productive at times, I have never felt the need for anything as dramatic as an "Internet Fast."(Although I did have to make a rule about Web MD searches, which are in no way good for me and cause nothing but fear and hypochondria.)

I have also never gone on a yoga retreat to a mountain top where all you are allowed to do is breathe. Nor have I cut out every bit of sugar, gluten, meat, carbs, and anything that comes in a can. I don't jump out of planes. Or do Cross Fit. Or any other "extreme" activity. Yes, I have started eating grass fed beef (it just tastes better!) and less heavy carbs like bagels and pasta (they make me sleepy) and I am absolutely in LOVE with bulletproof coffee. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/category/coffee-2/ (Keeps you energized for hours!) But for the most part I have made a series of small changes in my life that in general, have made me a happier person. I eat healthy. I do jiu-jitsu. I write. I only ride the subway when I have to. I try to not scream at my daughter (and often fail miserably). Sometimes I am still unhappy (who isn't?) but I try to fix things or at least to accept the things I cannot change (and often fail miserably). And the stuff I am still working on, well, I am still working on it. 

Of course it helps that I teach karate for a living.

Listen people, if you hate your job, cutting out Facebook is not going to help. In fact, if you spend 9 hours a day doing something that makes you grind your teeth and pull out your hair, it is no wonder you like to hide inside the Social Media void. Who wouldn't? Go ahead and shut off your cellphone, you still have to go to that terrible office every day.

If you are in a relationship that makes you feel like dogshit, cutting out Facebook is not going to help.

If you have soul sucking, abusive friends who make you feel ugly and unappreciated, cutting out Facebook is not going to help.

If you hate what you see in the mirror, cutting out Facebook is not going to help.

Likewise, if you are struggling financially, or haven't slept in days, or have a kid who is flunking out of school, or hate your dad, or eat all your meals at Mc Donalds....cutting out Facebook is not going to help. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying solving your problems is easy. Sometimes it is near to impossible to lose weight, find a job you enjoy, get that damn brat to stop screaming. Sometimes you need courage. Sometimes you need patience. Sometimes you need luck. Sometimes you need help. Sometimes you need pills. (Hooray for pills!) 

So by all means, shut off your phone if you think it is hurting you. But you'd better do something else to change your life too. Because just like Social Media isn't the only cause of all your problems, avoiding it is not the only solution. 

It is only one piece of the puzzle. 

And no, I do not work for Facebook.

And no, there is nothing good or useful about Candy Crush.


  1. I hear what you're saying. I agree with the article's first point - that desire for INPUT OMG MUST CHECK EMAIL AND FACEBOOK AND EVERYTHING. It got to the point where I would wake up, and in bed check messages/social media. How I started dealing with it this month - I made a personal rule that on work days, I'm not permitted to go online until I walk out the door for work or am ready to walk out the door. If I do, I pay my friend $2. So far, thankfully, I've not paid her.

    I realized I needed a social media diet. Not a fast, but a diet. I use social media to help connect with my readers, to share in the BJJ community and to connect with friends. However, I also realized what a time sink it is. And that's where, for me, mindfulness comes into play. I started doing mindful meditation and that AWARENESS was important.

    I am thankful I never did Candy Crush. I did, however, delete all the crappy Facebook games and Angry Birds apps over a year ago. Whew.


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