Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Power of Choices

Some of us are not aware of the impact of our choices.
Our lives are made up largely of the results that come about due to the choices that we make.  Every day we make choices of how to spend our time.  We decide what to do, what to put in our bodies, what to feed our minds, where to go, and how we will progress as individuals.  Some of the choices we make better our lives greatly while other decisions seem to have little impact.  Yet, some of the choices we make set us back in life.  Some are catastrophic.  While an individual choice may seem to play a very minor part in life, the reality is that even a small choice can cascade into something great or terrible over time.

You have a choice whether or not to be on Facebook

You may have come to the conclusion that you need Facebook.  Perhaps you signed up without thinking just because you saw everyone else was doing it.  Maybe the Facebook App came installed on your phone and you figured "why not?"  Perhaps you were told by friends and family that you needed to join.  Maybe you saw that most businesses seem to want you to be on Facebook.  Maybe you feel it is the only way that you can advertise your own business or enter into various contests and giveaways.  The truth is, however, that you do not need to be on Facebook.  While it may seem absurd at first, the reality is that Facebook is an option, and one that you should not feel compelled to accept.  There are a host of reasons why you should consider not being on Facebook.  These include:
Sadly, many people live their life as if they do not have choices.  I have known people who go through life in this manner and they are often quite miserable.  Living life with the idea that you do not have a choice in anything results in depression.  However, many people who live this type of life seem unaware that they have a choice in what they do and how they spend their time.  It baffles many to find out that they have are free to choose how they live their life and that their life is the result of the choices that they make.  In fact, many would rather blame 'the system' or outside sources for the life that they have. I have found that many of these people are the type that are quick to be on Facebook and thrive on the site.

Where have your choices led you?
Facebook seems to hold power over the people who believe that they are powerless in the world.  It is their sounding board; a way for them to lament their lives to the world and, when things are going good, brag like a banshee.  If you are still on Facebook you are probably well aware of their type.  They are the ones who often are updating their Facebook profile by the hour.  In fact, these people oftentimes seem to be living their lives through Facebook, because they believe that they have no choice in how to live and where to spend their time.

You have to realize that you do have a choice whether or not you are on Facebook.  It is important to accept that fact and stand firm, realizing that you will not be bullied in making a decision.  Sadly, the reality is that the media, family, friends, and corporations are vested with an interest in getting you to sign up to Facebook.  If you are not on Facebook you might fear that you will be considered devious or a sociopath.  Don't give into that fear!  It is your life and nobody else's.  You have a choice.

I realized, long ago, that my life always turned out for the better when I thought about the choices I made and it always stagnated or worsened when I lived without making conscious choices.  Although I have received backlash for not being on Facebook, I realized that not being on Facebook was one of the best choices I have ever made.  I am not telling you that you can not be on Facebook.  To the contrary, that choice is up to you.  Instead, my aim is to provide the reader a contrary view about Facebook.   A view that the media is not as interested in sharing.  A view that Facebook does not want you to know.  A view that Facebook is not required nor is it even close to optimal for a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Leaving Facebook

Do something this year to improve your life
by leaps and bounds -- leave Facebook!
With the new year approaching, many people take the opportunity to make a New Year's resolution. Recently you may have heard that multiple Facebook account passwords have been stolen (source).   Now is an excellent time to make a resolution to leave Facebook.

Take a look back at the last year and ask yourself the following questions.  Be honest with yourself and take some time to think through them.
1.  How much have you used Facebook last year?
2.  Have you got tired of the constant bragging and arguing that takes place on Facebook?
3.  Do you feel good about yourself when you log off Facebook?
4.  Are your family members and friends using Facebook constantly?
5.  Are you tired of how people will only talk to you and contact you via Facebook?
6.  Has Facebook usage caused to you forgo other opportunities and goals in your life?
7.  What do you see yourself doing with the time you would have otherwise spent on Facebook?
8.  Is Facebook really that exciting to you now, or is it more of a habit?
9.  Do you use Facebook while ignoring the people around you?  Are you missing out on your children and families growing older?
If you are honest with how you answer these questions, you may find that Facebook is not quite as great as many claim.  In fact, there are many people who outright state that they do not miss Facebook after leaving it.  As crazy as it may sound, many people are actually quite happy with their decision to leave Facebook!

It has already been established that Facebook is addicting.  Like many things that are addicting, it is hard and even sometimes scary for some to contemplate leaving their Facebook addiction behind.  Many people fear that they will be chastised for leaving, ignored, or that their lives will be empty.  Many people claim that they feel that they will not know what is going on in the world if they don't have Facebook.

First, if you are chastised for leaving Facebook, you should stand strong and tell people that it is your decision whether or not you are on Facebook.  There is nothing wrong with you for not being on the site. If you feel the need, tell others why you left and why you are not going back.  Be firm.  When people ask me why I am not on Facebook I tell them exactly why.  When people tell me that I need to join Facebook I tell them that will never happen.  They may not like it, but it's my life.

Many people will want you to be on Facebook because they want to see what you are doing.  Many enjoy the idea that they are being watched and seen.  However, there is something to say about being a private person and living your own life; being away from the constant drama and bragging that Facebook is rife with.

Has the novelty of Facebook disappeared for you?
If you feel that you will be ignored by some when you leave Facebook, that is not your loss.  The people that really do care for you will contact you still.  Those who don't probably will not.  At first, when I left, I felt somewhat angry that many people did not contact me or seem to care at all about my life.  However, over time I realized that I was not losing out by not being contacted by others.  If Facebook had never been invented (which would have been great), I would not have been contacted by many of the people who I knew on the site.

Over the years, when I was on Facebook, I found that the longer I was on the site, the less certain people conversed with me.  They were content with me being on their friend's list, and I was content merely being on theirs.  This is when I started to wonder if Facebook was really social or if the often touted social aspect of Facebook was merely imaginary.  Over time I started to realize, seeing all the fighting, arguing, boasting, and time spent on the site, that Facebook was actually quite (a)social.  That's right -- I learned that Facebook is not really social at all!  It's merely a gimmick to get people to sign up.  I realized that being connected does not mean being social, and being connected with everyone is not always a good thing.

Is Facebook really exciting for you now?

When I first signed up for Facebook it was very exciting to see the people who I knew long ago but had lost contact with.  For months I would sign in and see what they were doing.  However, Facebook started to lose that novelty.  Over time, I tried to rekindle that excitement, but alas, it was long gone.  When I read the things that many people were saying and took notice of the time that I spent on the site, I started to wonder if my usage of Facebook was more toxic than beneficial.  When I left Facebook and noticed my life improving by leaps and bounds, I realized that Facebook was not something I wanted to be a part of.  When I took notice of the people who were still on Facebook and letting their lives fall apart, it established to me that I had no reason to return to Facebook.

Every day I see people who complain about their lives and complain about having too little time, but spend hours a day on Facebook.  Many of these people want sympathy and go on Facebook to get it.  Instead of spending all that time on Facebook, they should get off the website and start to put their lives back together.  It is amazing what one can accomplish in a day if they create goals and work to achieve them.  The satisfaction one gets from achieving a goal is far greater than the satisfaction one gets from wasting hours and days on Facebook.

This year try leaving Facebook and other (a)social websites and create a better life for yourself.  You are not going to be able to lose weight, do well in school, achieve success in business, or better yourself while you are glued to Facebook.  Take some time off Facebook and take note of how your life improves.  Take note of others who are on Facebook and refuse to leave.  Ask yourself: do I really want to return to that way of life?  Do I really miss being on the site that is just a big internet sounding board?  Just because the media tells you that you need to be on Facebook (usually due to a pecuinary interest that they have in the site), the truth is, you do not.  You only live once, why live it on Facebook?

Have you given any thought to leaving Facebook?  If so, share your experiences in the comment field, or e-mail

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Multiple Accounts on Facebook

Are you living a fantasy with multiple Facebook accounts?
Being back near my family I have seen a lot more of Facebook than I have ever wanted to see.  Daily I am shown or told what others say or do on Facebook.  Recently I mentioned that one of my wife's sisters stated "when you have the baby you have to be on Facebook."  While there is no way that is going to happen, the reality is, Facebook is showing its ugly face everywhere, and many are having a heck of a time staying away from it.

The problem seems to go deeper, however, than just having a Facebook account.  In fact, many of my family members have at least two accounts that they keep active.  I was blown away when I found out that a couple of friends both have two different Facebook accounts that they keep current.  One is their 'real self' and the other is an 'imaginary self.'  The question that I immediately have is: isn't pretty much every account on Facebook imaginary?  Why do you have two accounts?

The amount of time that one spends on just one Facebook account is depressing enough.  Spending time babysitting multiple Facebook accounts is just jaw dropping.  What kind of life are you living in the outside world?  It is no wonder that I am seeing that many people who live on Facebook are depressed with their regular lives.  Fooling themselves and others on Facebook into believing that their life is perfect may give them some solace, but they will never climb out of the slump that their life is in if they live each and every day on Facebook.

My wife's mother signs into Facebook once a day and when she does, the sister who said that we need to be on Facebook always messages her.  She is always on Facebook.  Facebook has become her world and she tells everything about her life, her thoughts, her political and religious views, her children's achievements, her angers, woes, and her love life on Facebook.  Her life is lived through Facebook.  In fact, she barely even exists outside of the site.  It is as if Facebook opened its ugly mouth and swallowed her whole.  And she loves it.  When I tell her that I am not on Facebook she seems perplexed and even angry that I am not on the site.  I honestly believe that if Facebook went down it would kill her.

If you have multiple accounts on Facebook, you may want to take a step back and ask yourself if you are really happy with spending that much time on a website.  People who have multiple accounts will tell me that they are not addicted to the site.  Then why then do they spend hours a day on it?  There are certain individuals who are going through hard times in life and they wonder why they can't climb out of it.  They think that somehow life will magically change for them.  While they are on their Facebook accounts, they believe that the universe is just going to change their lives.  They are in for a rude awakening.  Your life will likely never change if you are doing nothing to change it.  If you are spending hour after hour on multiple Facebook accounts you are not going to progress in your real life.  How one can believe that they can move forward while they're stagnating on Facebook baffles me.  

What are you missing by being on Facebook?
Sadly, it is incredibly hard to reach people who are glued to Facebook.  Many refuse to believe that they are wasting their lives.  People believe that Facebook is a requirement for living.  People believe that they are missing out by not tapping in to Facebook for hours a day.  Facebook sucks so many people in and in the end, most of it is a waste.  Instead of being connected with others you are instead disconnected from the people who are around you.  Many people tell me that Facebook has helped them connect to people far away.  Yet, the same people tend to ignore their children and spouses while they are glued to the site.  It's great that you can talk to your uncle in Germany, but what about your child who you are ignoring while you spy on your ex-boyfriend?

In the end, few people can tell me that they are not losing more than they are gaining by being on Facebook.  Stagnating lives, jealousy, time wasted, goals unmet, time missed with family and friends, personal growth are just a few of the things that you are probably losing if you are on Facebook.  There is no better time to leave Facebook than now.  Consider a detox.  Once you stay away long enough you will see that you don't miss it.  If you care at all about your life, there is no reason to waste it on (a)social media.  

Do you or someone you know have a problem keeping multiple Facebook accounts?  Do you want to leave Facebook?  Are you sick of the world's obsession with Facebook?  If so, please comment below.