The Facebook Revelation

Okay, I remembered what it was that I forgot during yesterday's post. Kinda glad I momentarily forgot it because it deserves it's own post. I need to get better about separating what I write about and try and stick with themes so my posts don't turn into tangled messes like it was yesterday. Anyway...

For the month of May I've banned myself from Facebook. Taken it off my phone, off my bookmark tab, cut it out of my internet routine entirely. Big whoop-di-doo right? Yeah I know, sounds super silly.

My problem with Facebook is that I'm a very compulsive person and Facebook presents all this seemingly important information on the people I know, events going on in my area that it thinks I should care about and gives me an opportunity to broadcast my mental goings on. It's a very dangerous time sink for me. The thought will cross my mind, "hmmm...I wonder what's going on in facebook-land?" and I'll check. Of course, 9.8 times out of 10, it's clutter, something I didn't need to know or don't care about. Sometimes there will be an interesting TEDTalk posted, or a friend invites me to an event I'm interested in, or an update really catches my attention. But usually it's just mental clutter, extraneous information that I'd be better without.

Furthermore, my compulsion was turning into an OCD. Five minutes would go by and I'd wonder "Hmm...I wonder what's going on in facebook-land?" Guess what...nothing new! But I'd check anyway, multiple times a day, just because I could. My new phone didn't help either. Running Android and rocking all the applications that go with it ment I had easy access to unlimited distractions right in my pocket. I was taking pictures and uploading them from my phone, updating on the go and reading people's statuses anywhere I had signal. Although I'm making a bigger deal out of it here than it probably was, but my compulsions were starting to bother me.

So when my friend Alex challenged his friends to give up Facebook for the month of May, I took him up on it. So far, I can say that I haven't missed much. The people that matter to me know my number so we've kept in touch as much as we needed that way. I've had time with fewer distractions to do more things that do matter to me, like planning my trip, getting ready for graduation, taking dance classes and getting back into the studio (after I cleaned it, go me!). My productive time has felt less segmented and my attention span has improved. yes the impulse to check is still there, but it's going away. The extra information that I didn't realize I didn't actually care about isn't getting in the way of things I do care about. It's kinda spiffy.

So while none of this is probably new to anyone else, it's interesting to me. Some people use Facebook religiously, some people can't imagine life without Facebook even though a few short years ago (which is like dog years in technology) we didn't have Facebook, it wasn't a mass marketing tool and we weren't delusional enough to think that what we had for breakfast is really all that interesting to the 200+ people we call "Friends".

They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, I wonder how long it takes to break oneself of one like this. Come June I'm hoping that I'll be broken of this obsessive curiosity and stick to this limited intake of social information. I'm also hoping that my social calendar gets a little more under control and I make more time for myself. We'll see.

The New Year: Some Goals for 2010

I hate the idea of making New Years Resolutions. The stat that I found said that 78% of people who make New Years Resolutions fail to follow through with them. The quarter that do, use tools like journaling their progress, asking their friends for support, rewarding milestones and focusing on all the benefits of achieving their goals. (Resource Link) But regardless, the idea of making goals for the upcoming year is very appealing. A new year feels like a fresh start, the chance to make changes for the betterment of your life.

With that in mind, I have made goals for this year. And I'm asking any readers I have out there for help and support. Comments, ideas, recommendations and whatever else you feel like offering, heck, just showing me numbers on Google Analytics is enough to make me happy. :p

The First goal is to start doing a drawing a day. A concept made known to me by a lovely blogger named Daisy. I attempted this last year and made it about 30 days in before I let life get the better of me. I'm hoping that by making it slightly more official, making daily updates here and getting feedback from readers, I will start making art more a part of my daily life. Currently, I'm working on covering up a journal I wrote in a year or so ago, some therapy for covering up past demons. The journal itself is beautiful with a deep dark blue slip cover and heavy cold-pressed watercolor paper. It was a joy to write in but now I think I can make something more beautiful out of it.

See! Darn Purdy!

Some Extra Credit, pages I did about a month ago:

This is the one I did today:

The Second goal is to follow the concepts in the book I'm reading at the moment called "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz (full book review to come when I finish it). I think Ruiz makes very valid points in this book, providing ways to destress and improve your own life, creating your own heaven. The four agreements you choose to make with yourself are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don't take anything personally
  3. Don't make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

Sounds so simple when it's just those four ideas written on paper but already today I have felt myself stress out about things I took personally and I made assumptions that put someone in a negative light (I asked for clarity and my assumption was wrong, I felt silly, but was really glad I made the effort to get clarification.) If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

Third big goal is to reconnect, get together with friends more often and build stronger friendships based on trust and good experiences. I lost touch with a lot of people over the course of the years I've been in college and it's proven to be a great disservice to me.

And last but not least, the Fourth goal is to really start working on my career. I start my new job on Monday and it's going to be amazing. The doors that it will open and the experience I will gain will be limitless. It's time to put all that hard work done at MCAD to work and start building on it.

Life is good... very good. I'm blessed with a close family that's helped me through a lot of hard times and a core group of friends that has stuck by me, I also met some amazing people last year that have welcomed me into their lives with so much joy. 2009 was a really hard year that taught me a lot about myself. I am determined to grow more this year and learn more about what I'm capable of achieving.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2010 bring you great happiness and success in all your endeavors!