To Facebook or Not to Facebook?

I have been “fasting” from Facebook for lent since last Wednesday. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter in which Christians reflect on the sacrifices Jesus made.

Why 40 days? 40 is an important number biblically. Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, the Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years, and there are more but that’s not the point of this.

Social media is not good for mental health, especially OCD and anxiety disorders. I recommend you give this short podcast episode a listen and hear what Robert James has to say on the matter: Robert James OCD and Anxiety Podcast

He explains that social media has a negative effect on focus as one of his points, and I do certainly agree. I certainly lack focus much of the time and, hope with this month left that I can improve my focus.

Even though I do not post on Facebook often, I found myself checking it throughout the day to see the activity going on. Did anyone like my comment to someone else’s post? Did anyone like the art I shared? Anything at all happening I need to be aware of?

The first day was tough, especially because I did not think to turn off notifications and bam, first thing in the morning someone mentioned me in a comment. After I wised up and silenced my notifications, things went a bit easier. I’ve almost forgotten about the silly social media app. Almost.

I really like to use Facebook to share my art, to either get feedback for help or to show it off for positive reinforcement. That’s been a great struggle, not being able to get advice on pieces I’m working on.

I tried the avenue of asking my mother about one of my paintings I was feeling iffy about.

Big mistake. She started off stating it was weird and then asked if I was lacking inspiration. When I explained I was just unsure of what to do with it (next steps), she told me I should paint over it or give it to my son to paint on.

Ouch. Not kind or constructive criticism in the slightest.

This is why I did utilize Facebook rather than my mother, who is a working artist. This fact has forced me to make decisions to make drastic changes to my pieces that perhaps I would not otherwise have done.

Is that a good thing? Eh, so far no. But I could be creating the next Mona Lisa and we will never know it – till I’m dead of course. But I’m stepping outside my comfort zone and doing the unexpected.

If it’s weird and uninspired to begin with, how much worse can it get, am I right?

In all fairness, it was a slight bit unusual. I really just needed someone to point out the positive features to develop and then tactfully point out anything negative I needed to get rid of. But that’s not my mom.

Next time I’ll call her out on her unkind feedback, and non-constructive criticism. This time my feelings were too hurt and I figured there was no point, she’s not going to change her ways after over 60 plus years being how she is.

Will the lack of anyone to get feedback from, drive me back to Facebook? I had been considering just giving it up and occasionally checking on my friends and family every now and then.

The problem lies with every single online art class has a “private Facebook group”. And I own a lot of online classes, as unfortunately I have a hard time controlling this obsession (mindful practice!).

For now I’m doing well. This has been a goodish week for my OCD, sans Facebook. Less ruminating and less compulsions, with my scrupulosity not yet flaring during this normally triggering time (Easter) for me. A full 40 days will be a good tell though.

To Facebook or not to Facebook? That is the question in the year 2022.

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