Browsing Tag


Self Worth

Facebook Free Life

November 2015

Has Facebook become yet another addiction like TV?  Could you go a week without logging in?  Or even longer?  If not, why not…?

If you have read my previous blog on a Media Free Diet you will know that I very rarely watch the news or expose myself to anything in main stream media and the reasons why I have made this choice.  Click here to read.

Recently after yet another major negative event that the media cleverly provoked emotions and a frenzy of opinions I began to realise that Facebook was becoming another platform for this negative influence on me.  I don’t have to watch the news as I only need scroll through my Facebook feed to find out what is going on and worse that we are even more influenced by the media that we now feel the need to voice our opinion on hot topics that the media have chosen to sensationalise to attract viewers.  Aren’t we just regurgitating the opinion of the media?  There are always two sides to every story; do we ever research other aspects of the story before voicing our view?  Or are we just believing that A Current Affair is reporting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth....? And where does this incredible need to voice our opinion so publicly come from?  Just because we have this forum doesn't mean we have to wade into the debate of the day?  I think another one of my blogs on why insecurities are so loud would be appropriate to mention here.  Click here to read.

Unlike my divorce from main stream media I made a conscious decision that I would stop voicing my own misguided opinion, stop posting on Facebook,  and I even took it one step further and stopped logging in unless answering private messages.   I grew up in an age with no mobile phones, no Google, no internet and certainly no Facebook.   I used to ride my bike to my friends place to catch up or pick up the phone to actually speak to my friends.   How have we slipped into this virtual relationship with all our friends and family?  Am I just getting old?  Are these old fashioned values gone forever?

“Heavy Facebook use has been known to cause anxiety, depression, narcissism, sleeping problems and even stomach aches” Dr Larry Rosen has done numerous studies and has written extensively on this topic.  More here.

Just like giving up main stream media I had no idea the impact that social media was having on me until I removed it from my life.  And the personal growth and time I have discovered since has truly transformed my life!

Here is what I have learned from my Facebook free life:

  1. Time and Space.  The universe loves space; it creates a vacuum to be filled and depending on where you are in your journey of personal growth you will find inspiration of how to fill in this time.  Hopefully not with TV….  but spend that hour a day you used to spend on Facebook in the real world.  Read a book.  Talk to a friend.  Play with your pet.  Go for a walk.  Bake a cake. Cook a gourmet meal.  Volunteer.  Find a new hobby.  Enrol in a short course.  Study.  Join a Meetup group and make new friends. Make a list of your goals and work towards them.  I realise that many use their commute to log into Facebook but even this time can be used more productively cant it?  Listen to a podcast, listen to an inspirational speaker, read a book?  For me I was led to further my knowledge and education on a subject that I have been ignoring for too long; a whole new world and future has opened up for me and I am so excited!
  2. True Friends. We seem to have created more online friends than real life friends.  Are we all caught up in some virtual game?  Maybe I am showing my age here but surely talking with, meeting up with, seeing in the flesh friends are more valuable than people who only comment on your photo of your breakfast or your latest check in?  Your true friends will make time for you outside Facebook and won’t rely on status updates to find out about your life.  Why do we put these virtual friends before the true friends in our life?
  3. Sense of Self.  Facebook can have a huge impact on your self-esteem if you are reliant on ‘likes’ and comments to your posts.  And worse Facebook only rewards you with more visibility for your posts depending on the number of likes you get!  Did you know that on a business Facebook page hardly any fans see the posts unless there are ‘likes’ and comments?  Otherwise you have to pay for your post to be seen!  So it’s no wonder we base our sense of self or popularity on how many likes we get.  Isn’t this constantly seeking approval from others?  Doesn’t this promote constant competition? And why is it some people keep re-posting their popular photos of themselves so we see it again and they can receive a new round of ‘likes’ and comments; do they need constant re-enforcement from the same photo?   I tell you I am very glad I grew up without Facebook; so much additional pressure for teenagers!  To look good, to have the latest fashion, to be slim….  Give up the need to participate in the self-promotion rat race, focus on yourself and stop comparing yourself to everyone in your news feed.
  4. Sense of Calm.  The quieter you become, the more you can hear…  We spend a tremendous amount of time distracting ourselves from ourselves.  The TV or radio is always on and then we log into Facebook to further distract ourselves.  But aren’t we distracting ourselves from our own life?  Is our own life so boring or not worth our attention that we need to escape into a virtual world?  It is amazing what inspiration comes to mind when you allow silence to become a part of your life.  If you are constantly distracted how will you come up with that great new idea? There is so much noise out there when you choose to limit the amount of influence it has on you and put your peace of mind ahead of keeping updated on what so and so did for the weekend your life will become calmer, more peaceful and less stressful!
  5. Let go of the Past.  Facebook can be a terrific tool to connect with long, lost friends and to stay connected to friends and family all over the world.  However we all have skeletons in the closet; ask yourself what good it does you to say connected to people that have had a negative impact on your or your life.  How do you feel when you see something in your news feed from “that” old boy/girlfriend?  Do we really need to carry around 1,000 odd friends with us for the rest of our lives?  How many people on your friends list do you really want to still be friends with?  I have no problems in defriending those that I don’t feel enrich my life in a positive way.  Life is always changing, we are always changing and growing.  Nothing stands still.  Let go of the past and focus on the present!

There is no doubt that Facebook is a wonderful tool for staying connected and sharing news and photos easily.  And if you are active on pages that provide positive and motivational quotes and inspiration it can certainly be a good influence.  There can be positives however in an age where low self-esteem is rampant and we struggle with time to cook good food and exercise….  Ask yourself if anything I have written in this blog has provoked some emotion in you?  And why that is. Leave me a comment below.

"Do not let another day go by where your dedication to other people's opinion is greater than your dedication to your own emotions! Journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others."

Dr Steve Maraboli

Nourish your Mind

Media Free Diet

February 2015

I don’t think I realised the influence of the media on my attitude, thoughts, mood, opinion, time, health and spending until I eliminated it from the majority of my life.   I didn’t make a snap decision, in fact I don’t think I ever made a conscious decision, it has happened organically over time due to lifestyle changes and the pursuit of my passion and dreams.  And as I have travelled along this journey of self-discovery I have discovered more people who have made this change and they would all recommend this simple adjustment to your time to have a massive impact on your life and on those around you.

Lets consider a few negative aspects of the media:

Health – there are numerous studies that draw direct parallels with obesity, poor eating habits and watching TV.  We have all sat their mindlessly eating while watching and low and behold the whole packet has gone!  And how about, there is no time to cook a healthy meal because my favourite show starts in 10 mins….

Distraction – it distracts us from real people.  Have you been chatting to a friend on the phone only to realise your favourite show is about to start and so excuse yourself….?  So many characters on TV are not real and yet they have been very cleverly designed to be more interesting than talking to your friends and family?  It also distracts you from yourself.  My neighbour, as soon as she walks through the door the TV goes on (sadly I can hear all of this!)  TV is an escape but aren’t you escaping from yourself and your life?

Spending – corporations spend millions on advertising through all forms of the media not on the hope that they will influence your spending, they know they will!  And the advertising campaigns twist facts so far from the truth…  and sadly we believe them!

Satisfaction – according to studies those that watch TV every night report less satisfaction with life, higher materialistic aspirations and more anxiety.  And where do you think we get our ideas of what a beautiful woman looks like?!  We are constantly comparing ourselves to people in the media instead of focusing on ourselves and our life.

Intimacy – couples who have a TV in the bedroom have sex half as often as those who don’t…

Sensationalism – the media is a business, big business!  Just the same as advertising campaigns, stories on the news and current affairs are dramatized to suck you in.  “Cant miss episode”  “Show of the year”  They play on your fear of missing out!  Added to that the facts are twisted and manipulated in order to grab your attention and make you watch their channel; why is it we believe whatever we are told by A Current Affair without doing our own research? 

Depression – has been my constant companion all my life.  Why would I expose myself to all the negative news and make myself feel worse?  Do you really need to know about the old lady who was bashed and robbed?  As sad as it is, hearing about it is not only depressing in installs fear.  Its no coincidence that when the media air a story about the latest flu epidemic that all of a sudden doctors and hospitals are flooded with new patients.  And it is no coincidence that the Paris hostage situation occurred so soon after Martin Place….  We are all connected by energy and if you tap into that negative energy… 

I haven’t watched main stream television for over 10 years.  I have not watched the news for even longer.  Have I missed out on anything earth shattering?  No.  I hear about dramatic, world changing events in my Facebook news feed!!  I couldn’t possibly train to the level I do, cook and prepare my food, get enough sleep, work, do household chores and study if I was tied to the TV schedule.  Any left over time is for my friends!

So if you agree with the negative impact the media plays in your life how do you go about changing your lifestyle…  Here are my top tips:

  1. Be intentional about filling in the time – have a family meal where you actually talk to each other, take the time to cook a gourmet meal, go for a walk, take a class, talk to a friend! go to the gym, find a new hobby, read, study; create positive habits that contribute to your development and the pursuit of your dreams.
  2. Less is more – you don’t have to eliminate all TV!  I am not suggesting a complete black out.  Be selective of the shows you watch and watch only those shows; try and make them educational. If you find yourself surfing and looking for something to watch it is time to find a new hobby!
  3. Reduce the number of TVs – when I grew up we had one TV (and only 4 channels!)  Now it seems normal to have 3 or 4!  Why?
  4. Go it alone – maybe who you live with may not be supportive.  So start developing your own new habits, be the change you want to see in your family and when they see the exciting new life you are creating for yourself they will be more inclined to change.
  5. It will get easier – like any habit the more you do it the easier it gets.  And when you start filling in the time with more meaning, life will become more meaningful.

Change is hard.  But some changes have a greater benefit and impact on all areas of your life than others.  Watching less television and switching off from the media in general just may be your quickest shortcut to a healthier, more relaxed way of living.  And all it takes is to pick up the remote and hit the off button 🙂