Earlier this week, I was trading emails with my sister, and she mentioned that she gave up Facebook for Lent. "I had to," she said. "I think it makes me depressed."
Man, I know exactly what she means. I don't know what it is about Facebook, but often it feels like the medium emboldens folks to say things to each other that they might not actually say in person.
Isn't it strange? All of this social media, ostensibly designed to help us connect, also has the power to drive us apart.
I've mentioned this before, but I am vicious when it comes to limiting what I read online, restricting what I read on social media sites to primarily funny, positive, uplifting or informative. I'm a firm believer that "I am what I ingest," and that includes what I read and watch. It's important for my own health.
That said, as I look around, I feel at some point like it became inappropriate to turn it off: that for some weird reason, because of some misguided definition of "freedom of speech" maybe, we feel like we're required to read the vitriol or anger that shows up on our social media streams. I think this is highly unfortunate. So I was really happy when my sister told me that she was taking care of herself for the next month or so.
And so I thought I'd just remind you that like your front door, you have the power to open your social media sites up and let people in, but also, you can close them to keep yourself safe. (And by the way, pro tip: for those people whose Facebook updates always harsh your mellow, you can "unfollow" them without "unfriending" them -- just go to their profile page, and click the button on the bottom right of their background photo that says "following." Their updates will no longer show up in your stream unless they tag you directly, and they won't know that you've unfollowed them. It might seem harsh, but honestly? I don't think it is. In fact, it might be the best thing you can do for your in-real-life friendship.)
Take care of yourselves, friends.