I mindfully chose a weekend when I would be alone. My partner would be away for the majority of my self-imposed Facebook blackout and I could experience aloneness and embrace some of that emptiness. What I found was extremely interesting! Here is what I learned:
I love gardening. Spending time in the garden was extremely productive. From picking weeds, to adding coo poo to the soil and watching the massive earthworms doing their thing amongst the freshly dug soil is amazingly entertaining and purposeful. Gardening is such a meditative task I encourage everyone to down their tablets, phones and switch off the PC and get outside. Gardens ultimately can be a way to beat the government budget doldrums. Wait for my next project I am incubating on Local Home Grown Exchange.
Time with my pets entertain me more than any piece of technology. Watching and learning from animals is definitely something I have always done. This weekend enforced the lessons I have been shown from the animals surrounding me. More than this I was able to laugh, shake my head, shed a tear and feel all the emotions one gets from watching a damn good movie. Lessening the time spent on Facebook will provide me with more time in future to learn from animals in nature and the animals I nurture.
It takes me under 2 hours to thoroughly clean my house. Cleaning is an ongoing task. It is always there and it never seems to go away. Dang those cleaning fairies for not visiting or being on strike or whatever the heck they do because they don’t clean my place. When distracted cleaning takes me twice as long. Facebook is clearly a distraction!
I am an awesome (and experimental) cook. Feeling my time in the kitchen was very rewarding. I was able to experiment with a few dishes I have never done before with some pretty amazing results. There was time to plan, shop and cook a few little pearlers which I was able to share with a friend a little later that evening. I will still be eating them in days to come but it was time well spent playing. Next time I might plan on some healthier recipes however it was lots of fun and I was able to revisit some childhood memories.
Television is just as overrated as Facebook. At times during my 48 hours without Facebook I found myself reaching for the remote control. Thankfully only to find info-commercials, “doom and gloom” news stories and programs I could not understand. Immediately I recognised channelling flicking as a timewaster. Facebook would have to be up there with channel flicking.
The emptiness I have been experiencing is not truly empty. The answer to this lies in a myriad of thought processes. Some of them spanning longer more than the 48 hours of Facebook blackout. In fact even longer than the previous week leading up to my time without logging onto Facebook. If I was to describe this statement briefly it would have to be regarding attachment. In essence the emptiness I have felt has been a longing for being something, for doing something and for receiving something. We are never truly empty because we alone fill our own cup. We are never alone when we connect with our inner truth. We are always being, doing and receiving when we connect to our authentic self. In quiet times, without the distraction, without another’s busyness we are able to connect. In a few short hours I felt this strongly.
Overall my time without Facebook has meant I have been more productive, more imaginative, more efficient and far more mindful of how my time is spent. I believe in future my time will be limited on social media such as Facebook AND I would love to experiment with longer time away from time wasting technology.
This exercise could be done with anything. Its a matter of becoming mindful of what you are spending your time doing and why you are doing what you are doing? For me I believe I was using Facebook to fill a sensation of emptiness. I am now going to be paying closer attention to everything I do and check in my reasons for continuing to do it.
Other resolutions I am setting are to communicate with my friends, family and clients in person as much as possible, spend less time scanning Facebook throughout the day and set a specific time for logging onto social media every couple of days rather than when I seek to fill my time.
I encourage everyone to try at least 48 hours without Facebook and see what you experience from the exercise. Get outside, get into the garden, play with your children, spend quality time doing something you love just put the time wasting devices aside, log out of Facebook and start to become mindful how you spend your time. Please feel free to share it with me. I would love to hear how you went. If you prefer not to use Facebook then email me.