October 28, 2014

In your Face(book).

Photo: Jason Howie via Flickr

I can’t keep up with things these days.

Whether it is my yoga practice or my parenting skills that fall under the microscope, my ego tells me I am not quite good enough, slim enough, bendy enough, strong enough.

I think I’ve figured out why: I’ve been spending way too much time ingesting other people’s lives on social media.

I will hold my hand up and say, yes, I’ve allowed myself to become slightly obsessed, from the beautiful food posts, to the “must do” yoga practice of the day—the feed of information is never ending.

Whether it is a video on Facebook, a pretty image on Instagram or someone twittering on about top meditation tips, there is literally something that could fill up my every waking moment. It can get a little overwhelming!

I know I sound like a bit of an old cynic. I mean, we’re in the digital age, after all.

Facebook is a part of life, isn’t it?

If we don’t like it, surely we know what to do? Just hit delete. Don’t flick it on. Enjoy a cup of tea and just watch life go by. Remove ourselves from our computers. But it’s not easy, is it? We don’t want to miss out.

A curious part of us wants to stay connected to it all.

At the heart of a busy mind is the need to fill the gap with mindless information, and for me, lately, this has turned out to be very true. As one of the doctors I interviewed recently for an article on stress so beautifully put it:

“We are mind full and not mindful of any moment.”

If there’s a pause in our day, it has become a chance to flick on to Facebook to find out what a far-flung “friend” has been doing, an opportunity to feel just that little bit of inadequacy again by checking out a yogi’s picture perfect pose.

For all the information that might actually be of some use, there’s a million other little, worthless, sometimes even damaging tidbits that are being allowed to worm their way into our subconsciousness.

While social media is a valid and indeed lucrative way of communicating in this day and age, it has become a scarily dominant force in too many of our lives.

I know I am guilty of this! Are you? Remember the days when mobile phones were of brick proportions? When predictive text was confusing and the receipt of a letter was something that filled your day with joy? When a hashtag was a symbol you never used on your keyboard? Heck, remember the time when you just rolled out your yoga mat to the sound of the birds and just went with the flow, without the need to refer to a laptop teacher?

Have we forgotten how to simply be? Are we all in need of a virtual cleanse? I know I certainly am.

So here’s to powering down.

Recapturing the moment through our own eyes instead of our iPhone camera.

Building Legos with our kids without checking our Twitter account.

Penning a little card to a friend and sticking it in the post.

Meditating on our breathe instead of with the help of our iPad app.

Here’s to regaining our own true, “real” space.

That’s the challenge.

Are you up for it?


~  Cheryl Parsons



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Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Jason Howie via Flickr

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Cheryl Parsons