Facebook: Torment, Time-waster or Spiritual Practice?

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in All-One, Practices, Veil Sale | 4 comments

Facebook:  Torment, Time-waster or Spiritual Practice?

A little over 10 years ago, none of us had even heard of Facebook, let alone imagined how it would come to impact our daily lives.  My first introduction to Facebook was through my daughter Savannah who began her freshman year at CCA in Oakland, California in the Fall of 2005.  I remember how excited she was about this “cool site for university students to connect”.  I have no idea who told her about it or invited her to join but to say Facebook has caught on like wildfire is underselling its impact like saying Hurricane Katrina got a few people a little wet.  Weirdly Facebook and Katrina are linked in my mind because Katrina was unleashing herself the very week we took our daughter to begin her first year of college in  2005.  It was so shocking and catastrophic we included in our many parental instructions an FUP (forming up place……my husband is ex Australian Army) to meet “in case of unexpected catastrophe” and we were all without cell phone use.   Of course in California  this kind of catastrophe was more likely to include earthquake or fire than flood.  My point is, Facebook is really new in history but has completely changed our ability to personally connect on this planet.

I reluctantly joined Facebook when it was finally opened to “anyone and everyone” just to keep tabs on our daughter while she was at college and beyond.  Those of you who have sent your kids off to university, or to join the military or even work on a farm in Thailand know how delicious and peace producing it is to see regular updates, quips and photos of your dear one who is so far away.

Facebook....... can't see the forest for the trees?

Facebook……. can’t see the forest for the trees?

My own first post showed the trepidation I felt in stepping onto what felt like a world stage:

making up my facebook page
is just about as easy as making up my face
except the whole world isn’t watching

——–February 8, 2009

My foray onto Facebook came on the heels of several years of journalling and discovering, quite accidentally, that I was a Poet.  I was beginning to notice that there was a Voice inside me filled with Love and wonder and it wanted to speak.  Somehow, Facebook was part of this process.  As a card carrying “Miss Goodie Two Shoes” I was always very aware of what others felt, needed, thought and said.  Myself……not so much.

Time to go within.

Journalling helps me hear that Voice of Love within.

Not that I am complaining, I am blessed to be surrounded by truly marvelous folks in every way.  I always saw those around me with such tenderness, adoration and love I guess it couldn’t help but be reflected back at me. However, at some point, if you do not notice, revere, care for and listen to your very own self, life will put on quite the performance to get you to finally notice.  The performance my life put on included a broken water pipe, a dying mother, a car accident, and strange scraps of poetry written on receipts, grocery lists and conference notes.  (This led indirectly to my Twelvemonth of Self Love blogging project.)

Believe it or not, when I first began posting on Facebook, I was terrified.  I literally felt like “the world was watching” and that very thought is the one that led me to my first experience of Facebook as spiritual practice.  For one thing, I noticed that it made me feel all gooey to post something.  I also noticed other thoughts:  “Why will anyone care what I post?”, “This feels stupid.”, “My life isn’t interesting enough for me to share in this way.”,  “How the hell do you add a picture???!!!”  “Oooops!” “Whew!  I DID it!!”.  Now, these thoughts were most certainly already present, and my own going within had already begun but now I had an easy access tool to really help me NOTICE my thoughts.

Think back a moment and remember the last time you were on Facebook, of course, some of you are

love the entire song

Imagine extending love to everything you see on Facebook…….that’s a LOT of Love!

actually on Facebook this moment reading my post (thanks for the easy sharing Facebook!), for some of you it might be yesterday, or last week, or for my youngest daughter Madison it might be Christmas (she does Instagram & Snapchat).  Just notice for a moment the feed of thoughts and photos, videos and memes.  In my feed, today are friends’ posts re celebrating birthdays in Italy and England, one friend posted a photo of a new rug, another a heart melt photo of her husband and two year old daughter.  There was a video on how religions begin, a picture of a kitten reminding us that today it is “Cinco de Me-ow”, pics from last night’s “May the Fourth Be With You” party and some political news, views and shenanigans, BNI meetings galore, food pics from a pal in Perth and an early Mother’s Day card from my youngest daughter.  That is a lot of thoughts (and colors of love) all in one place.  In fact it did take me ten minutes to return to writing because how could I not watch the trailer for the Bad Moms movie and the video of the retiring teacher getting all teared up?  Here’s the shift.  I was not wasting time.  I was savoring it.  I was not being tormented by other’s more perfect lives (although my BNI buddy in Miami Dade is making life there look pretty sweet) nor was I thinking “what will I post” or who cares?  It is obvious, we ALL care.  We really do want to connect and notice and savor our lives together.

We love this girl!

We love this girl!

Just recently I had the privilege of spending the day with a long time friend from Australia (daughter of army friends we’ve known for over 35 years) who just happens to have scored, through her gorgeousness and persistence, a plum position at Facebook.  THE Facebook in Menlo Park, CA!  Where they make up all this cools stuff that allows us to connect in the ways that we do online, all over the world.  Our Penny had literally only been in country a matter of weeks and at Facebook only two weeks when we met up but somehow the Facebook team had impressed upon her the deeper mission of Facebook and Mark Zuckerburg to “Connect the World”. Good God man!  You’ve done it!!  The cool thing is that we all are actually already connected at the deeper lever in Love and Life and God but Facebook allows us to see this, to taste it, play with it and even rant against it.  Hearing Penny share the “coolness” of working at Facebook  (the complimentary food, dry cleaning drop off and wellness

i see the light

Look at Facebook as an illuminated manuscript of thoughts…….you can extend love to, every day!

bonus  had our eyes bugging out) and her own connection to their mission I suddenly saw how amazing and precious and incredible this tool of connecting is.

So the next time you get on Facebook, notice your thoughts (delight, tears, annoyance, AHA!, tenderness or boredom), extend love and amazement to them…..or rant and get annoyed.  Your choice. Even if, especially if, you are angered or hurt or annoyed by something you read or see, give thanks for the feelings and thoughts you are having, and notice that without fanfare of church or synagogue, or the weight of a philosophy class, you my friend are simply in the middle of the spiritual practice of noticing…..and giving thanks for your thoughts and the thoughts of your fellow man.  Now, that is pretty much a way we can all practice Love. Noticing, giving thanks, connecting, delighting.  Thanks Mark!

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#facebookspiritualpractice  #facebookpeacepractice #thankyoumarkzuckerburg

 

 

4 Comments

  1. And shit, you need somewhere to put all those photos!!

  2. I guess you’ll have to see my comment on facebook. Ha!
    Love you!!

    • Eva Lisle

      Sending love, thanks & a deep breath, xoxo

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