It was a good day. It was a really good day. My husband, our two kids, and I were picnicking at a local park and taking long naps. Smiles were abundant and giggles were flowing like a rapid waterfall.
I take a second to scroll through Facebook on my phone. The general breakfast photos and memes stimulate me well enough, but then I scroll past a pregnancy announcement. A pang of jealousy runs through my body. I hit “like” out of obligation and move on.
Oh, look. An acquaintance of mine and her husband are making out. Something must be seriously wrong in my marriage if we aren’t kissing like that all of the time. Disappointment aches in my heart. Okay right thumb, do your job. Scroll past this post.
And then I freeze. There they are: my friends, tagged at a local venue and photographed laughing. I. Wasn’t. Invited. Sadness seeps out of every pore of my body.
My perfect day is ruined.
How silly of me to fall into this black hole of negative feelings. How silly of me to allow something so insignificant to ruin my day.
And yet I here I am nagging my husband for a third baby, insisting that he change his mind and meet my demands. I’m also yelling at him for not loving me, kissing me, and hugging me as much as he should. Now I’m stalking my friends’ social media profiles to see what other fun activities I’ve been excluded from. I’m even texting them passive aggressive messages to see if they’ll fess up to not extending the invite.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, I am 32, not 12. I’m sorry if I confused you.
Here’s the truth:
My husband and I are firm on our decision to not have a third baby. We are so happy with our two. We are so content. Our hearts and our home are full. I do not want a third baby – not even a little bit. And that’s what Facebook does to you (well to the weak ones like me): It convinces you that her life looks better. She has three kids, so I need three kids.
My husband and I are not affectionate. We just aren’t. We are okay with that. You won’t see us hugging and kissing a lot. It’s just not us. It doesn’t mean we don’t love each other any less than PDA friend B. It just means we just show our love in a different way. We joke a lot. Laughter is as fulfilling as a big ole sloppy kiss – in our household at least. I should not be lashing out at my husband for not kissing me 24/7. No thanks. I don’t need all that jazz.
It turns out my friends were at a winery, day-drinking on a Saturday. Since my husband works on Saturday’s and I am a mom, they knew I wouldn’t be able to join. Heck, I knew I wouldn’t be able to join. How can I be upset for not being invited to an event that I was going to turn down anyway? Oh, Facebook, stop it! You’re turning me into an immature, insecure woman, er, girl.
Friends, what you don’t know won’t kill you.
After some self-reflection, I decided to delete the Facebook app from my phone. I did not delete Facebook altogether – I have to run my business through the interface – but the app was not necessary.
Our phones are glued to our hands, our thumbs are trained to scroll, and our eyes are used to the flicker. If you have the Facebook App on your phone, you no doubt check it every time you grab the device. It’s so easy, right?
Just delete the dang app. You will never go back.
I now pick up my phone to check texts and emails. I consider those two activities to be necessary, plus an email from Old Navy about $2 dresses does not have me rage with jealousy.
I am so happy. I am so incredibly happy. My feelings are my own and are determined by my immediate surroundings, not by the online happenings of my friends. My emotions are now in check and uncomplicated. I am not glued to my phone, staring and scrolling. Ah, what a relief.
I check Facebook when I hop on my computer. I only hop on my computer to work once or twice a day. This is 90 percent less than when I had the App on my phone. If you’re like me –busy and fulfilled by those around you – you only open your laptop when the day has slowed down and things are quiet. Which puts me in a much stronger place emotionally to face the perfect world of Facebook.
That perfect day with my family had me on cloud nine until Facebook spiraled down like a damaging tornado. I do not like tornadoes – they’re scary and unpredictable. I’ll trade a spiraling tornado for cloud nine, any day of the week