I have a number of spiritual practices I do every morning to start my day off right. I write in my journal. I read a passage in a book of meditations for women. I will occasionally read some tarot cards. These practices make me feel good and, after I say “thank you” for the messages I received, I go about my day. However, today I was hit with an a-ha moment. I realized I have another morning and night practice. I check my Facebook page.
Watching myself for the past week, I realized a significant shift in how I felt after my spiritual practices if I picked up my phone and checked my Facebook page. I realized anything I uncovered through my other positive practices was significantly dulled if not replaced by other feelings. I was sucked into doubt, fear, anxiety, or elation, joy, and motivation—entirely based upon whatever people decided to share that day.
This led me to the question: Is staring at Facebook negative meditation?
If I am spending each morning and night, ritualistically looking at other people’s walls, scanning my news feed, and reviewing my past posts, am I essentially meditating? Am I opening a channel and receiving random messages?
In meditation, we quiet our minds and we open ourselves up to a message. We hope in this practice that the messages we receive will be beneficial to our lives. I meditate in a number of ways, depending on how I feel. I read a passage and reflect. I listen to music, quiet my mind, and listen for the message. Or, I will just sit on the shores of Lake Tahoe and listen to the sounds of nature.
The issue with Facebook (or any social media site for that matter) is it is a dumping ground for all emotions, all points of view, all reactions, and all personalities. Opening my feed now, I see happy family photos, throwback pictures, updates on personal tragedy, and emotionally-charged political rants. That’s just the first few posts I see in my news feed. It’s funny they call it a news feed because I “feed” off of these emotionally and take action accordingly. I contact friends. I feel happy, sad, hurt, proud, or inspired by what I see. I apply things to my life.
The a-ha moment came when I realized that anything I uncovered through my other practices was significantly dulled if not replaced by other feelings. Today, I have decided to test the assumption that Facebook is negative meditation for me and is a subtraction, rather than an addition, to my routine.
For one week, starting today, I am not going to open Facebook in the morning or at night before I go to bed. I am going to let my spiritual practices stand alone and monitor the effects on my life and business.
I’ll let you know how it goes.