Sunday, May 20, 2012

facebook boundaries

pretty much, there are no boundaries on facebook. sure, you can set your privacy settings to the highest or strongest possible. but if your information is out there, people can and will find it. i remember when i first got a facebook account. i was probably 15 or 16. right at the height of my anxiety struggles. i would have literally anxiety attacks before checking it each day. and yes, it was each day, because i also have a little OCD in my. awesome. my throat would tighten, my chest constrict, my breathing would become shallow, and i would hear echos of each person's post ringing through my ears, "got the job - here comes $70,000 a year! : i'm pregnant! : in a relationship :) : guess who's engaged??!! : baby's first step : i love this guy : nominated for prom queen AND WON! : got accepted into yale, standford, and harvard - how do i choose?? : 4.0 all the way baby! : high school class president - thanks for your vote! : : : : "
and on and on and on it went. and of course with each status there were 50 million likes. i on the other hand would think and worry and write/re-write a clever update and get 1 like. talk about sadness.

anyway, all of this came out sounding to me "you will never be as good or as clever or as superb as me. you are not enough."

and so i deactivated my account. a few months after coming home from my church mission, my sister said i needed a fb. i had been thinking about it. i missed the people i had met. i wanted to see how they were doing. and i had vowed that THIS time around i would only friend those people who i actually, truly wanted to friend. not friend them because i felt guilty or had to or any other reason. they had to be my friend in real life to be my friend on fb. so i let her set it up and finally got to the point where i would get on. then -- thanks to my OCD -- it became a pattern. alarm goes off in the morning, check my email, check my fb, and check it throughout the day. i don't know how something so seemingly harmless can be so addicting. did i get any likes? any new friend requests? am i popular?? for crying out loud! i'm not popular in real life - why the hell would i be popular online!! sheesh. anyway. i was brutal in my accepting or sending of friend requests. i stuck to my "friend in real life friend on fb" motto -- until the guilt trip of 2010. i got a message that said, "i thought we were friends but i guess i was wrong" - ouch. so i accepted them. and that started the slow trickle of blurring the lines between friend, not so much friend, and work relationships.

all of this blew up in my face thursday. oh that evil thursday. hmmmm, i'm realizing after typing a paragraph that i don't want to go into the details of what happened. it is enough to say that i unfriended someone and talked to my therapist about it. he said that he thought it was smart. i was protecting myself. he said it much better. wish i could remember the exact wording. anyway. i was confronted about the unfriending and have decided to take a fb break.

one week. i just finished writing in my journal. serious emotional vomit happened. i chose the three main areas of my life where i am trying to create and maintain boundaries.

with my parents. going well.

with my friends. super.

with co-workers and families i work with. weakest.

i realized i needed to take some time away from the constant news feed of daily personal information, and just be. think about who i want in my life. how much time am i spending on fb? what will i do with that time instead? if i return, what new boundaries will i bring with me?

for a person struggling with an anxiety disorder, boundaries are the scariest thing. but let me be clear.

You. Are. Allowed. To. Set. Boundaries.

they are healthy. they are good. they are right.


  1. Haha, I love this post because it is SO TRUE. I don't post much on FB because I never feel like I have anything interesting to say, and even then when I do I fret over trying to make it clever enough that people like it. But really, I've never been "popular" and FB won't change that. Not trying to feel sorry for myself but that's the truth.

    Anyway, I admire your self-awareness/self-discovery. It's so good. And so necessary. There's a lot of scary things to face, but I think it will always get better in the long run.

    1. Awww, thanks girl! I'm glad you are reading it and that you like it. xxoo