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While on vacation recently with my friend Barby, we talked a lot about Face Book. For Barby, it’s an important part of her life, a way of keeping in touch with friends from afar.

I, however, have been a late arrival to the social media party. As recently as a year ago, I would say, “I’m on my computer all day long in my business. The LAST thing I feel like doing when I get home is to sit at the computer.”

Duh! Only recently did it dawn on me that most people weren’t scrolling though their news feeds while sitting at a desk – they were doing it on their phones, anywhere and everywhere! Which, as everyone knows, is more comfortable and fun. It doesn’t feel like an extension of work at all.

So during the past year, my phone has slowly evolved from a practical tool to a dispenser of tasty tidbits for my mind, to be enjoyed whenever there was a pause in my schedule. This shift has been accelerated by the political mayhem of the past year. No matter where I was, I felt the need to check my phone to see what was NEW. And oh boy! There was a lot of NEW every day!

But even though I was checking the news constantly and dabbling with Instagram, I hadn’t yet embraced Face Book. Now I’m glad that I never got hooked. With all the bad press that Face Book has been getting recently, many people are trying to leave Face Book, or at least take a break. And they are finding it very, very hard.

This from Globe correspondent Michael Andor Brodeur:

Search “quitting social media” and you’ll find pages and pages of brave souls chronicling their journeys into darkness as though they were wandering naked into the Amazon or lowering themselves into a well….My own breaks from social media have been characterized by long conscious bouts of distraction, frustration, impatience, and that most contemporary of insecurities, FOMA – fear of missing out.

As a meditator, I’m well aware of my own small addictions – cravings for sugar, distraction, entertainment, and confirmation of my own world views. They are endless, and can do real harm. I’m not smug…I’m as susceptible to little hits of dopamine as anyone, and there countless highly-paid individuals out there whose job is to ensure we stay addicted. Now I’m scared to go anywhere near FaceBook.

But it’s not easy to resist. (Even as I write this, I feel my iPhone beckoning to me.)




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