To Facebook or Not to Facebook

by J
(Ontario, Canada)

Gazing upon Shasta, Janaka Stagnaro

Gazing upon Shasta, Janaka Stagnaro

I first wanted to start off by saying how very grateful I was to have found this website. It has been a help with my anxiety and has been informative to me on my path to greater awareness. I myself have been going through the spiritual process the past 6 months. It came about after reading Eckhart Tolle’s books, "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth." I underwent a spiritual transformation throughout this process after having a long battle with anxiety and a recent bout of a deep depression.

My anxiety had revolved mainly around social media. I consequently avoided being active on the website, even though all of my peers were and still are. Due to the anxiety I had dealt with ever since I was 13 (I am now 23), my life never really measured up to my peers and so Facebook always made me feel ashamed of myself based on how my life was measuring up to my peers. The site thereby was a source of intense anxiety for me and so I tried to avoid it at all cost. It, however, made me look completely distant from my peers. Growing up I always considered myself to be an outgoing, sociable and well-liked guy. However, my lack of presence on Facebook served as proof that I never really had such a life and was not really that person.

I find myself now in the situation where I have lost my egoic self- identity and find it really difficult relating to those around me as most others my age are focused on enhancing their egoic self- image. I find that Facebook just causes a lot of confusion in people's lives and gets mainly used to enhance one's ego. I myself no longer feel the drive to post on Facebook even though it had been a source of great fear for me that I was hoping to overcome.

It was and still is the fear of my ego being found out as not equal and different to my peers. The good news is that I have the sense of awareness now that the fear is arising from my ego. However, because of the loss of my mentally derived self-identity, due to the suffering I had endured and the shame I felt, I no longer feel the drive to use the site.

I have found a great sense of inner peace in my life, although my problem regarding the website is the last matter that seems to be troubling me. I find myself stuck because the site serves as a source of connection with those around me and I fear the negative evaluation I would get from my peers if I got rid of my account or if I continue to avoid it.

Any help on this would be amazing. I have been going over this problem back and forth for nearly a year now. I find it immensely difficult to come out of my shell and start posting on Facebook. I have never changed my profile picture and so by me doing so now I feel a great sense of exposure and shame. Throughout all this time my friends/peers had been sharing countless photographs with their peers and I never had done so. It is like I am now revealing to the whole world that I had problems before with an anxiety disorder but I have overcome it and am now able to show myself online. This is really painful to come to terms with as I fear the intense judgement from others?

One thing for certain is that there seems to be a deeper knowing inside of me telling me to delete Facebook as it would free up so much more time and energy to focus on my passion. I have a plan of bringing conscious presence through my passions and be able to bring that soulful presence to those around me. I know that by getting rid of Facebook it would help me focus all of my attention on my passions. I, however, don’t like the fact that by me getting off of Facebook, I may lose communication with some friends and may miss out on event invitations that are being sent out through Facebook. I really would love some advice on this matter on which approach seems to be the best. I am a little doubtful as to whether the deeper knowing is at work or if fear created by my ego is.

Thank you so much in advance
J



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