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I'm Baaaaack. And this is why.

Not that I owe anyone an explanation. Because, I don't. But I really did do some self reflection this past week.

It felt good. It was nice to not have any drama, no arguments and no negativity.

I really thought long and hard about WHAT I use Facebook for, WHY I use it, and HOW it affects me and my relationships.

One thing that I love about facebook as a platform is connecting with people. I like seeing and hearing what others are up to. I like being able to share things that happen in my world whether it be a funny thing my kids said, a frustrating situation as a parent, one of my blog posts, or a relatable meme. I also love the digital scrapbook it has created for my family and me since 2009. I've documented countless quotes, pics, trips, dinners, and milestones. Things that I sometimes don't even remember happening, I am only reminded of when they pop up in my Facebook memories. I have all of this "stuff" from my life the last 9 years documented in digital form. I also love that I can connect with old friends, co-workers, and family that I don't see as often as I'd like.

A large part of Facebook that is so amazing is it's overwhelming reach. It stretches across the world. With the right settings, the things you post and share and say can be seen by more people than I can even comprehend. One of my blog posts has been viewed 70,000 times, largely in part due to Facebook. That's incredible. That means I have at least reached that many people with a piece that's very near and dear to my heart. A piece that lays the foundation for working moms, parental leave, and breast-feeding awareness. 70,000 parents read something I wrote because in some way, shape, or form it spoke to them or applied to their lives. That's a lot of people reading about a subject that affects women and families - not just in my tiny little bubble, but world wide.

Now, what I don't like about it, or how Facebook fails to serve me in a positive way is my vulnerability. I realize that saying what I say, posting what I post, commenting the things I comment leaves my life open for discussion. The more I share, the more people will judge or comment. And that is FINE. I like to share things and the majority of people I have encountered have also enjoyed what I share. And even if they disagree or bring up points that I disagree with, we have friendly debates full of mutual respect and banter. But - there are always those small few that get to me. They are little needles under my skin and know how and when to push juuuuuuuuuuuust the right buttons. And I let them, when I shouldn't.

I have had several people ask me WHY I'm so vocal on facebook. WHY do I speak my mind. WHY do I sometimes post things that can be deemed as controversial. WHY do I choose to engage with those whose opinions differ than mine. WHY do I post things that I know people may disagree with. WHY not just keep it to myself. I've had people tell me that it seems like I'm trying change the world  "one facebook post at a time."

Maybe I am.

I definitely don't set out to try to change anyone's mind. I've learned a few things in my 38 years and 4 months on this Earth and one of those things is this:

I'm not going change anyone. I may influence. I may provoke. I may question. But I will not change anyone. However, I know that the awareness of realizing someone out there sees a different point of view can plant the seed for change, for progression. And that's all human kind wants - that's all we as a species do. We change. We evolve. We become better and better.

Social media give us this platform. It puts people of all colors and religions and political parties together. It lets me see how certain words and movies may affect people of color. It shows me how passionate some people are about being pro-life, or more recently, pro-gun. It has introduced me to the suffering and turmoil in Syria. It has served many, many people in a positive way. The more we are exposed to and the more we experience, the more enlightened we become.

But it has also caused tension within my personal life. Part of this is my own fault.

I am a highly emotional person. I am an all or nothing person. I do everything at 110%. I workout 6 days a week. I work as many hours as I can. I have as many kids as I can (haha), I try to do it all, all the time. I am also a very outspoken, vocal person. I always have been, and if you know me in real life you know that I am very much the same in person. I'm social and I like to talk and I love to debate. I love a good, healthy, educated debate. I don't respond well to hate speech, patronization, or disrespect. I internalize it and it makes me emotional. I get too invested and tend to take it all personally. Which then leads me to react poorly. I reach, or stoop (depending on how you look at it). It's immature and easy to react that way and is almost always my default when I feel attacked or belittled. This is my fault and this causes issues within my personal life. Which is not okay.

The bottom line is

Am I trying to change the world? Not intentionally. But if my posts, blogs, or ideas give pause to ONE single person who may initally disagree, I'd say that's reason enough to keep going.

I heard Oprah say something this week that resonated with me:

"I don't like giving negativity any power."

So that's my new mantra. You might be negative and rude and mean - but you don't need to do it on my timeline. And if you do- I am going to try not to give you any power to influence others.

I've done some good things with my social media accounts. I've helped a lot of people. And I think that's a good thing.

So I'm taking back my power. And my Facebook.



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