So, I am now on my 8th day of my Facebook fast. Not that I am counting or anything. So far, so good. Actually, so much better!
Why did I deactivate my account, so many have asked over the last week. Okay, people asked because I sent out an email saying that I was going to deactivate my account, otherwise no one would have noticed! I have noted (to myself) that I have given different answers to different people. But after a week of not having it, and thinking it over, it has become much clearer to me why I don't want to do Facebook anymore.
It was a time-sucker supreme. Every time I walked past the computer I was checking it. While sitting at stoplights I was checking it on my phone. That is wierd, even for me.
Maybe even especially wierd for me, because I don't particularily like being around a lot of people all the time. I love my friends, I love to get together with big groups of people, especially my church family and homeschool sisters and their families. But - after it is over I desperately need some time to be quiet and alone in order to decompress. And with Facebook, I didn't seem to have that. It was like there were over 100 people with me all the time. I would check in and sometimes I'd read a particularily sweet, thoughtful or inspiring post, and that was a great thing to carry with me all day. Frequently I'd print them out to re-read again after lunch. But sometimes I'd read posts that were negative and complaining, or critical of others, and then I'd carry that in my head all day, too. Not too good at letting go, I guess! I'd squander my quiet time doing housework when I could be meditating on the Word I'd read that morning with thinking over something that had been posted that stuck in my craw.
And then too, when you reach the point where you are posting your every.single.thought on Facebook, well....just how important ARE you, anyway? I think Facebook can really bring out the hidden narcissist in some of us. Okay, maybe some of us don't hide that narcissist as well as we should to start with! But my gosh, is what I am eating for lunch REALLY that important? Okay, what I am fixing for dinner is - I stand by that! But when you find yourself posting pictures of your food at Chik-Fil-A, it begs the question......
One last item - when I have all of you at my fingertips all day - when I know little details (440 characters or less) of your life - why should I bother to take the time to reach out and get the REALLY know you? That is a rhetorical question. I think sometimes it can give a surface veneer to getting to really know people, getting to really be involved in their lives, to be able to love and serve them. At least in my experience it has.
I have a dear friend, Jennifer, who lives in Tennessee. We have never met in real life, but I consider her one of my closest friends. For the last several years we have written each other long emails every few days, talking about kids and family, debating doctrine, discussing theology, books, our churches - you name it! I feel like I have gotten to be right there with her when her mom has had illnesses, when her husband was out of work, when her son gets to perform in his choir, when her daughter was saved. But, in the year or so I've been on Facebook, those letters dwindled to a handful. She knew what I was doing. She knew what I was having for lunch, but she no longer knew what was going on in my heart as we left our church of ten years. That somehow seems wrong. But I was on Facebook all the time, who has time to write letters! This is changing.
Since getting off Facebook I have been out to lunch twice with girlfriends, had one friend and her daughter drop in for a cup of tea, been on two homeschool field trips, and had emails, texts and phone calls from other friends and family.
And none of them asked what I had for lunch.
So, them's my reasons, in a nutshell. For others, these reasons are not at all valid (that is why I call them MY reasons). I am not saying I will never be back - I think I can pretty much assume I will, someday, because that is just how the world operates now. But I need to learn some discipline before I do! So, someday if you see me venturing a toe in the Facebook water, don't be surprised.
But don't expect it to be soon!