Monday, Feburary 4, 2013 I deactivated my Facebook page. Ever since I joined Facebook back in 2004, it has been a constant connection to my friends and the world. I didn’t disconnect because it is the popular thing to do or the cool thing to do (at least I won’t admit to that). I didn’t do it because I was worried about the privacy of my data — according to some that wouldn’t even help. I didn’t give it up for Lent, although I am using it as a tool to refocus during Lent. I definitely won’t say I did it to make myself a better Christian — If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and all that…
The reason I deactivated Facebook is that I wanted to know the reason I had Facebook. Let me clarify. I could give you many positive reasons that I have and use Facebook from connecting with friends, to informing friends, to sharing the love of God, the list of good reasons to use Facebook is long and will likely continue to be long. But for me, I needed some time to evaluate where my focuses in life are. It is quite embarrassing for me the amount of time I spent mind numbingly scrolling through the stories and pictures of friends far and near. It is unnerving to realize how many times I visit facebook.com or open the Facebook app on my phone, only to be quickly reminded that I am taking a break. I use these opportunities as a trigger for prayer in repentance.
Another reason I am glad I am on a Facebook break is that people who are not on Facebook were being neglected by me. Being off Facebook has made me realize how much people who aren’t on Facebook are missing about my life. I won’t say that I am doing better, but I am aware now of what being disconnected feels like. There have been a number of conversations in the past couple weeks where people referenced things they assumed I knew about from Facebook. Sadly, last month I was probably doing the same thing to others.
When I do turn my Facebook back on, which I haven’t given myself a date for, I hope to use it better in the following ways:
- I will limit my time on it by scheduling my access of it. For example I will make a guideline like… I will only look at Facebook twice a day and for 10 minutes each time.
- I will stop being a lurker and will engage in posts, statuses and stories in a positive way. For example, I will stop just clicking “like” and start saying what I like in comments.”
- I will not be ashamed of the Gospel. But will “post” the truth in love.
- I will open up my privacy settings. If there is something I cannot say in a public fashion, then I should not be saying it on Facebook or perhaps at all.
- It will not be my only means of communication and updating friends and family members of events and happenings.
If you want, please share some advice about what you have read. How can I use FB better when I turn it back on? My friend Seth has some good ideas he has shared in an post he wrote (on FB) about why we shouldn’t give up social media for Lent.