It’s complicated. I love and hate Facebook. Sometimes this vintage girl thinks, “Can we just break up already?!”
But the truth is that it’s hard not to have an account these days. And, to be fair, Facebook isn’t all bad. It can be a useful tool. Facebook has become one of the primary ways that people communicate information.
Messenger is often used more than texts. I use it to promote the blog. I also have a business page and rely on Facebook to spread information. Personal sharing can be beneficial and fun too. Reading a hilarious story or seeing the adorable picture of a child can be refreshing in the midst of the ugliness in our world. Our posts can encourage, give a laugh, and help someone else in ways we may never know!
But, for the most part, I kissed Facebook goodbye.
Here are the reasons I’ve made changes:
1. I desire to seek out old-fashioned, genuine intimacy with friends.
Facebook can be fun in the sense that you get an idea of what is going on with people who have crossed paths with at various points in life. You don’t really have to wonder what happened to that person you went to school with anymore. It can be nice to see how kids are growing or where people have landed in life. But…
I have hundreds of “friends” online who I don’t know beyond Facebook.
By definition, a friend is someone with whom you share a “mutual affection” and life. What makes friends “close” is that we share a deeper level of intimacy that is a privilege. There is trading of time, information, stories, pictures, experiences, concern, and care. I suppose one could argue that that is exactly what happens online, but I want something more…personal.
I want to embrace the authentic, the now, the real by loving and serving others outside of Facebook. “Likes” and comments are nice, but they don’t come close to the experience of taking part in a genuine community with others in an involvement goes beyond easy clicks of a few buttons.
2. I desire to be wise with my gift of time.
I don’t want to waste the time I’ve been given. Facebook can often be a mindless escape. There are many posts that make me smile and I love the opportunity to encourage when online. But…
My issue is learning to be disciplined in how much time I spend browsing. Sometimes getting on Facebook is a bit like walking into the Twilight Zone of Target with one thing on your list only to leave much later with a cart full of “necessities” wondering what happened!
3. My identity, value, and purpose will never be found online.
This is most important reason for me to break it off with Facebook… and the hardest to admit.
It’s easy for me to play the dangerous game of comparison on Facebook. Or should I say that it’s too hard not to play? Either way, the result leaves me feeling crushed or inflated based on how I judge myself, my marriage, my parenting, etc. against others. The irony is that I’m comparing myself against partial pictures of people’s lives. We post the best of what we live but conceal the harsher realities. Comparison is an ugly joy-zapper and a pride-feeder!
When I’m not measuring, I’m often busy working as a self-advertiser. My motives in sharing with a vague audience can get cloudy. When I’ve shared information privately with those we are close to, but still feel the desire to post publicly, I’m starting to question why. If my motives are in anyway rooted in an attempt to prove something, to boast, or seek affirmation then I don’t share. Will I still post pictures of our family or share bits of our lives? Yes! But, for the most part, I’m keeping the majority of my sharing between us and those with whom we share mutual relationships. That decision comes from examining my motivations and what I shared in point one.
The bottom line is that I often seek identity, value and purpose in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons. When that happens, it’s because I’ve forgotten that my identity and worth is not about who I am, but whose I am!
Who I am as a woman, a wife, a mom, or a friend is not dependent on my accomplishments, how many “likes” a post gets, or anything that I do or have. My identity and worth is solely in Christ! Thankfully, His love and acceptance of me is not measured by performance. He loves me just as much in my failings as in the victories. Even on the worst of days, I am still “more than [a] conqueror” (Romans 8:31-39)!
Kissing Facebook goodbye (okay, for the most part) has been beneficial for me. It’s forced an examination of my heart and motives in a way that has required change. It’s helped me be more intentional in loving and serve others. It’s been freeing to focus on where my identity and worth is truly found.
I’m not sharing any of this with the intent of saying you need or should do the same. This is my heart, story, and motivations. But maybe you can relate on some level. And, if you can, maybe it will help to know you’re not alone in those struggles.
Whether you are on Facebook everyday or every once in awhile, don’t forget that a “book” can be fun to read but isn’t ever as fulfilling as the real deal. Relish and appreciate real “face-time” with others each day!
“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made?” ~ Francis Chan