EDIT: So, my husband wisely suggested after I wrote this that I take a step back, take a break from social networking, and wait. The problem seems to be my attitude and not Facebook, believe it or not.
Every few months, I consider giving up social networking. Facebook and… well, actually, I’ve narrowed myself down to just a Facebook account. This in and of itself is impressive since I’m prone to online addictions. You know, checking the “book of faces” (as Wes calls it) every hour on the hour to see if that random third cousin’s wife’s ex mother-in-law’s daughter’s dog still has that nasty cough of his. Because I NEED to know these things, people! In the midst of this baffling urgency to be in everybody else’s business, I have moments of clarity where I say, “You know, this is not good for me.” So, here are some of the reasons why I’m leaving (gasp!) the world of social networking… (Disclaimer: These are reasons that I, Jennifer Faulk, need to leave Facebook. You’re probably much more balanced, adjusted, sane, and holy than I am, and these reasons likely don’t apply to you. So, don’t take this as a Facebook-bashing. Just a Jennifer-bashing. Continue on!)
Ahem. Reasons that I’m leaving (gasp!) Facebook. In no particular order..
1. It’s incredibly juicy fodder for gossip. And I just can’t withstand the temptation. It’s like building a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop right across the street from… well, me. I simply would NOT be able to resist overindulging in the sweet ooey gooey goodness that is an original glazed. And while there’s nothing wrong with sugar in moderation, there’s something VERY wrong with any and all gossip. I can cloak it in saying I’m just keeping up with people, caring about them, and praying for them, but you want honesty? I just like to gossip. I do! And Facebook, all too often, is my enabler.
2. It wastes God-given, invaluable time. I’ve actually heard Ana tell Em, “Shhh… Mommy’s on the intermet.” I NEVER want my children to feel like they come second to the computer. Or worse yet, I don’t want them to think back on time spent with me and only remember that I was more involved with an online community than I was with them. (Yes, I understand the irony of blogging about this, but a weekly blog, updated while they nap, is nothing compared to the hours spent on social networking. At least for me!)
3. I find myself irrationally irritated by things that shouldn’t irritate me. Someone posts just a general, feel good update about how God is all fuzzy and cuddly and cares about me, me, ME more than anything, and Wes (poor, poor Wes) has to endure an hour long rant courtesy of yours truly about how we minimize who God is and reduce Him to being a puppy dog who gives sloppy, wet kisses and yearns solely for our joy and pleasure. Seriously, should I get this upset about what Joe Schmoe thinks? Maybe… but should I let my righteous anger over a misrepresentation of the Lord drive me to such rage? No. I dishonor Him in the process. (And even worse? I get irritated when people post about how much they love God, then in the very next post, either use profanity or talk about how unsatisfied they are with EVERY part of their lives. Come on, people! Act like the redeemed if you are indeed redeemed! Which I can say to myself as well since I’m sitting here, yelling at your status updates. Hmm…)
4. I let keeping up with people online be a substitute for keeping up with them in real life. Because for me? A telephone call or a face-to-face visit (or even a personal e-mail!) is much more difficult than an online poke or random comment. So, I do this, and then I wonder why I feel disconnected from everyone, when I am (ironically enough) over-connected online. If we’re friends and the Lord intends for us to stay in touch during this season of our lives, I think it can be accomplished without the aid of online social networking. Surely, right?
5. When I think of deactivating my Facebook account, I seriously hurt. This alone shows how much of an idol it is in my life, as silly as that sounds. If that seems a little extreme, you have to realize that anything temporal and of this world that I hesitate to turn my back on and walk away from IS an idol that competes with my devotion to Christ. Again, most people could probably deactivate their account without another thought, but I am not one of them. And I have enough trouble keeping other things from becoming idols — my husband, my children, money, health, etc — and don’t need to add social networking to the list.
So, this is it. Good-bye, social networking. I think this is the right decision for me.
In an ironic twist, I will be posting a link of this blog to my Facebook (ha!) lest some of you out there see me disappear and think that I have defriended you. Not so, friends. I’ll still be blogging here and would LOVE to hear from you and keep in touch with you. I promise to keep writing about those things that I would normally put on Facebook, like BC’s ever-present dental complications, Emma’s potty adventures, and Ana’s obsession with all things blue and with the letter “A.” (For the record, a blue A just about does her in. Too much excitement!)
Logging off for now…