Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Break From Facebook & Twitter

Could I go a month without Facebook and Twitter? I asked myself this question while sitting in my car in the parking lot at work.

I’d received some extremely depressing news the day before, and during my lunch break I was praying about the situation and asking God for help. Once I finished pouring out my heart and shedding some tears, I sat quietly.  Suddenly an unrelated thought came into my head, “You need to take a break from Facebook and Twitter.”  

In the past, I’d considered giving these sites up for Lent or a fast, but I'd always talked myself out of it. This time felt different, like it was a clear directive from the Holy Spirit. Yet, I wrestled with the thought. The conversation in my head went something like this:

“You can’t do that.”

“Actually, I could.”

“That’s how you keep up with the people in your church.  How will you know if they need help if you’re not on Facebook?”

“People can call me or text me if they really need help.”

“You are responsible for your church’s Facebook page.  It’s your duty to send out encouraging posts each day.”

“Ask someone else to do it.”

“People might send you important messages and you won’t get them.”

“People can email me or text me.”

“It’s fun and gives you a brain break.”

“Actually, I waste too much time. It's a distraction from what I should be doing.”

“You receive ideas, encouragement, and advice.”

“It also affects my mood—I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster following everyone’s happy, angry, silly, politically-charged, bad news, good news status updates. I need to get off this ride!”

And that argument in my head lasted about 5 minutes. . .

Then, I made my decision.  I asked other people to help with our church Facebook page. I put one last status update on Facebook, letting people know I would be off for the remainder of Feb & the month of March.  I added, “I’ll miss you. See you in April.”

Now, April is almost here. I have not missed Facebook or Twitter. (Well, maybe the first two days were a bit rough!).  It was so much easier than I imagined. And I’m even a bit sad about returning to the social media giants.

What I’ve learned:

1)  I need to pull WAY back on how much time I spend on FB & Twitter.

2)  I will continue to put up encouraging posts, because both sites need good news.

3)  I will pay more attention to the people around me.  And stare at my phone less!  I used to stand in line at places with my eyes glued to my phone, checking Facebook and Twitter.  Now, I’ve learned that there are real people in that line & maybe I’m supposed to smile at them and give them an encouraging word.

4)  I cannot let my day be ruled by what others are saying or not saying on Facebook, by how many likes or retweets I get on a post or not, or by how many people are my friends on FB or my followers on Twitter.  I do need to use whatever influence I might have to speak life into people and to testify to God’s goodness. 

5)  I learned that when you present a problem to God and He answers you, do what He says. Even when you see no connection between the question & the answer.  As soon as I obeyed God in this area of my life, the problem I prayed about in my car that afternoon evaporated.  I felt a renewed strength, confidence, and determination I'd lost in my "distracted" life. 

6)  I can live without social media.  

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, Lori. I could use a break myself.