The hard part about explaining why I left Facebook is that the vast majority of my real and internet friends still participate in it. So no matter my reasons for departing, some will necessarily feel condemned for their continued practice. That is not my intent, but if anyone else has been feeling the uncomfortableness of it all, then let your own pruners sharpen. Otherwise, this is my own gig.
I left Facebooking because:
* I love God more. I will tell you that since I joined the party that never sleeps, I read less of my Bible. I haven’t memorized any Scripture in ages. And instead of conversing with the Lord during the day, I am crafting tweets that I know will run through Facebook. But I miss HIM. And I understand now why He didn’t want me doing that in the first place. I just ignored His council and joined up anyway…because I “know better” about these things, I guess . Again, not judging anyone for their own walk, just observing mine and not liking the view. I figure if I’m bored in the evening and just want to unwind, let me crack open my Bible or pray while I knit instead of finding the laptop.
* I love my friends. I am blessed to have a handful of real, deep, loving friendships. Yet I feel that even those relationships have waned as we now “keep in touch” via Facebook. For me (again, this is for me), relationships just are not built on “checking in” on one another’s publicly posted snippet of a day of what’s on their mind. I would rather talk with someone, walk with someone, share a cup of hot whatever and share our hearts. I’d rather make the time to meet or talk or write or even email one-on-one than try to keep up with trifles to the masses. I am not one of those blessed by deeper relationships via social networking, (although I had really hoped that would be the case with some of the people in my life) and I really don’t care if I ever find my second cousin twice removed, but I’m glad for the 400 some-odd million people that apparently are and do. Instead, I found it rather annoying when I, in person, inquired about a topic only to be told that it had been posted on Facebook (like, I should be totally up on everyone’s post at all times!). Man, 400 million people!
* I love my husband. One of my concerns is the very real occurrence of past boyfriends seeking me out. This may sound really very lame, but I do not care (it must be one of those *turning 40* things). I’ve had men find me in person and find me by phone. I had a man talk with my husband and offer him a beer! The very sad thing is that although I love my husband to all ends, I am but a weak and sinful woman who recognizes the pull of “what if”. When half the marriages are ending in divorce, even in Christian homes, and when sites such as Facebook are reconnecting old flames like wildfire, I am not so prideful to think that our marriage is one that cannot by any means fall. I choose to protect ours. Again, not judging! Go ahead and check in with your old love, go ahead and keep him as a “friend” (you do see that I am NOT recommending that, though!), but I’m keeping my heart out of it for the sake of my husband’s. And mine.
* I love my children. When I am “checking” the computer multiple times a day or answering comments or sending texts on my cell, I may be thinking that I am giving importance to the person on the other end. What my children see, however, is that I’m giving importance to a piece of machinery. I am teaching by my actions that watching the back of my head is more important than spending time with me baking cookies, pulling weeds, or even just reading a book on the couch. What they are learning is that the computer and Internet is where life is *at*. I disagree! Life is enjoyed with God! And in smiling and playing with my children, and in feeding my hens, and in basking in whatever slice of sunshine I can get up here in the northwest!
* Lastly (I think), I love learning. I’ve been one step, one thesis away, from my masters degree for…..a year? I have books to read (and write!) and projects to tackle. It just sounds lame to me that “I don’t have time” to learn to (whatever) but somehow I found time to write a couple thousand news blurbs. Which were all about me. Like this blog (hmmm….) I want to learn to crochet. And soak grains for baking. And milk dairy goats. And just plain to better keep the home, mommy the kids, and love my husband. I’m a work in progress whose lifetime is a vapor. I want to suck the marrow out of life, REAL life.
Ultimately, the Facebook distraction was fodder for neglect. And it wasn’t important enough for me to figure out how to let it coexist with my life.
This is hard because I care too much what other people think. But that alone, perhaps, is the best reason for letting go of Facebook. I don’t condemn others for the choices they are making with their time and relationships; I don’t have time or the heart or the mental capacity to send zingers of judgment. I still care about all of my “friends”. I still want to know you more. But if I’m to be a real friend to you, your heart is going to have to be a little more exposed to mine in the process from now on, and not just through casual published headlines. It’s gonna cost you time and effort and risk. And that is why, I expect, I’ll always have just a “handful” of real friends with relationships that transcend technology, even if we do share a 140 letter tweet on occasion.