Thursday, April 14, 2011

Exodus Facebook

I'm not a particularly "liturgical" guy. I only loosely follow any kind of liturgical calendar. My wife and I see the value in family traditions that highlight certain Biblical events, but we also see the dangers in them becoming overly "religious." We like to read some Scripture and light the wreath during Advent and sometimes we'll even give something up for Lent. But most years we either forget or just decide not to.

This was not one of the forgetting years.

So my wife has told me for quite a few months that I have a problem. That I'm addicted. Not to drugs or alcohol but to Facebook (FB). That it consumes too much of my time and mental energy. After a careful and lengthy consideration I realized that she was wrong. I had no problem at all, I didn't have to get on if I didn't want to and that I didn't even really get on FB that often (in number of minutes counted, not times a day). So I continued with my normal FB routines. Checking to see who commented on my status updates, see who commented on my comments to other's status updates and to make sure that all my friends knew exactly how I felt about what they thought. So this continues for months. But then something crazy happened. It seemed like everyone on Facebook turned into a me, and I didn't like it. All of my "friends" who apparently disagreed with my point of view made it perfectly clear how they felt, no matter how wrong they were, and I, of course, returned the favor. Things really started to get heated.

Then it hit me one day.

That's no way to build the Kingdom. If I'm arguing and fighting with every-which-one about complete and utter nonsense then there's virtually no chance that I could be an effective witness if and when the time would come. All of this was coming to a climax in early March. So I thought about giving it up for Lent. I discussed it with my wife, (can you believe that she thought it was a good idea?) then prayed about it and decided it was a good choice.

So, I haven't been on Facebook since March 9th (except once when I needed to look up a friend's phone number because my phone was in his car and his number wasn't in my wife's phone), and it's been pretty great. As it turned out, I might actually have been a little addicted to it. I missed it a lot at first. Thinking about how every little thing would be such a great status update or site to share. But as time goes by I miss it less and less and enjoy my free time more and more. I'm reading more, I'm paying more undivided attention to my wife and son and I'm not frustrating my friends with my opinions about stuff that only barely matters at best.

I'm not sure what's going to happen April 25th when Lent is over. I hope that I won't get back on FB like I used to. Maybe once or twice a week, to try to keep up with the Mangines and other people I can't talk to everyday. But over all I feel like I'm done with it. Maybe do one of those famous "Facebook Friend Dumps" when you delete all the people that aren't actually your friends in real life. But time will tell. As for now I'm just going to stay off it for another week an a half or so and hope for the best.

I love it when you realize that something has power over your life and by the Grace of God you conquer that thing. Freedom. It was for freedom that Christ set us free, let's don't put ourselves back into bondage. Especially Facebook bondage.