As I’m considering fresh starts, social media is a prime area. It’s not going to escape the winds of change blowing through my life.
How so, you ask?
Simple. MUCH less of it.
I’ve been active on Facebook and Twitter going back several years. I don’t live on it by any means (I’ve never understood that), but both sites have generally garnered at least a daily check.
The driver? I didn’t want to miss out on anything going on with my “friends”.
The narrative always played out in my brain as such:
Someone might need encouragement, you better check Facebook.
There might be some breaking news you need to be aware of, you’d better check Twitter.
Something might be going on with so-and-so, I’d better see if they’ve posted anything recently so I can be in the loop.
The thoughts were always so “noble”. That I could be a “good friend” if I knew what they were sharing online. That I could help somehow if they needed it. That I could direct prayers better. That I could… I don’t know. What was I REALLY thinking?
What I’ve found?
Though social media has a lot of positive possibilities (and sometimes it IS used for these things), reality seems to reveal that the negatives regularly outweigh these.
Social media often turns out to just be another form of gossip, one we’ve made socially acceptable.
Social media often turns out to just be a way we can broadcast a controlled narrative of our lives to our “friends”. A vanity and pride issue, in all reality, reflecting an idealized version of ourselves. Digital bragging, fostering false envy.
Social media often turns out to be a way to send veiled messages to people we have disagreements with. (Never mind Matthew 18 conflict resolution.)
I know I’m just scraping the top of things, but you get my point.
Social media can be a great tool, but in the hands of sinful humanity?
Let’s just say Paul knew what he was talking about in Romans.
So let’s get down to practical application. What does this mean for me and social media?
I embarked on a little experiment last week. Yes, I took a social media break. I won’t call it a fast, because that’s an insult to Biblical fasting, but I suppose you could look at it that way. But whatever the case…
It was refreshing.
I didn’t miss it a bit. I found myself with more free time. I found myself more productive. Not once did my kids catch me with my attention on the drama coming through my phone instead of them. Surprise, surprise? The world didn’t end because I didn’t know what was going on with so-and-so, or that I missed getting that one tidbit of news that I generally picked up on otherwise, or that I wasn’t in the loop about something.
It was healthy. It felt right.
It’s a good change.
One I’m going to stick with.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going away completely from social media. But don’t expect me to know everything going on in your life because you put it on Facebook or Twitter.
And if you REALLY need to reach me?
Pick up the phone. Text me. Call me. Let me know you want to meet with me someplace to talk face-to-face.
They’re much more effective means of communication anyway.
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