Dropping Out (Part 1 of 3)

I’m officially done with Facebook. I found it ironic that on the “deactivation complete” screen, Facebook had pictures of my friends, each saying “___ will miss you” beside their profile pic. The friends Facebook randomly included on this page were some of my closest, that I see and interact with regularly through many other avenues. One of them was my husband, who at that very minute was sitting in bed next to me, looking over my shoulder as I clicked my way out of the most invasive social networking site to ever hit the web.

I don’t think Facebook is evil. If you love spending time on Facebook then I don’t think you’re a bad person. It can be a great way to connect with people, if used for that purpose. But Facebook is simply one gathering place among many, and I’m ready to find another ‘hood.

This series will cover my top three reasons for dropping out of Facebook.

Reason #1 – Facebook brings out the worst in me.

I’ve been at odds with Facebook for months, and have thought about quitting for a while now. But then I would hear a sermon or read an article about how social networking can be a great way to advance the Kingdom of God. So I didn’t quit, because I certainly don’t want to neglect a way to spread the Word. That’s like willingly walking away from an open mission field!

And then there are my friends, and I can’t turn my back on them. But I don’t like posting status updates because I feel like those 200+ people are evaluating what I say, making judgments about me. I’m a people-pleaser by nature, and having my two-sentences out there for everyone to see is disquieting to my spirit (please don’t point out that I’m a writer. I’m trying to ignore my own hypocrisy at the moment). On the rare occasions that I make a status update, I become extremely distracted about what all those people think about me.

So instead of posting, I read my “friends” posts and (sadly, to my shame) judge them (I’m sorry about this, my friends) for being too negative, too positive, too shallow, too blasted “open” or not open enough, too back-biting, too sinful, too wordy, too frequent, too self-serving, too this, too that, JUDGE, JUDGE, JUDGE. I can choose to de-friend people who make posts I don’t like, or not accept friend requests from people I don’t want to know. I can control my online image, and I judge people for doing (or not doing) the same. This is not my best quality. Not really something I like about myself.

There’s a minister in my church who discovered Jesus after a very rough, addictive past. He now has a habit of going to area bars, and using the laid-back honest atmosphere to dialogue with people about the Kingdom in their lives. For him, the local bar is a great gathering place for sharing the Gospel and connecting with other people. However, at this point in my life I don’t feel like going to bars is a good way for me to share Jesus. I like to drink. I like how I feel when I drink. I like the taste of alcohol, and it is difficult for me to stop at one margarita or one glass of wine. This is a red-flag, letting me know that I need to watch myself carefully around alcohol. Kind of hard to share what Jesus has done for me when I’m slurring my words.

The truth is: I don’t really use Facebook to share the Kingdom or meaningfully connect with others. For me, Facebook brings up my own (personal) red flags. That’s my biggest reason for quitting Facebook.

More to come…

5 thoughts on “Dropping Out (Part 1 of 3)

  1. I understand your concerns about Facebook and left it once before myself. I definitely have shared too much at various times but realize only a handful of my fb friends read my posts. I agree that a bar is not the best field for spreading the Word, I’d be curious to know what results have come from that pastors efforts.
    At least now I know why you did not accept my friend request, “people I don’t want to know”. :b

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    1. Hi Stan, thanks for commenting. That minister who goes to bars is probably one of the most Spirit-filled people I know, with lasting fruit in the Kingdom. For the lost and hurting, sometimes the best witness is hearing from someone who has been there, and then been redeemed. But it has to come from God, or it will fail and be worse than before.

      I didn’t accept your friend request (and others like yours) because I was paralyzed by indecision! It’s nothing personal, and that’s part of the problem. You seem like a great person, but then again I have to make a judgment call based on your online identity. As a writer and Christian I want to “friend” my online acquaintances and connections. But my husband (and most security experts) prefer that we at least know (or have known) people at some point in our lives before accepting requests. And as a mom, I am naturally very protective of my children online. I have agonized over these decisions. Thankfully, I’m glad to be done with that regular mental torture and now I can communicate with you here, in a less invasive atmosphere. Hope this makes sense, and doesn’t offend.

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      1. I understand about the friending business, I took it personal at first because I was in such a bad place emotionally. You followed excellent protocol and good advice.

        I was not doubting the pastors gifts or ministry, I just know that talking to fellow alcoholics is a challenge even after we sober up. Seed sown of the Gospel is great wherever, I was sincerely wondering if he was able to reach anyone in that environment and ultimately lead them to Jesus.

        Blessings and peace Anna,
        Stan

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  2. I’ll miss you.

    One of the things I’ve learned in my life is that God may ask a person (like you) to leave Facebook or any group, and then at the same time, He may ask another person to join Facebook. It’s a part of the sifting process. He know what He’s doing, not me.

    Just keep on writing. I’m interested in reading what you have to say. Plus, if you’re in our area, we just might have a cold beer in the fridge or some wine on the counter, so stop by if you have time.

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    1. Thanks Larry! I do have to say that if we happen to be in your area, we probably couldn’t turn down an offer for a glass of your West Coast wine. Just one, though. Unless my husband is driving, and then I can have another half glass. I’m a lightweight. Gotta know my limits!

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