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…