I took a little over a month off from Facebook. There were a multitude of reasons, but it could simply be summed up like this: I got tired of it. I saw (and engaged, occasionally) in too many political posts, rants and raves. It got old.
So I stopped in late January and for the whole month of February. I took it off my phone and blocked updates on my MacBook.
Here are some observations:
- I’m not going to read my feed much anymore. I learned that I don’t want to know your political beliefs. You don’t want to know mine (more on that in a moment). Facebook feeds have become polarized and we all see ourselves as amateur journalists who need to offer an opinion. It’s not good for friendships. A quick glance at my feed this morning reinforced that I’ll continue to avoid it.
- I’m changing what I post. Pictures, links to blog posts, church events, etc., are all things I’ll post. I won’t post: anything political, argumentative, or something I wouldn’t say face to face with a person. You don’t want to hear it, it isn’t going to change minds anyway, and it’s kind of rude.
- We’re getting too attached to our phones. Facebook, and other online media, train us to interact more and more with them, and less and less with the world around us. This is not good. I’m not going to put the app back on my phone.
- Our Facebook selves are pretend. Think about it: we typically post the highlights of our lives and not the mundane. I posted some pictures from February, implying that the month was one big party. But it wasn’t- not even close. I didn’t post any pictures of my kids fighting, of my feet hurting from overuse, of unfairly snapping at my wife, or things like that. What are the long term effects of seeing only the good? Add to this to our propensity to start political fights when we’re not acting like everything is great and it’s a bad mix.
That being said, there is a lot of good about Facebook. I am connected to a lot of lifelong friends in ways that wouldn’t have happened even 10-12 years ago. I can promote church events and share what we’re doing. I do like seeing pictures of goods things people are doing.
I guess it’s about balance. Today is Ash Wednesday. Many Christians remember our brokenness today. Maybe we ought to put down the stones, as we throw from our glass houses, and relax in a God who loves us anyway.