A about a month and a half ago on a Sunday, kind of by accident, I decided not to log in to Twitter of Facebook. I didn’t check either all day. I discovered something…..
The world didn’t cease to exist!!!!
The earth kept on spinning. People were born and died. The sun and moon rose and each set at their appointed times. We so often get plugged into social media and forget what is going on around us. We have conversations with each other via 140-characters rather than over a cup of coffee.
As with most things moderation with social media is wise.
I’ve asked a couple friends who have taken lengthy breaks from Facebook and Twitter to share some of their experiences via my blog.
The Jackalope Hibernates
My friend Adam Smith of JackalopeKid.com recently took a three week fast from Twitter and Facebook to refocus his attention on God and listen to Him. I asked if he would be willing to share about this experience. Here is what he had to say:
“The first three weeks of January I fasted alot of things, but definitely the hardest one for me was fasting technology. It’s a big part of what I do. The reason behind this whole fast was to get closer to God and with all the computer stuff that I do, it’s hard for me to embrace all of God while my face is in a computer screen. I’m not telling everyone that they need to do this to find God, but I found it definitely helped me. It was a big distraction out of the way so I didn’t even have to think about it. I filled all the time that I usually spend on the computer with podcasts of people that speak positive words into my life and other things that helped my relationship with the Father. It was very refreshing.”
Last year my friend, author, and speaker Anne Jackson of FlowerDust.net completely deleted her Facebook account. Over the year I’ve been following her blog and tweets she’s taken numerous breaks from Twitter and blogging. She’s a busy lady currently on a mission trip in Haiti. She was gracious enough to provide me with a couple articles she wrote regarding her leaving Facebook and has given me permission to share some of what she wrote.
In her article, Why I Kissed Facebook Goodbye Anne writes:
That in 2006 when Facebook was opened to the general public she eagerly signed up and connected with a couple hundred friends.
“Later that year, I had an article published on women and porn addiction that drove a large amount of traffic to my blog. On my blog, I had a link to my Facebook account, and soon, the requests began pouring in. Before you could throw a sheep at me, thousands of people and I became friends.”
“Except for my husband suggesting (kindly and quietly) that I was becoming a little obsessed with my online persona, I didn’t think twice about my Facebook behavior. After all, it was ministry.”
She writes that after a speaking busy speaking engagement where she wasn’t constantly checking in on Facebook, “I was reflecting on the past few days and how, without the overload of information from my online habits, I felt as if I could hear the voice of God a little more clearly. As the Lenten season approached, I prayerfully asked God if there was anything I should set aside. He gently showed me how I had allowed social media to become my only conduit to Him, instead of simplicity and rest. I decided to give up blogging, Facebook, and Twitter for the six weeks leading up to Easter. Lent came to an end and I didn’t quite feel ready to return. Part of me felt a little obligated—after all, I had books to sell and ministry to accomplish. But every day I found myself pulling away more and more.”
“But old habits die hard. As soon as the ego began feeling a little neglected, I turned up the intensity of my interaction online. Anne shares that soon between a full time job, speaking, writing a new book, and being a wife, “My boundaries fell apart, and so did I. Being a naturally abstract person, I needed the structure to help me find a balance in how I was serving others as well as taking care of myself.”
“I toyed with the idea of completely closing down my Facebook account for a couple of weeks. For me, it wasn’t a life-giving place. On Sunday, May 24, I pulled the plug on Facebook and announced it on my blog. Do I think that Facebook (or any other form of social networking) is the bane of online humanity? No way. But for me, Facebook was a problem.”
Please check back this evening for Part 2…