I quit Facebook last week. Yup. Waved goodbye to my personal account for that big blue time-sucker and addictive social giant. Leaving was a hard decision to make, but we said “sayonara” anyways and signed off for good. Click through to find out why we left and to see some suggestions for how to live without a Facebook account.
I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving for awhile—mostly fighting it. You see, I love Facebook. I do. It’s where I get all my news, most family updates, and discover new posts from my favorite blogs. I like seeing pictures of my friends’ fun family outings or how acquaintances’ kids are growing. I truly enjoy connecting through liking friends’ pictures or commenting on funny statuses or encouraging through sharing a positive story or blog post. I love it all.
Truth be told, we introverts often use Facebook to prove to the world just how witty and heartfelt we can be, since sometimes conversation in real life holds too much pressure and eye contact so we go all awkward. At least that’s my story.
And since we’re being really honest, maybe I’ve been putting off the leaving because I might have a tinge of that ridiculous new phobia, Fear Of Missing Out. You know, because if I leave then all of a sudden all of my friends will start talking about me behind my cyber back and having a perpetual Party Without Evelyn.
Those are the reasons I didn’t want to leave. So why did I quit? Because I felt God calling me to. I realize that will sound weird to most of you. Many of you think that God wouldn’t care about a silly little thing like Facebook. But He does care about our hearts. God always has our best interest in mind. Many times our definition of “best” doesn’t align with His view, but we are promised in Romans 8:28 that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
God knows what is good for me, and His ultimate purpose is to make me more like His Son, Jesus. That process is hindered by blocks like pride, which perhaps Facebook was entertaining for me. I care way too much about what other people think of me, which is why transparent posts like this one are hard to share. Maybe I made Facebook a harbor for pride, where it is too easy a platform to groom an online image through pictures and statuses.
Maybe I checked too often for fresh likes and comments to validate how pretty I am or what a good mother I am or how hilarious my status was.
Maybe I spent too much of my precious time with my children on Facebook. I admit to freely giving attention to an ever-updating news feed when children behind me needed feeding.
I don’t know if I got too caught up in the me-me-me vortex that Facebook paddles. What I do know is that I felt God calling me into a change.
> God called me out of the pride harbor and more deeply into the truth that I am redeemed through His Son. And that is all the validation I need.
> God called me out of turning my gaze toward Facebook and back into the little faces that He gifted me with.
> God called me out of missing real life because I hid behind a screen and back into making real life.
We told our friends that as much as we enjoyed Facebook, it wasn’t necessarily enriching our lives in any tangible way. As much as I’ll miss seeing pictures that friends and family post, I am certain that my kids, my schedule, and my heart will be better off without the constant need to update my status.
So is there life after Facebook? YES! Here are three easy tips to live without a Facebook account.
1. Find other ways of acquiring world and national news.
(That’s for those of us without TV). I bookmarked the local news, CNN, FOX and BBC websites so I could see what is going on in the world.
2. Bookmark and subscribe to your favorite blogs or websites.
This one might seem a little self-serving. 😉 But seriously, I have several blogs that I love to come straight to my inbox. That way I never miss a post and I can still join discussions on those sites.
3. Email one person a week to catch up. Better yet, get together in person.
The whole point of Facebook is connecting. Without an account, you’ll have to be more intentional about catching up with loved ones. Send out weekly emails or texts to friends and family to say you’re thinking of them. Or pick up the phone and ask how they are. Even better? If you can, get together for coffee or dinner and actually do life in each other’s presence.
Oh, and the disclaimer…
I’m nervous about all that sounding too self-righteous, so here’s a couple things for people who might read into anything I said or didn’t say.
I haven’t left social media altogether. I do not think that Facebook is an evil empire. I still get easily sucked into Pinterest and other fun sites, so the journey of being intentional online is ongoing for me. Leaving Facebook was a personal decision for Caveman and I; we aren’t encouraging you to leave unless that’s something you really feel like you should do. We know lots of people who have struggled with some of the pitfalls I mentioned and still limit their interaction on Facebook fantastically. Just sayin’. 🙂
Is it just me? Anyone else struggle with how Facebook affects your life and heart? How do you deal with the irresistible pull of social media? Jump in and spill in the comments below.