This post has been in the making for some time now...my heart knew it was time, but until this past Sunday my head was telling me that I was being 'radical.' Radical....what's so wrong with that? Actually, I think I'm merely being smart; protective perhaps. I'm getting ahead of myself so let's start at the start (which is a very good place to start!~said someone, in some movie...). A month or two ago I noticed a nasty little habit I had acquired; in all honestly it has been years in the making, but I just now noticed it. I realized I was checking my Facebook (via my iPhone app) constantly...not occasionally, but CONSTANTLY...so annoying. All day long, during breaks, on the potty (yeah I went there--you know you do it too--or maybe you're still doing Words with Friends in the restroom?...anyway), in the car, first thing in the morning before I got out of bed--did you see the part where I spelled 'constantly' in all caps?? I was maybe checking FB for a combined hour each day. But unlike most folks, I was rarely checking in on old friends from school (unless they popped up in my feed), or trying to reconnect with distant relatives, which is why I created an account in the first place. With every swipe to Unlock and tap to login, my narcissism grew. Ugh...it feels like word vomit admitting that...admitting how self-absorbed I was over a silly social network:"I wonder how many people have 'liked' that picture I posted 10 minutes ago?"
"Did anyone think that status update was funny?"
"That is my best profile picture yet. Wonder who else will think so?"
"Ah!!--I can’t get over how beautiful our child is! Maybe just one more picture today!"
..and so on, and so on, and so on...At this point I’m hoping you all are thinking "Oh wow. I do that too!" and not "Whoa, this chick is crazy." Promise I’m not crazy. I’m simply a stay-at-home mom, who literally STAYS at home, as my husband and I share a vehicle in the winter (he drives a scooter in the warmer months), and sadly FB sometimes is the only 'adult interaction/adult conversation' that I get until he comes home each day. Of course I talk to girlfriends during the day, but most work, are in college, or have their own babies to take care of...plus it’s easier to parent, do laundry, wash clothes, and have a conversation when you can do it on your own terms (picking up your phone and going to your Facebook app). Anyway, I deleted the app from my phone. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it sucked...only for a day or two. But I felt free. Not to mention that I gained at least an hour of time each day, that would have been wasted on my narcissism...it still stings when I say that...my shoulders almost touch my ears as I wince at the word.
Back to my "A-ha! moment" from this past Sunday. A lady in church, that I have the highest regard for; absolutely love her family, stood and gave a word about the Trojan Horse Mentality: "Accepting something into your life that looks good and well on the outside, but carries the potential to destroy on the inside" (not sure if this is an actual psychological/religious/philosophical term, but sounds good, eh?). The first thing that sprang from my spirit was "Facebook! It's my Trojan horse!" and then my mind automatically told me I was 'stupid and needed to listen to the prophetic word and dig deeper for its meaning, concerning me'...but my spirit wouldn't relent. So I listened to it. And I found truth. Now, if this, against great great odds, should somehow fall into the laps of the Facebook big-wigs let me cover myself by saying that Facebook, like any good thing, is good only if used with self-caution and limitations. These examples and guideline that I’m about to elaborate on could apply to a number of things.
Do any of these apply to you?:
~You sit in front of your screen for 3+ hours a day. If so, odds are you are going to have some problems in your marriage, friendships, time management, etc. Be present with people that you are with. If you are on a date, sitting at the dinner table, out with friends, watching a movie with someone, having a conversation, etc. etc. etc. then everything about your phone should be off limits. This one is hard for me too =/
~You look up (stalk) people that you are angry at; former lovers; hopeful future lovers, etc. and you poison your mind with a paranoid soap opera, plagued by bitterness that whirls around unstable emotions.
~You, like me, you only check your notifications, or most current feed (15 ppl at most) and use Facebook for free business advertising (guilty...)
~You are unable to meet deadline, be productive, or drive safely. (Nothing makes me want to lose my religion and go crazy on someone more than to see a person texting/facebooking/instagramming/tweeting while driving!!!!!! I won’t go there...that would be an entire blog to itself with insurmountable statistics...)
~You throw your self-parading aside and look for the hurt, lost, & confused and make a note to pray for certain individuals on a daily basis. (write down their names!)
~You limit yourself to only accepting friend request from actual FRIENDS, not acquaintances, but people you were very close to in school (this may be no more that 10-20 people) and you catch up and message on a weekly basis--you now can know their kids and pets by name and even start sending them a Christmas card =)
**Of course these are just healthy and unhealthy examples that came to mind--I’m sure there's a dozen for each....oooooh!!!---just thought of the kicker for me if you start conversations with "Did you see on Facebook..." (Grrr....)
All of this to say that I have chosen to delete my Facebook account, hopefully by this weekend (after I backup my pictures). Nothing crazy has happened--there's no scandal, my marriage isn’t on the brink of ruin, I’m not punishing anyone, I just know it's my Trojan Horse and I see the damage it can cause if I continue to let it eat away my time, focus, energy and thoughts. Yes, it’s only an hour a day, but what else, who else, needs me during that hour? For my fellow Christians, let’s examine and see if Facebook (the internet in general, TV, college football, etc.) gets more of our time than God does. If we are Updating more than we are reading, praying and seeking His face, then it’s time to smash some idols. I, in no way, am trying to convince anyone to follow me in my "anti-conformist approach," I simply want to offer insight to my personal experience and maybe perhaps inspire you to take a step back and re-evaluate where your time is spent...what has your attention? What is your Trojan Horse? Remember, it's the little foxes that spoil the whole vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).
No, Facebook is not the devil, but the enemy is cunning enough to use it as a distraction--just as chocolate is not the devil, but too much of it can lead to obesity, which leads to health problems, gluttony, shorter life span, etc. (preaching to myself here!!!!!). All good things in moderation. I’ve made it known that I long for the day when the internet crashes and texting is obsolete so that we have to go back to phone calls, personal relationships, and face to face conversations--let it be Lord! In the meantime, I look forward to calling up my old gal pals (my only option now! :) ) and truly reconnecting like I should have 3 years ago.
I am happy to report that I will now be blogging more! That's where my heart is, matter-of-fact. I’ve always LOVED to write. Status Updates and Tweets have never quenched my true thirst to write 10 page account of my day =) If you would like to keep up with my family and I, you can find me here (hopefully twice a month) or on Instagram. If you wish to purchase Bohemibaby items, you can search my shop on Etsy. Thank you for your support in this. I and look forward to increasing my volume of readers on here! God Bless! I leave you with a quote from the amazing C.S. Lewis:"Good and evil increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." (C.S. Lewis)