Starting June 1st I decided that I would take a break from Facebook until August 1st so that I could devote more time to the ministry, to my family and to my God. I must say that I still have not done very well at all three but not checking Facebook all the time has helped. I will make a confession that I got on Facebook a couple of times because I had to send someone a Camp Staff Packet who does not check their email. But I did not browse nor check updates or messages. Just sent a message. Whew…I feel better after that!
When I first started with my Facebooklessness there were some mental challenges, nay devilish temptations, that I had to overcome:
- What if I missed a ministry opportunity?
- What if I missed some important information that came on?
- What if a door was opened on Facebook and I miss it because of this “fast”?
On and on came the temptations and pretty soon I came to the conclusion that if something were important enough to occur on Facebook two things were bound to happen:
- Either God was going to reveal this door to me some other way (he can do that you know?) or,
- God was going to put someone else there instead of me to help that situation.
Either way I felt as if God was in control and that he either uses me or does not use me but either way he gets the glory.
As I am halfway through my journey I wanted to give you some lessons I have learned (am learning) about my facebooklessness:
- You don’t know how dependent you can be on something until it is taken away from you. Learning to do without is a lot harder and takes more self-control than having it all.
- I never realized how much Facebook was about gossip. In the conversations I have had with people I noticed there is the “Did you see what they had on Facebook?” It has been a real joy to be able to say, “No.”
- The world still goes on without my participation. I used to think I had to contribute to Facebook so that people who are (supposedly) interested in me could stay aware of my whereabouts, studies, pictures, etc. The fact is that out of my 1000+ friends only 10-15% probably look at my statuses. Score a 10-15% on a test and the teacher might consider you completely useless.
- I am not tempted as much. Please don’t read into this much but I am a male and part of my struggle is the opposite sex. Most guys appreciate the female anatomy and most (if they are honest) struggle when women wear revealing clothes or, as is the case with Facebook, little-to-no clothes. I don’t have to look at girls (sisters-in-Christ?) and their proud pictures of bikini’s as they pop-up on my news feed. I don’t have to get frustrated by that because I don’t see it at all. It has been a blessing.
- Time has been diverted to what’s most important. I will say that I have spent hours more this month than last month with my kids. Why? Simple…time. I don’t look at my phone for updates, or messages or anything because it does not matter.
Facebook is not intrinsically evil but like many things can be used for both good and bad. Fasting may not be for you but I have really grown from it. I look forward to another Facebookless month. Try it.