March 21, 2012

Adventures in Facebreaking

Time for a Facebreak
A detailed inventory of my time expenditures toward the end of last year led me to take what some refer to as a "Facebreak." My calculations indicated that I was spending hours on any given day involved in some sort of social media encounter. All of that seemed harmless enough, but facing the reality of the time I was devoting to these things made it increasingly difficult to whine about how hard it is to get our clothes washed and put away, get to bed at a decent hour, spend quality time with my husband and kids, and you get the picture.

So I stopped Facebook-ing and stuff. For a while. That while, as far as I was concerned, was supposed to be all about giving me more time to do important things. Mine was a good plan, but as always, His was better. The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:1

Motives Revealed
So like I said, I stopped. Posting and commenting, that is. I was still stalking browsing to see what was up with other people. Right off the bat I became alarmed at my constant compulsion to click the Facebook app on my phone. We're talkin' 24/7. I never realized how much I was doing that until I tried to stop. So I took the app off of my phone, but the urge was ever present. It bothered me.

Another thing that bothered me was that in my own reading of books and the Bible, when I would come accross something of particular edification I immediately thought of it in terms of a Facebook post. It was as if I needed to get rid of it as soon as possible. "Someone" needs to hear this message. Oh boy, do they! Better get it on Facebook. But that was no longer an option. The only options available were to either dismiss it altogether or apply it to my own life. Egads! Slowly, I began to receive these things and ponder them unto myself. I began to experience conviction rather than simply recognizing the potential for conviction. Quite a difference there.

Another thing I recognized was how dependent I had become upon those little Facebook "likes". Affirmation is a huge thing for me. I don't think I ever realized how huge until the ability to receive it was no longer just a Facebook post away. Or so it seemed.

In the absence of this luxury, verses like Galatians 1:10 began to take on much deeper implications for me. For am I now seeking the approval of man or God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ. Yeah. It's one thing to give up Facebook for a while, quite another to have to look deep into your heart and answer (not just ask) the question, "Who am I really serving?" I couldn't quickly type that verse and click it on down the stream for the consideration of others. It was for me.

Answered Prayer
Interestingly, it was during the onset of this break that I spent several weeks praying and meditating on Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! It wasn't like I was expecting that request to to be answered through the Facebook thing, I just picked out some verses to start the New Year off with. But the Holy Spirit was at work.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this was one of the most clearly and hugely answered prayers of my life. To see my pathetic heart in ways that I had never seen before, to recognize my deep, deep need to receive approval...It cut deep. And since I wasn't on FB, there was no where for me to go with all of that but to the Gospel. Hallelujah! My pathetic heart? Covered in His blood. Approval? Yes, through faith in Jesus Christ. Not just "liked" but extravagantly, unashamedly loved by the God of all creation. Wow.

Misuse, Disuse, and Correct Use
One day a couple weeks ago there was a Facebook post that I wanted so badly to comment on. But that would have been breaking my rule. The thing is, I wanted to encourage that person. It was the ah-ha moment. I realized that this was really about the motives of my heart. And the motives of our hearts change when the Gospel is applied.

I've heard it said that the proper remedy for misuse is not disuse, but rather correct use. I really agree with that for the most part. (Though there's always Matt 5:30 to consider). It seems to me that in this case it took a season of disuse for me to identify my misuse so that perhaps now I can proceed with correct use. At least most of the time.

In the future, there are some questions that I will ask myself before posting on Facebook, Twitter, writing a blog post and really I should ask before I ever open my mouth period...

What is my motive in sharing this?
Have I applied this to myself; have I removed my own "log" in the eye?
Is it passive aggressive?
Am I now seeking the approval of man or God?
Should I be doing laundry?


I think in some ways it would definitely be easier to just forget Facebook altogether. I mean, I wouldn't be assaulted with these kinds of questions all day long. Geesh. :) But there are also silly photos and funny things my kids say. There are opportunities to encourage and share lol's. There is a Gospel to be proclaimed and it would be absurd to think a medium like Facebook isn't a really good place to proclaim it.

Have you ever taken a Facebreak? How did it go? What did you learn?


Kimberlynn said...

I had a Facebook and just never took a liking to it. I guess I'm one of the few who isn't tempted by it. It has always seemed to me to give a false sense of community and belonging. But don't think for a minute that I'm not dealing with my own need for approval. I'm just looking for it in other places. Ugh! The Lord is dealing with me on this very issue right now.

It sounds like God is doing so much in you...and thankfully me my life too! I have a lot of work to do. Thanks for such a great post, it's given me alot to think about.

Jamie Danielle said...

I deleted my FB on Jan. 31st
I too realized that I could be doing more with all the time I was using to comment/stalk/post.
Social media sucks the life out of ya... lol

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

Sometimes I really hate FB too. Hey babe - just wondering - because I'm OCD - if you meant to spell every day with a y up on top. If not - no biggie!

Andrea said...

Thank you for this post. It really spoke to me. I really needed to read this today. No, I haven't taken a break from fb, but I did exit a few groups on facebook because the 'likes' , approvals and validations were becoming very addictive. I have often thought recently how or why fb is even relevant in my life. I appreciate your post. I'm not religious, but even your questions like 'why am I seeking approval...who am I really serving? ' seem very relevent to me. I'm trying to clean up some of the emotional/psychological stuff in my life, and perhaps it will help in my weight loss and exercise journey....

safire said...

After getting back to blogging, I find myself less on social media. It's great to take a break. I did find myself stalking a bit too much and not being productive. I'd much rather be doing something active and beneficial :)

kelly said...

Great post, per usual! I don't have FB. Probably one of ten people in the country! It just seems to me that it encourages almost fake communication. No body language, no tone, facial expressions, etc. I would rather talk to a real person over a cup of coffee.

Megan said...

I will admit that I'm a Facebook addict, but I don't see it as a bad thing. I mainly use it to share wonderful recipes I make, or to motivate my friends who are trying to lose weight. They also motivate me and I love it! I even like posting issues I'm having with my toddler and getting real time advice from friends who have been there and what worked for them. Come to think of it I never have any negativity on my news feed, I just watch who I am friends with :) Plus when I go on vacation my family member expect up to the minute photos on what we are doing since they can't be with us. ha!

AJ T said...

I'm currently on a Facebreak. I love it. I used to click on it a lot and yesterday, Facebook sent me an email telling me all the things I am missing...and I'm not. I will go back to reading someday for proper use.

I learned that I was going to Facebook instead of God with problems, attention needs and validation. I should not go to the computer for my problems, but my knees.

I love that you ARE NOT religious (don't know why that word is applied). You love God, follow Christ and want to be sanctified by Him - and help us on the same path.

Thanks for Pro. 16, I needed that one today.

Theresa:) said...

Just found this blog. Thanks for the inspiration.....Will follow! Have an awesome day! T:)

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

Working on a facebreak here, maybe permanently. The saying about the proper remedy for misuse being correct use, is a very good one! So many times I've ditched what were probably good plans, because of my own misuse/abandonment.

Love you and this endeavor, Keelie. Thanks for a window into your perspective on facing down the word "fat" every time you see your blog. *You* are the only expert on staying true to yourself and being REAL; and even then it's Christ. Do what you do; we'll be here. Loving the look of this blog, too! You don't need me to tell you what an eye you have for aesthetics.


Sharlie said...

I'm thinking this is something that I need to work on..I'm one of those ones that says I don't have enough time in the day to get everything done, but I'll get on fb or pinterest. Thanks for the post, so glad you are back :)

Anonymous said...

I don't have a facebook account, but I found I was spending too much time reading design blogs and celebrity blogs. I kept thinking about a sermon I had heard once about how every part of our body having a role. The ear doesn't care about what the right hand is doing,etc. It really struck me because I realized when I read all the blogs I was more concerned about what everyone else was doing and I was trying to keep up/compare my life with theirs. So I gave it up for Lent. It's been tough at times. I only allow myself to read a subset of weight related blogs as motivation and encouragement on my journey to being healthy.
Thank you for this post.

Liz J said...

I deleted my facebook account for 6 months for some of the very reasons you took a break. I was much so that I would open the app when I was at a red light. I mean, really? Compounding the issue was that I felt 'exposed' and didn't like how I had to censor myself because of work friends. Many times I wondered what the point of social media was if I couldn't be my authentic self. When I deleted the account, it was a little scary. I felt very disconnected from the network I had created and I became the "oh, she doesn't have facebook" pariah. As time passed, it got easier and easier to the point that I didn't miss it.

I got back on last summer because people at work kept bugging me about it ("what? you don't have a facebook page? why?"). I caved and got back on, but I've noticed that I will sometimes go days without looking at it, commenting, or anything. When I do finally open it, I feel like I'm going on a spree of "likes" and comments as I catch up. I also finally felt okay with censoring work-related people from my status updates, comments and photos...even those that I consider friends outside of the work environment.

Social media is such a dichotomy. I feel blessed because I know what people in my past, like you, are up to these days. But the curse sometimes blights the blessings. I try very hard not to over-share, comment and what not because it's so freaking easy to get in the habit to do so.

I know you'll figure out the balance that works for you. It's all about balance, right??

Anonymous said...

I am coming up on a year off fb, and it has been good. Unfortunately I have access to my husband's account, so I still read posts of the friends we had in common when I was still on fb, and I do it several times a day. So I have yet to be totally off fb. I need to take that next step, but at the same time part of me is wanting to activate my own account again.

Recently I was left out of a situation that I felt a lot of hurt over. It was kind of a call to action for a friend, and I wasn't called, and I think it was because I am not on fb. I think I sort of hope that was why.

Like some one above posted, I don't like all the fakeness. I have a friend I really like and get along with in real life, but I can not stand all her pretense on fb. It was a main reason I eft, I just could not reconcile the 2 sides or her. I still struggle with this seeing her posts on my dh's account, but at least now I am not expected to comment on all the bologna.

Sorry, what a mouthful, as you can see this subject is really on mt mind lately.

Kristen said...

I found my way to your old blog through a new friend at a "Made to Crave" Bible study at our church. Your journey in weightloss has been very encouraging. I'm excited to read along with your new posts as it seems like you have an inroad to my thoughts as you write :)

I'm on a facebreak for the same reasons you listed. The one thing that hit home for me was the part where you detailed the motives and the verses from Psalms. I've wondered if after these 5 weeks of breaking, praying, I being legalistic with this facebreak now? I commited until Easter. When is it time to end it? Do I need to stay strong until Easter or have I thoroughly examined my heart? (not expecting an answer...more rhetorical).

God bless in your journey and thanks for bringing me along :)

Annette said...

very good post, great points and gave me lots to think about as Im so guilty of much of this.

Liz said...

Oh girl...I *need* to go on a Facebreak!