Thursday, 03 January 2013
I've made my first New Years resolution -- I'm leaving Facebook. I personally don't have anything against Facebook. Okay, that's not true. I complain about it all the time. Though it's been a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, the cons have far outweighed the pros. The following are five (of many) reasons why I'm shutting down my account...
5) I'd like to write more.
I'd like to post blogs more regularly, sharing deeper theological ideas, updating more about the family, etc. More substantial writing, I feel, is being hindered by the quick-thought status updates that permeate Facebook, whether I'm posting or reading them.
I just finished writing a novel that's over 80,000 words. I'm currently in the editing phase, and it's a process that's been slowed down primarily by two things -- Christmas and Facebook. Christmas is over, but Facebook is still a looming troll. The only way I feel I can conquer this beast is to avoid it altogether.
4) Facebook is a terrible method for channeling information.
There was a point in time when I rationalized having social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook because they were the best ways to promote my music or other endeavors. That's not the case anymore. Facebook very much funnels the kind of information that appears on your wall. It is so controlled that it's useless for me to try and compete with it.
For example, when I made a status that read, "I forgot how good the Braveheart soundtrack is," my page numbers indicated that it was seen by almost three times as many people as when I posted a reference to Micah 6:8. Even if Facebook was a little more even, it's still not a great method for promotion.
3) I need to cure myself of Facebook Brain.
I hate how much I think about Facebook. The first thing I do when I pick up my phone or sit down at my computer is check Facebook. It's a compulsion that boarders on addiction (how many of you are nodding and going, "Yup, me too!"). The first step to healing is admitting you have a problem, right? Hopefully healing is where I'm headed.
In Philippians 4:8, we're commanded, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about such things." I have a hard time doing that when Facebook is in the mix. I'm sure there are people who are able to use the social media and keep their thoughts and actions more disciplined. I'm not one of those people.
2 ) The more possessions you own, the more your possessions own you.
Facebook is a thing. It is a thing that you possess and maintain. In doing so, it robs you of an inordinate amount of time. For the average Facebook user, that's over fifteen hours per month. Studies also show that Facebook takes a toll on a person's mental health. There are a lot of reasons to believe it takes more than it gives, and the more it gives the more it takes.
There's a lot that can't be controlled like being tagged in people's statuses, notes, or photos. I've been tagged in things I didn't want to be tagged in. Facebook doesn't always make it easy for you to remove such a tag either, sometimes requiring you to send a message to that person and tell them why you'd like to be un-tagged. I don't want to make a social case out of it, I just don't want to be tagged! The constant maintenance, it seems, has more control over me than I have over it.
1 ) "Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife." Proverbs 17:1
Oh, the drama. And Facebook is full of it (you can take that however you please). Just like there are certain things you don't say or do in public, don't do it on Facebook either. Matthew 12:36 says that people will have to give an account for every word they use. That includes Facebook.
In addition to personal drama and a general lack of social media etiquette, there's also the onslaught of memes and political arguments. Let's also not forget the never-ending stream of myths and urban legends. I'm sorry, but you're not going to win an iPad by "liking" this image, nor is anyone going to share a portion of their lottery winnings with you because you shared a photo, nor is Mark Zuckerberg donating $1 per "like" for a sick baby (the images for which rip my heart out, by the way).
Facebook drama is so prevalent that the only way to avoid it is to not be on Facebook. That's where I'm headed. Sometime in the early part of January, my Facebook page will be permanently deleted. Like me, you've probably wondered what life was like before Facebook. Well I'm going back to the good-old days. That's right -- the "old days" of blogs and e-mail.
Have you ever considered quitting Facebook? How does Facebook impact your life? From a spiritual perspective, how could Facebook be damaging? What is your new years resolution?