Friday, March 22, 2013

Quitting Facebook...

A little over a week ago, I stepped away from all my social media networks. I deleted my account on dailymile, a community of athletes I’d called home since 2010. I disabled my Facebook profile and suspended my Twitter account. )I still have my Google+ account up and running, but that’s kind of a joke. I only use it to repost my blog entries. I’ve never browsed the site or looked at anyone else’s profile.)

Why did I commit cyber hari-kari? God told me to. That’s the short answer. Living for online companionship had become an idol in my life. I was spending way too much time “stalking” people without really connecting with any of them. Facebook and Twitter were distracting me when I needed to spend face-to-face time with my family. dailymile, which has no value at all to my work, would, from time to time, suck me in to its web during work hours. All together, these networks were eating away at real relationship time. I was watching stupid videos and devouring vacuous memes, not conversing with people. That’s why God commanded me to jump ship.

Please understand, I’m not saying everyone needs to leave social media sites. There are many good things about them. You can keep up with far-flung nieces and nephews. You can encourage friends who are struggling in life. You can share things that have been helpful to you with the world. Being on Facebook is for most people a good thing. It is not sinful to have a Twitter account.

For me, however, it was a control issue. I was out of control. God knew it. I knew it. It just took me awhile to admit it and take the steps God was calling me to. He’d given the command once or twice before and, I’m ashamed to confess it, I’d been unwilling to comply.

I was reminded of Paul’s words shortly after I severed ties online. "'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but I will not be mastered by anything." (1 Corinthians 6:12) Regaining mastery over the permissible is what this “fast” is all about. I will not return to any of these sites until God gives me the green light. That’s not going to happen until all is right in my relationship with him and with others.

If something is mastering you, if something is keeping you from an intimate connection with God and those around you, I urge you: cut the ties! Learn to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Learn to love  our neighbor as yourself. Those are the things that matter.

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