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On Quitting Facebook

Oh dear Facebook, dear, dear Facebook…

I think it’s time and you know it.

I’ve been wrestling with you and me for weeks now. Wondering why I was showing up and giving over so many valuable minutes to you (even with 9 months of social media free weekends). You know you weren’t adding value to my life. In fact, you were also frighteningly stealth at giving me complexes and leaving me more empty.

In my confusion, I even Googled you. Stalked you, if you will..

I was hoping to find out the “real” purpose of you in my life. I was looking to see what the objective was to better explain why I would give so much of myself to you with so little return, so little pleasure, so few warm fuzzies. And I got nothing.

But, in my distracted hopefulness I wanted to stay with you. I wanted to keep on overturning rocks and seeking answers to the gaping holes you were leaving in my time and after doing so, I realized there was no way I could justify staying in this with you one day longer.

I know it may seem impulsive to you, like this is coming out of left field and I don’t mean to hurt you but I must quit you.

It’s not you, it’s me…

I’m the one that can’t handle you telling me what to like, you’re constantly feeding me thoughts about who I should be friends with and THE GROUPS! I can’t even with the groups; so many communities where I am lacking connection. I need relationship. Real, in person, over the phone, time spent, love invested relationships with people. And when I heard myself saying to “just above acquaintance” level friends – “I saw on Facebook that you were…” in several conversations, I knew that I was escaping into you, hiding from real vulnerability and risks and not in a good way.

I’m the one who can’t stand to see photos of people’s vacations but not jump on the phone or meet them for coffee to hear about the in-between photo stuff that they learned about God’s character, this big beautiful world or something powerful that was revealed about themselves.

I’m the one who was struggling with watching some people post things that showed the shinier parts of their lives knowing about the mess they’d rather not tend to and sometimes struggling with myself for putting the same things out there.

I’m the one thinking that my life may be less valuable because I don’t have anything “Facebook worthy” to post and share with 1,049 of my “friends”. Or that my real likeability is determined by how many people “get” and “like” the posts I share.

How did I know the end was near?

It was when I started thinking about planning what I would post. When I felt I needed to start having to think about themes and clever things to share and say and give and it felt like…work. For real, the kind of work I wasn’t wanting to be doing. The kind of work that was making me upset with myself. It was when I realized that I was feeling a superficial connection with people I didn’t see or talk to, that I wasn’t impacting or being impacted by in my daily or regular life. It was when I realized it was an illusion. And that I was feeding into it. It was when I asked my son if he missed you after he quit you over nine months ago and he told me that he “did not miss the junk”. I knew the end was here and that I needed to stop wrestling with quitting you, I needed to quit you.

I know, I know…

You think I’ll be back and that I can’t quit you, but I can.

It’s going to take some intentional, prayerful effort, but I can quit you because I want to be sure all of the people I NEED and WANT to really be doing life with are the ones who are getting the real deal me; apart from you. No more of the re-sharing, repetitive impersonal and mostly critical and depressing content that you’ve come to house. To be clear, I’m quitting allowing you to use me and waste my best creative energy and thought. Instead, I’m swapping that in for controlled, limited use – the kind where I get the best from you and keep moving right on along.

Don’t be angry with me. I’m going to be just fine (you want me to be happy, right?).

I’m quitting in favor of more writing – on the blog and just writing – and taking photos with my fancy schmancy camera and reading all the books in the world and spending time with my kiddo and shepherding friends toward the Truth and laughing at myself as I stand in front of the microwave dancing until the timer gets to the zero, watching some Netflix, getting fit for our mission trip to Guatemala and first 5K in over a decade, discovering the beauties of Texas, loving my family from afar with letters, snail mail and care packages and adventures I’ve not yet realized because I’ve been so distracted by you.

And since I’m getting all open with you, I just felt you needed to know that I will be spending time with Instagram (because it IS different from you). I know that my staying with Insta and setting you to the side doesn’t mean you’re completely out of my life since you now own Insta, but just know, I’ve got my eye on you and have no intention of letting you have my heart (and time and energy) like that again. And since Insta and I already have a deal that I’m much more comfortable with, I don’t anticipate it overruling me like I allowed you to. But you best believe that if it does I’ll be quitting it too.

____

I am making room to dream big dreams, the biggest in my life. And there’s so much stuff I’d like to do or at least try. Stuff that I’ve not been doing because of my focus on you. I know you understand.

No big fuss, I’m just over here intentionally pulling an exorcism on you, removing you from my everyday life. Be well Facebook, see you around!

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