I recently decided to take a Facebook fast. Even though I’m not on Facebook all day, every day, I still get on it more than I’d like. And it wastes time. A lot of time. What’s the point of reading thousands of useless memes and spending hours and hours fostering relationships with people that aren’t real? I am friends on Facebook with a lot of people from all walks of life. Some of them I don’t know very well, but Facebook makes me think I do. But these relationships aren’t real. Every “like” doesn’t get you closer to an actual, real life person!
Once, I made a friend. And we decided to become friends on Facebook. After the event we were doing together ended, we kept up on Facebook. We would private message each other and have good conversations. We saw each other at least once in nearly six months, but it took that long before our friendship really grew by multiple visits over another four months. When we became closer in person, we really got along. But, as our friendship was fostered, so was our communication through Facebook, texting, phone calls, etc. Instead of the times where I may go weeks without responding, we almost talked every day, if not every day. And this is no exaggeration. We talked all the time. And saw each other in person around once a week. But if I add up all the time that we spent talking through technology, it would most likely exceed the time that we actually spent in person.
Our friendship suffered extreme “bumps in the road,” and I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of the problem lies in the fact that we communicated so frequently through technology. I’m not saying that our friendship was bad; it was good, really good. The point I’m making here is that things didn’t always go smoothly between us, probably because we spent so much time without seeing each other’s facial expressions, hearing the tone of voice, etc. It’s so easy to take texts the wrong way, and it would have been smarter in the long run to invest more time in our in-person friendship.
This summer, I want to focus on the activities that mean the most to me: Bible study, God relationship-investing, reading, shorthand, guitar, and writing. Facebook would only hinder it, distract me, and keep me from what’s important. I am taking a break from Facebook so I hope we can spend some time in person soon.
“Finally, brothers, 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 these things.” Philippians 4:8 (ESV)