I’m excited. Thursday I will officially delete my Facebook account. It’s a weird thing to be excited about but I am nonetheless. Since making the decision to delete I have rarely checked my news feed and I have to tell you I have found it very freeing. I keep thinking about life before social media existed, before the internet existed, and I can’t help but feel a freedom in my chest and a relief in my soul.
I think technology is great and beneficial but with every advance we make there will always be drawbacks. One of those drawbacks, in my case anyway, is a sort of social claustrophobia. I need time alone, away from my friends and family. Facebook and other forms of social media have the negative effect on me of making me feel that my friends and family are always with me, watching my every move.
Though I’m rarely on Facebook anymore, I still check it occasionally when I receive a notification and that sense that something is expected from me hangs in the air. Am I supposed to “like” this or “comment” on that? Should I “share” this link or “unfollow” that friend? Do I pretend I didn’t see that “event” or should I go even though I’m not really good friends with that person? Then when I DO see my friends in person there is always that one question, “Did you see what I posted on Facebook?” “You saw those pictures I posted, right?” “Can you believe ‘so and so’ posted that on Facebook?” It’s a kind of social pressure that I am not good at.
I’m convinced that in order to truly draw near to the Father of all creation, we MUST find silence, we must learn solitude. Silence, solitude and quiet are rarely found and rarely sought after in our modern age, and busyness puts a wedge between me and He. He chooses to be a still, quiet voice in our lives. He chooses to connect to us by His most Holy Spirit. If He chooses thus, I must choose to follow.
Perhaps there are many who can find that silence and solitude in their lives and still maintain a Facebook account. I am not one of them, not with two beautiful girls to keep me running, a mother to care for and a husband to spend my evenings making moon eyes at. I love my family, friends and acquaintances but I believe every relationship in my life will be made richer by shedding myself of one more noisy cricket chirping in my ear. If we were friends before Facebook then we should remain so after I have departed. And if we are not friends once I leave, that frees us both up to do other things.
And I say none of this to judge others, either. If you love Facebook, by all means log in as often as you care to. If you are able to maintain an account and limit how often you log in, good for you! If deleting Facebook seems undesirable to you then choose for yourselves whether or not to stay but as for me and my computer, we will delete our Facebook account.