Monday, April 21, 2014

Giving up Facebook

I've never given anything up for Lent before, but I decided to quietly give up Facebook for Lent this year. I had Josh change my password to something I didn't know, and logged out on all of my devices. I didn't even announce that I was doing it, because I was afraid I wouldn't make it. But the longer I went without it, the happier I was.

There are so many good things about Facebook. I love the ability to keep in touch with friends and family who don't live near me, and to know what is going on in your lives. I love the support I've found and wisdom I've gleaned from several groups there: one for local parents of kids with disabilities, one for people on the GAPS diet, one for our homeschool group, etc. I love how easy it is to share pictures and videos with my parents who have yet to get smartphones, but are on Facebook.

But I've realized that Facebook has a way of tempting me to sin in ways that are already struggles for me.

Selfishness and pride are fed as I constantly check to see who has liked my pictures or posts, and if there are any new comments on them.

Covetousness and seeds of doubt about God's goodness toward me fill my heart every time a new pregnancy announcement pops up, or I scroll past a video of a typically developing kid doing or saying things that Jude can't.

Laziness creeps in as I think, "I'll just check Facebook really quickly," and then suddenly realize I've been sitting on it for an hour, ignoring my son and my home.

Those are not pretty things to admit to, but there they are.

A clean kitchen is still not always easy for me to achieve, but was almost impossible before giving up Facebook.

I just wanted to share all of that in order to show that I'm not saying Facebook is inherently bad. I don't think you are sinning for being on Facebook. I have plenty of friends who don't struggle with these particular sins, and who don't spend much time on Facebook. But for me, it brought out a number of ugly sins, and I let it go on for way too long.

I'm not deactivating my account just yet. There is so much history in the pages of my timeline, and I need to find a way to save all of that before deactivating. If you know of an easy way to do that, please tell me. And please do so in a comment here, not on Facebook, since I've decided to keep things the way they were for Lent and remain logged off.

Almost three years ago.

Giving up Facebook won't cure my heart of these sins. Like I said, they are ones that I already struggled with. But Facebook seems to be like a magnifying glass or megaphone with these sins, making them bigger and louder in my heart, and so much more difficult to defeat.

I would like to challenge you to consider the effect Facebook has on your heart and life, if any. Do you only get on occasionally to see what people are up to, or to post a new photo, and then you have no trouble walking away from it? Or do you spend hours every day on it, neglecting your kids, home, or job? Do you feel an almost uncontrollable compulsion to check every few minutes to see if someone new has commented on something you posted? Do you genuinely rejoice with others when God blesses them with a new baby, car, home, or job? Or do you find jealousy and covetousness clouding your heart as you scroll past these happy announcements?

While many people aren't tempted to sin by Facebook, I can't be the only one with these struggles, and I can't be the only one who would benefit from logging off.

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