Monday, November 9, 2015

My Facebook Break (mid-way check point)

It's been two and a half weeks since I last visited Facebook. I felt led to take a six week leave of absence, and now I'm almost half way through this self-imposed exile. I've done this a couple of times since I joined the renowned and revered community - once during Lent, and once for some (good?) reason I don't quite recall. It's been several years since my last Facebook fast. 

When I first thought of taking a break this time around, it was with the intention of creating space in my life - for more reflection, to read more good books, to write something worth reading, to compose some good songs... Have I ever mentioned that I tend to be a bit of an idealist? 

Here's what reality has looked like these last eighteen days: first, a nasty and violent bout of stomach flu made the rounds in our household, which resulted in much coddling of little boys, much cleaning up of that which humans were not meant to deal with, and many days of personal illness and weakness and slow recovery. Right in the midst of all this, I was offered, completely out of the blue, a temporary job that bore all the marks of an answer to many prayers and tears prayed and shed over the past few months. A roller coaster ride, indeed! 

I've recovered from the flu; I've accepted the job. Now I'm scrambling to restore my home back to some semblance of order (it looks like a hurricane struck at this point), get my balanced-eating-and-exercise plan back on track and prepare for my brief but hopefully helpful stint as an interim music director over Christmas. Life is quickly filling up the spaces I had hoped to create. So mission accomplished, I guess - but it sure looks a lot different than I had envisioned! (I know - what else is new...)

But I'm really missing my Facebook community. I started jotting down the times when I felt an urge to post to FB, and a most interesting trend quickly emerged. It wasn't a particular emotion or type of event that I wanted to share - they were as varied as the joy of a soul-stirring Steve Bell concert, the delight of an unexpected employment opportunity, the lingering beauty of late Fall, the wonder of the first snowfall, the agonizing hardship of disciplining a defiant eleven year old, the happy birthday celebrations of a certain now-seven year old, and the horrible reality of dealing with copious amounts of vomit... I realized that what I was missing most was the satisfying camaraderie that comes from shared feelings and experiences; the comfort of knowing I'm not alone.

But a couple of really good things have come out of this as well, so far. This may sound cheesy, but it's actually deepened my relationship with God. After a few days of feeling mildly depressed and intensely lonely, I started training myself to go to God with all the status updates I was constantly composing in my head (does anyone else out there do that, too?). The status updates began to turn into praises and petitions, with the unexpected but lovely result of tremendously enriching my prayer life. 

It's also shown me how much I need other people. As friendly and outgoing as I (hope I) appear, I'm an introvert at heart. I renew my strength and find my peace in extended time alone. But we're all wired for community - we need each other. I used to see this as a weakness, a mark of immaturity, something to overcome. I know better now. 

So I'm grateful. Looking forward with hopeful anticipation to what other blessings may come as a result of this experiment. Also looking forward with warm fuzzies to taking my place in my beloved community again, to sharing the highs and mids and lows of life with many beautiful souls. 


  1. Prior to blogging, I used to check Facebook quite often and I was an avid Bejeweled Blitz player and then a Candy Crush player. Around the same time that I became convicted of spending too much time on Facebook, the Lord was also leading me to begin blogging. Since I started my blog ten months ago, all the time I used to spend on Facebook is now devoted to blogging, reading edifying Christian posts and preparing my own blogs and being in the Word as a result.

    I now have a love/hate relationship with Facebook as I just don't have time for it. I only check it once in the evening when I'm about to settle down to watch TV for a little bit.

    Having said all of this, I am in the empty-nest phase now. But when I think of my younger days, raising my children, Facebook would have lessened the isolation that I could feel during that season.

    I love the insights you shared in how the Lord has been working with you to go to Him with your status updates.

    Thank you so much for sharing this post with such transparency and for spurring us on with your insights. :-)

  2. I did this for some time for the reason that I was needing to be entertained in the long days of not knowing what to do with a 10 month old. I didn't like how Facebook was making me feel like that. I slowly went back on because of the first republican debate and realize with my blog and Facebook page I can share with others about our country and my heart for it to go back to what the founding fathers intended it to be. I still have to say that I still struggle with wanting to be entertained but I recognize it now. I like when you said that you go took time away from Facebook at different times. I think that's a good idea. It was nice to read about someone else's experience with this too.

  3. I've considered doing this....and I think I will be praying and seeking a time to be able to devote myself to this. Thanks for sharing!
    Sarah (