True Social Interaction? Creating Real Memories?….There’s an App for That!

by Julie Wilson on December 17, 2012

in Commentary

How are you spending your time?

Just recently, after maintaining a Facebook account since 2004, I decided to deactivate my account. This might not seem like a big deal, but if you knew the role that Facebook played in my life you might be shocked. I was that person posting minute by minute descriptions of my day. Pictures of my children flooded people’s feeds.

I knew everyone else’s business like no one else. I could tell you what time every event was and where it was going to be held. Whether it was the laptop or my phone, I was on Facebook.

At first I justified my use saying that I was a stay at home mom and it was my only time for conversation during the day with adults. I don’t have many friends that I see regularly, so this was my social time. I was a self-admitted Facebook Addict. Everyone that I have told can’t believe that I quit Facebook, and they think I will end up opening the account back up.

Quit Quitting Facebook

Why I Quit Facebook

I was reading post after post, day after day and I started seeing these patterns. Negativity and arguing started taking over my news feed and personal wall. At first I would just overlook it, but it became more and more constant. I would see things people posted and then see them in person and have a hard time facing them with kind thoughts.

I found myself dwelling on the negative things I had seen on Facebook. I started spreading gossip I had read, and it was taking a toll in my life. I didn’t like what it was doing to my heart. It was starting to change me, and not for the better.

How To Quit Facebook…At Least, What I Did

I knew quitting Facebook cold turkey was the only way that I could do it. I had tried to slow things down in the past and it would last a few days. I always found myself back out in the cyber world of Facebook. I was a co-admin of a few different groups, so I contacted them telling them that I had to step down.

I thought about posting a status announcing that I would be leaving soon, but decided it would be best to just close it. I didn’t want to let anyone on Facebook convince me to stay because I knew I had to go.

I clicked the de-activate button and took it off my phone, and it honestly felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off my shoulders. It doesn’t do this to everyone and I am not saying it is a bad thing for everyone. I can only speak for myself. I didn’t realize what a hold Facebook had on me.

It was holding me back from being the kind of person that I want to be.

How Quitting Facebook Helped My Relationship With God

I was having a really hard time “loving my neighbors” which is what I am called to do. I wouldn’t have to be careful how I worded things, I wouldn’t have to worry about who I would offend if I didn’t comment, what tone of voice something was said in, I wouldn’t be tempted to spread more gossip and I wouldn’t be assuming that people were talking about me.

Joy, Peace, And Free Time

As I write this, I have been four days Facebook-free (it has been about 4 weeks now). I feel like a completely different person. I have joy and peace with my life. I don’t know everyone else’s business, and I am okay! My friendships that I had on Facebook that were real will carry over to texting and phone calls. Those that don’t weren’t “real” anyways.

I have no desire to get back on Facebook. I have found that I have a lot more free time than I ever realized I’d have. I have more hours in the day, yes literally hours, to write, make cards, spend with my family watching a movie, and even clean the house.

Focusing On What Matters

We only have one life on this earth. I don’t want to look back and think about all the hours I have spent on Facebook not making real memories. It’s bad enough I have many hours behind me, but I can keep those from adding up. I can spend the rest of my time making memories and making my life more meaningful. I am not saying I will never have a Facebook account again, but I can say that I will never let it take precedence over my life.

I want to continue striving to be the best me I can be. Facebook was holding me back, but not anymore.

Is there something that is taking you away from being able to make real meaningful memories? If so, pray about it and try to focus on what is really important.

Praying you find the joy and peace that I have found in my life.

photo by Mike Licht

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