Why I'm Taking a Break from Facebook

1 Thessalonians 1:9  ESV  For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.

I’ve said it before, facebook can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing.
I’ve tremendously enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, classmates and family.  I like reading about what’s going on in their lives, seeing pictures of their children and grandchildren and interacting with them with some simple key strokes.  It’s also a very good source for news and information, both local and national.

But the longer I’m on facebook the less interesting it becomes.  User fatigue has set in with many, including myself, I believe.  I don’t know that it will go the way of its predecessor, myspace, and totally fade away since its users are in the millions, but my account has become a little less stimulating because of lack of participation.  Posts by personal friends (which are the most interesting to me) have become few.  My news feed is mainly filled with posts by news and sports organizations and opinion and retail pages.  While I enjoy keeping up with the news this way, I can always turn on the tv or go to a newspaper website and get the same information. 
Lately I’ve found myself frequently hiding or deleting posts.  Some posts and photos are just a bit too risqué for my taste.  Some of the sports sites are the main culprits.  I guess they figure if you like sports you are a rowdy, testosterone filled male that doesn’t mind a half nude photo or harsh language.  Not all sports fans are like that.

A recent study has also found that facebook makes people feel bad about themselves.  I can see how that can happen.  Even though the bible tells us “do not worry about anything” I am a champion worrier in all aspects of my life, including facebook.  I need to work on that.  I worry that some people may not catch my sarcasm and humor and be offended by a post I’ve made.  Another new study has found that one in four people have deleted posts they’ve made for various reasons. Yep, I’m guilty of that.  I’ve posted something that was funny to me but got to thinking that some of my friends with different opinions may be offended by it so I deleted it.  I sometimes read a post and wonder if they were referring to me.  More worry.  I get to missing someone’s posts and find out I’ve been, oh the dreaded word, “unfriended”.  Then I worry about what I may have done to them to offend them and cause them to remove me from their list.  I’ve also worried after unfriending someone myself because of their language or extremely strong political views and actually hoped they didn’t realize I’d deleted them.  Even though I like them as a friend I may not care to see the types of comments they make.  Yes, I can see how facebook can make you feel bad about yourself.
Another issue is time.  Read here how much average time a person spends on facebook.  Couldn’t that time be used more productively?  Couldn’t we be using this time to interact with family and friends, or reading our bible, or exercising…or working?

I recently saw a news program about how people have become distracted with their cell phones and how it’s causing a health hazard.  They showed video of people looking at their phones and walking right out into traffic.  Even after one car slammed on brakes just a few inches from a man, he never looked up from his phone and continued to walk in front of other traffic. 
Yes, it has got that bad.  I’m guilty myself of having dinner out with my husband and spending a lot of that time browsing on facebook.  Not that my husband is much of a talker anyway but I’m sure other husbands or dates or comrades may be and I think this is a serious nuisance as well as being rude.  I’m sure there’s an etiquette rule against it!

As I wrote this I wondered if others had the same feelings I do.  I googled and wow, yes they do.  Not all are taking a break or leaving for the same reasons I am but yes, many have done the same thing.  Google it and see.
Maybe I’ll write a bit more on my blog that I’ve pretty much abandoned.  Hopefully I’ll read more scripture and do some more praying and hey, I may even try to exercise.  I’ve been looking at bicycles.  And my husband will also have to find something to occupy his time since he’s on my account as much as I am.  Sorry honey.  Maybe we should buy two bicylces.   

So if you need me you’ll have to contact me the old fashioned way…by email or text or the old land line phone since I live in the woods and don’t have decent cell phone service.
I really don’t know how this experiment will affect me.  I don’t know if I’ll be content or if I’ll be having to hold myself back from taking a peek to see what’s going on.  But as of this Saturday night before I go to sleep, I will deactivate my facebook account for one week.  I may or may not be back, depending on how this goes.

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