This is something I have been thinking about doing for awhile.
I don’t just mean a month or a week. I’m talking years. I’ve been thinking about this. I’ve been praying and discerning. I’ve had conversations about it. I wrote a blog about it a couple months ago. I’ve decided now to take a step and see what happens.
I am going to put away Facebook and Twitter for awhile.
In a world that is constantly busy and moving, I want to maintain simplicity. There are a couple of ways that I already try to do this: I take notes using a pen and a spiral notebook with real paper inside of it. I also use a real planner that I can hold in my hands and flip through its pages. I write down the things that I do; I cross them out when they change. I know that there are dozens if not hundreds of notetaking and planner/calendar applications, but something about holding a pen in my hand and letting the ink flow out onto a page is more satisfying that pressing away at buttons or a touch screen. What is ironic is that as ACU is expanding its mobile learning initiative, I am trying to move away from that. This year my professors have made use of the mobile devices more than any year past, yet this year I am choosing to use it less. I want to maintain this same kind of simplicity in my personal life as well.
WHAT I’M NOT SAYING
In signing off of Facebook and Twitter for awhile, I’m not saying that it is wrong to use these social networks to interact with people. In fact, I think that very good things can come from using Facebook and Twitter.
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
There is nothing sinful or righteous about Facebook or Twitter. It is neutral, and it is lawful. But I’m convinced that it is not entirely helpful or good for building up, at least not for me for a season. I have always sought to use Facebook and Twitter in a way that brings glory to God, but sometimes I think it is tempting to “tweet” or check for “notifications” simply out of selfish pride. Something which was once an act of selfless ministry can become an act of selfish fulfillment. It’s a heart problem and I want to guard against it by giving up Facebook and Twitter for awhile. Besides, even without the heart problem it is good to give up anything that isn’t God, but is taking up so much of a person’s time.
WHAT I AM SAYING
My goal in giving these things up is not simply to do it so I can say that I did it—if that is the reason for fasting from anything, it’s the wrong reason. My hope in giving these things up is to take my attention and my heart away from a computer and give it to the company I find myself with, the people around me. I want to spend less time on Facebook and have more face time with people. I want to give less of myself to the generic internet and more of myself to genuine interactions. And above all I seek to grow closer to God and his purposes for my life.
I hope that from this I will grow more genuine in relationships, more disciplined in my studies, and more grounded in my faith.
So, if you want to reach me I would love to interact with you. Please call me, text me, or email me. I feel like these methods of communication are more personal. And, if you really want to go all out you could write me a letter. That would bring us back to the simplicity of paper and ink. Ahh, how I love it.
Also, check back here. I will continue to maintain this blog while I am away from Facebook and Twitter. When I do have something to say or to share I’ll flesh it out more and make it a blog entry rather than 140 characters of instant gratification.
Grace and peace be with you.