On Taking a Facebook Break

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Last week, I went on this walk in the woods. Well, I was supposed to be on a jog, but then I saw the woods and I always have these lines in my head when I see the woods, this poem by Robert Frost,

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.

Only I sort of rewrite the lines and they go something like this

The woods are lovely dark and deep
And I have dishes in the sink
And I’m trying to go for a jog and get in shape
But I think I’ll look for a turtle and some wildflowers instead.

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So, I was meandering through the wild woods, looking for morel mushrooms and keeping my eye out for a box turtle, all the while, talking to my Maker about the stuff just right there on my heart. Like how overwhelmed I was at not being able to get everything done in a day, and how frustrated I was with myself for being on the computer too much, and for being far too concerned about what other people think. All I knew was that for quite some time, I had an anxious heart at the end of the day and I had walked through most of my moments distracted and I felt stuck.

As I was spilling all of this out to the Lord, I had the thought to shut down my Facebook account. Not, like, forever, but for at least a week or so. Now, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?”, but it was kinda a big deal for me. As in, my initial thought was that Facebook might actually implode upon itself without my active presence.

However, I remembered back to the days when I wasn’t so distracted and how much I enjoyed life and God and people and the sky and moss and beetles underneath rocks. So, I settled it right then and there in my heart that I would deactivate my Facebook account and then I found a salamander under some leaves and brought it home to show my children.

And for the last week, I’ve taken a break. A much needed, long over-do break and let me tell you—it was the best thing I could do for my soul. Because I didn’t realize how much I was going to the computer to post pictures, to respond to comments, to write sporadic status updates, to respond to comments, to read boat loads of mostly trivial (though exceedingly interesting) posts and make comments, and to click away on oodles of alluring links only to feel like the life and creativity was sucked out of me by the end of the day.

And according to Facebook, I’ve been a member for like seven years. So, for seven years, this has pretty much become my daily routine. I needed a week to take a break.

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This mornin’, my Momma asked me to tell her one benefit of unplugging. I could think of so many. Here’s a few:

Firstly, as soon as I deactivated that thing, this pervading peace came. Like, I could breathe deep for the first time in a long time. There was this immediate freedom to throw off all the expectations of what I should do and what I thought others expected me to do, and I just tended to my soul. I let my soul rest.

It took me a few days to recover. Because I’d be enjoying this or that and I’d think, “Oh, I need to take a picture and post this.” And then I thought, “Um, no I don’t. I can just enjoy this moment without having to share it with the world.” And I found myself pausing longer as I watched my kids run through the yard and perform their funny antics and instead of grabbing the camera and trying to capture those moments, I just shared them with God. “God, those kids are so hilarious! Look at Hopey’s hair in the sunshine! Isn’t she beautiful? Lord, I love this. Thank You for this.”

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Because I had kinda forgotten that some moments can just be sacred. I was surprised at how immensely I was enjoying my life again. And how often I was talking to my Maker again, with this peace filled heart. And instead of going to the computer dozens of times a day, I was getting so much done and I wasn’t even hurrying!

I did question whether or not I should even get back on Facebook. But, social media is just a tool to be with people. And people are exceedingly important. In fact, as a Jesus-follower, I believe that there are only three things that last forever. God. His Word. And people. And of course I want to be with people, but I’m going to have to do things differently, because I think that we can start devaluing people when we misuse social media.

People can get reduced down to a thumbs up that boosts our ego. Or a red notification that needs to be cleared. Or just an icon up on the screen and we forget that those friends of ours are real folks who are either having a good day or a bad day and are just wanting to be loved on, just like us. So, from here on out, I plan to unplug one week out of every month.

And I’m gonna take that time to tend to my soul. Because God is always seeking relationship with the people that He’s made, but we’re so busy scanning screens that our minds get all cluttered up. We need to carve out time and space to return to Him again.

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We need time to let our soul rest. And just enjoy God.

I think this will help.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. by Allen Williamson on May 23, 2014  7:48 am Reply

    Very good post Maggie! Sometimes we just need to stop and smell the roses with just God and ourselves!

    • by Maggie on June 1, 2014  9:27 pm Reply

      Thanks, Mr. Al!

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