I deactivated FB last night. Why? Well, first off, because I was on FB during one of my favourite classes.
Okay, granted. I’ve written three papers in the past week, worked a youth conference, and prepared a presentation for tomorrow. I’m a little brain-frazzled. And to most people, source criticism in the OT isn’t the most exciting topic (unless you’re me, then you love it). So it might seem excusable to be on FB during a three hour night class in which we aren’t allowed to have food… and of course, that wasn’t all there was to it.
Last night is symptomatic of another issue. I’ve been on FB a lot lately. I check it before going to bed at night, before class in the morning, on lunch and class breaks–I’m on there all the time.
It wouldn’t be such an issue if it was a diversionary activity. I can shut off my internet when working on a paper and that usually helps. I set goals like: finish this page and then check FB. That’s manageable. So it wasn’t only the time issue, though that certainly played into it all.
It was this:
the other night, a “story” came up on my “newsfeed.” For the non-FB people out there, a newsfeed is where updates appear from all of your friends. This story sparked a lot of anger quite suddenly and a good deal of jealousy and sadness as well. It was amazing how quickly and how intensely the emotions came. I don’t usually have much in the way of engaging emotions, hence, feeling something so intensely and suddenly was a startling experience.
I had to close my computer in order to tear my mind and heart from the invading feelings. It was overwhelming, the the depth of what I was feeling: injustice, ingratitude, sorrow, disappointment, failure, incompetency, anger and self righteousness all wrapped up in a whole lot of self loathing.
And I realized that I would never have felt those things if I hadn’t seen that story on my newsfeed. Which made me realize something I’d been thinking in the back of my mind without actually engaging:
FB causes me a lot of discontentment. Sometimes that’s in my relationship with E as I watch other friends get married, display flowers that their man brought home for them, or talk about how amazing their significant other is. It goes in reverse as well when I feel ungrateful for not pouring out my thanks to E all over the internet. Or I feel incompetent because I haven’t made us a five course meal this week with cloth napkins followed by desert which is, obviously, homemade ice cream and chocolate sauce from chocolate that is 80% cacao and totally organic-fair-trade-shade-grown-cacao-from-a-small-village-committed-to-sustainability. Whew! Is anyone else exhausted?
I feel jealous about friends who are overseas serving where I used to think God was calling me. I am discouraged by friends who seem smarter, and feel inadequate when friends post very spiritual things as their statuses–why don’t I love Jesus like that?
I realized I already have enough of a struggle comparing myself to others. I didn’t need another avenue for that temptation to plague me. So, in class, after scribbling notes about camels in the Ancient Near East, I logged on and deactivated.
I’ve already tried to check it several times, only to be reminded of my choice last night. But over all, I feel a bit less distracted, and a bit more at peace. Who knows? Maybe this abstinence from social media will stick.