Disconnected

I’ve been disconnected for about a week and a half.

And only partially. Social Media is one of those things that seems harmless and fun, and you go along with it for years and years before you realize that it’s actually adding a lot of stress and anxiety to your life. And by your life, I mean mine.

There are obviously many wonderful things I’ve shared with Facebook… things that I am able to look back on and feel the flood of wonderful memories rushing at me. Things like my engagement, my wedding day, the day we announced my first pregnancy, and the day Ava was born. I love being able to look back and see what we did, what others said, and the overall feelings I remember having come right back.

But at the same time, I feel like more of my memories live on in those pictures and comments than in my own head. I haven’t really kept a journal since joining Facebook either. It’s a problem. The positive turned into a negative.

Strike one.

The anxiety and stress (an obvious negative) is a problem too. When we were trying to get pregnant with our second, it took much longer, and was much more stressful than it was with Ava (umm… she wasn’t planned. TMI? I don’t really care). Yet every time I signed on Facebook, another friend was announcing a pregnancy, or even worse, complaining about a pregnancy. I cried a lot. Even now, there are constantly stories on Facebook that upset me. Or comments. Comments from well-intending people who phrase it just right so it’s unintentionally insensitive. I don’t need that in my life. I don’t need other people commenting on my life. I have enough positive encouragement, and I don’t need the negativity–intentional or not.

Strike two.

I know it’s not just my family… Have you noticed how often you or the people around you are on their phones? And I’m not talking about communicating with people. I mean just sitting on their phones scrolling through the various social media apps. Like, what are you looking at that’s more important than socializing with the people around you? Or what are you replacing with these hours of time spent on Facebook? I was particularly convicted when I realized that I was unable to find time every day to read my Bible, but I spent any free moment I had on Facebook. And it sickened me when I realized that so far, my daughter knows my phone is important because it’s always in my hand… on or off. And also horrible realizing that my husband and I spend our evenings sitting on the couch together on our phones, rather than sharing intentional conversations. It was the worst realization ever.

Strike three.

Those three strikes made me realize Facebook, although a great way to socialize, cheapens the relationships that are most important. It was then that I decided to remove Facebook from my phone. However, this decision took longer than I’d like to admit to follow through on. I shared my convictions with Caleb, and he actually agreed with me. I logged out of Facebook. He deleted it. About half a week later, I deleted my app too. It’s been such a freeing decision, I don’t regret it at all.

It’s now been about a week and a half that I’ve been disconnected, and I don’t miss it. I read a whole book. We’ve had conversations. I haven’t carried my phone around the house. I still have Instagram, due to the photos I enjoy editing with the filters, but I have cut down the list of those I follow, so there’s not much to look at.

*As a side note, I did not deactivate my account. I still use it occasionally for work purposes, and have given myself the option of checking Facebook if I’m on the computer (not during work), but it’s been a week since I even did that. I feel like I’m breaking ties, and soon I’ll be one of those people who’s “never on FB anymore” (which is something I used to say to people when they had a long absence).

Social Media doesn’t have to be bad, but we cannot let it take over our thoughts and lives. If it’s a problem, address it.

And to be honest, Social Media isn’t how I connect with the people I really care about and want to talk to. It’s just a means to keep track of the people I don’t.