So this is me basically grabbing Facebook by the throat and strangling it. Not that I hate it. Actually I love it, I love it, I love it TOO much!
I've had an interesting "relationship" with Facebook over the past eight years. In college, I both embraced Facebook for a while and then scorned it and left, clearing all my personal information and photos so as little trace of me could be found. Then I lived, yes, I thrived for over three years without Facebook and did just fine. So why did I ever come back?
Last winter, I thought I had a few reasons to justify my entrance back onto Facebook. 1) I didn't want to be a hypocrite on my resume. I wanted to show how savvy I was in social media for all those jobs (most in my field) that require social media skills. I knew I could be adept at it as a twenty-something in the 21st century age, but in order to prove to potential employers that I could excel in social media, I felt I should actually, well, employ it. And I wasn't sure LinkedIn or blogging was enough. 2) If Facebook were a horse and I were riding it, I figured I could round up more readers to my blog, and that would benefit me professionally. 3) Basically, it all converged on the fact I was a lonely single looking to connect with people and stay connected with friends from afar.
Those all seemed fair reasons enough to join, but truth is: I've had no potential employers suddenly chasing me down for my impressive social media skills. I've written less blog posts since discovering I could be lazy and simply post one-line updates instead of lengthy, thoughtful, creative discourse. I am still single, and occasionally lonely.
So it didn't solve my problems. No big deal. But has it made me a better person?
Through my experience, Facebook encourages passivity. As I sit there scrolling through news, looking for something that will make me laugh, think, sigh or bring a smile to my day, I tend to find myself always wanting more, never satisfied. And suddenly the hour is shot. I didn't do anything intentional with my life. I made no heroic choices. I took no risks. I just tried to get life to play on me.
People are looking for meaning, especially in today's virtual world. People are looking for loving attention. Hey, that's why I made the decision to throw some of my freelance writing jobs out the window and go take a lower-paying job at a bookstore - to break away from the virtual into the real.
I was reading an essay by a college student yesterday who wants to be a Missionary of Purity, and what she said struck me as true, whether you apply it to sexual purity or anything we do. "I think in our culture, especially the college culture, it is easy to think that your actions and the way in which you use your body don't matter. Yet, what Christ is challenging us to do on a daily basis is to understand that everything we do, every action in our lives, no matter how minute, matters. I think this is the greatest message that needs to be conveyed to youth."
Right ho! The details of our life matter, whether they receive 99 "Likes" on Facebook or none at all.