If you want to google the statistics, you can. Go ahead and blow your mind and then try to wrap it around 1.23 billion users, 640 million minutes, and $6.15 billion, but make sure you do this for 18 minutes first thing in the morning– before you even get out of bed.
Because that’s where a whole lot of us start the day: on Facebook. If relationships are so important, then we best start this day off right: making connections, listening to friends, sharing our hearts. Right?
I remember when texting was the gravest of dangers to our society, to family life, to purity between the sexes. When it was new, of course. I even remember when IM was a big issue because, as I recall, “people said things while chatting that they would never say in person.”
Facebook was invented, and took its turn as the Great Danger until we got used to it. Now you can count more friends ON Facebook than not. It’s how you stay connected with family. It’s the only way to keep in touch with old friends. It’s the new church bulletin. It’s where you read the news. It’s part of the morning (and nightly) routine, and dozens of voluntary interruptions in between.
I am not afraid of the counter culture, thanks to a background in cape dresses and nonresistance. Neither am I afraid of mainstream culture– I have a very high tolerance for change; a need, in fact. I’d like to think I don’t get dragged into either current.
Hj and I have slowly weeded social media out of our lives, not because we have seen its grave dangers. We don’t think Facebook ruins real-life social skills. We aren’t under the impression that people can’t truly connect online.
For us, it’s about the time it wastes.
We discovered that time, like money, disappears into the Black Hole unless it’s assigned to something. We discovered that excellent relationships happen intentionally, not by accident. We even discovered that we need a calendar and we need a pen (ink) and we need to write things like “date night” and “game night” and “fun day outdoors.” We want to live a full life, not a busy life.
We believe taking thoughts captive means choosing what we fill our minds with, and also choosing what we don’t fill our minds with. There are friends in faraway places that I would dearly love to keep up with. I know there are amazing blogs out there, absolutely inspiring and challenging to my relationship with Jesus. There are so many wonderful resources online for inexperienced moms like me…
I also know my limits and I hope you know yours too. For me to live alive and creatively, I need lots of white space (which I have not found on Pinterest- oh mind numbing busy-ness!). I need lots of sunshine, lots of staring at the vastness, and definitely some majesty in my life. I need to sweep my house daily and I need to sweep my mind daily too– whisking out the door the small thoughts, the little anxieties. I call it “casting my cares.” I need quiet time, and I need a quiet soul, to listen to the atmosphere around me, to hear the words behind the words. I need the time and the space to gaze at my husband, to really see my baby girl– no hurry, no distraction.
Nobody else is going to make sure I keep my limits and get my white space. This is my responsibility to me and to the real life people around me, so they get the best version of me that is possible. I have to mark out what really matters to me, and let the rest come under the knife… because what’s missing is what gives a carving its shape. It’s not necessarily about good and bad.
We are pulling the last plug and tossing internet to the wind for 6 months. We want to know that the things we fill our lives with are the things that matter in eternity. For us, it means taking a step back and reevaluating, getting a fresh perspective. We are not necessarily slowing down and certainly not withdrawing. We are planning to engage more than ever, plug in to our Jesus, and connect more deeply with people we love. We want to swim against the tide for a bit, plant some new dreams, and romp in the hay, if you know what I mean.