The Soft Slide Away From Facebook

Well, it’s been a long time coming.

Facebook.

A paradox.

At the same time helpful and damaging.
Positive and negative.
Connecting and alienating.

Lately I have spent most my time on fb just reading. My posts over the last several months could be counted on 2 hands, maybe a foot. And what have I learned?

It is a vampire of attention, and a fuel for vanity and arrogance.

By vampire, I mean it is a parasite that sucks.

On attention, it fuels my ADD by providing a literally endless river of disconnected tidbits.  I can read as much or as little as I have time for, and it will fill all that time. I can scroll for hours. And I have. It fills all the pauses in my day. I need pauses. Pauses allow me to move forward. A day spent only exhaling is a short day indeed. The daily, hourly, momentary rhythm of in/out is so helpful.

On vanity, I’m pretty sure we all know what I mean. FB is a great way to show the best of your life and get people to praise you. All you have to do is put it out there, and all they have to do is click. Every picture, selfie, accomplishment, and landmark event fuels our fragile egos. I would constantly check for new likes and comments. Not because I wanted to hear from people, but because I wanted to know they knew how awesome I was.

On arrogance. This is tough. We all tend to think that we are right. And with that comes the implication that “they” (read: anyone who doesn’t agree with you) are wrong. This creates a dangerous position of discussion. Disagreements turn into attacks, and people turn into ideas. It’s easy to shoot down an idea. Facebook makes it easy to shoot down a person. I have seen, and have been a part of, too many flame wars. It is not helpful, no meaningful dialogue happens, and it brings a lot of negativity into my heart. “How can they think that? They must be racist/sexist/mean/stupid/enter insult here.” All it does is prove to us how “right” we are, and how “wrong” everyone else is. Unless they think like us. Don’t get me wrong. I totally believe in differing opinions, healthy dialogue, and knowing and loving those who disagree with you. But Facebook removes the relationship from the argument. It allows us to make statements in a vacuum. Those who disagree with me become “Them,” and I can say anything about “Them” without actually insulting anyone. Only it doesn’t work that way. All it does is make us feel superior because we can look down on “Them” and still maintain the illusion that we’re not hurting our friends. It makes me sick. And I see this in both my “Christian” and “Non-Christian” friends. Jesus had a great way of attacking issues, not people (check out His interactions with the Pharisees). I think most of us (myself included) aren’t as good at that as we think we are. We stand on our high moral or logical horse and look down at all those poor fools who aren’t as evolved as we are. (Yes, I am aware that that is what I am doing in using this argument. I never said I was innocent of this, I am just saying that Facebook makes it too easy)

So all this to say, I’m going to be avoiding Facebook for a while. Not cutting it out completely, since it is a great way to talk to a lot of people at once. But I feel like for me, at this time, it is more damaging than it is helpful. I will attempt to keep this blog updated if you’d like to know what is going on for me. If you want to talk to me, please call, text, or email me.

So long Facebook, it’s been fun.

Sort of.

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