Monday, August 22, 2011

FaceBook. Bringing Out The Worst.

I remember a couple of years ago I kept getting invitations to join Facebook from family and friends. "What a time suck!!" was my initial response. How could anyone waste their time reading all the mindless posts from friends they hadn't seen since high school? And not only that, who cared? If someone really wanted to be your "friend" why didn't they give you a call or send you a letter?

Well, here we are 2 years later and I'm constantly checking my Facebook home page. Did my sister update her status? Is my aunt in Chicago doing well? How about my cousins? Don't forget all my old friends who live far away. What are they up to? Oh! I better update my status and let everyone know that I just gave little Jimmy the third bath of the day because he decided to pour maple syrup on his head...again.

Yes. This is what part of my days look like. Granted, I check in for only about a minute and then I'm off. But add those minutes up and who knows how many hours I spend a week on Facebook. How did I get sucked into this? And why is it so difficult to stop?

Today I finally made a realization. Facebook brings out the worst in me. As I sat checking everyones updates on my phone today, I caught myself doing something. I wasn't surprised or suddenly appalled...I was just AWARE of what I was doing. I was judging. Criticizing. Forming bad opinions. Snickering.

And as I read a friend's post, I realized just how addictive Facebook is. And addictive is not good. Sure, I get to keep in touch with friends and family. My dad looks forward to all the pictures I post of the kids. It's the way I message our babysitter. But is being on Facebook really bringing out the best in me? Probably not.

This past Lent, I remember talking with a friend about our sacrifices. Giving up Facebook was one of them. I remember her saying how difficult it was going to not check in and asking if it counted to just read and not post. Wow. Talk about the incredible grip that Facebook has on our daily lives! Even more recently, another friend gave up Facebook as a prayerful cause. But of course, it's impossible to really "give it up" and you can still see where she checks in daily and Sundays don't count.

Is it that hard to stop? I say yes. After choosing to go without it for Lent, I realized just how tempting it was to "drop in." The first week was the hardest. My husband kept saying, "If you even visit the FB page, you are breaking your fast." So I didn't. Not even on Sunday. I went the whole season without even opening the FB page. It was a little liberating.

But now here I am again. Should I "give it up" as my friends say? I'm not sure. On the one hand, I love keeping in touch with my family. On the other hand, I'm sometimes creating negative thoughts and bringing out the worst in me. Which way to go?

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