For going on five weeks now I’ve pretty much been on a social media fast, signing on to Facebook only to post sermon links or manage the church page, and avoiding Twitter entirely. I have had the Facebook Messenger app on my phone open for messages, but that’s pretty much it, and even that’s been pretty dry.
I did this because I found myself spending way too much time (wasted time) on both. When I had an idle moment I would reflexively pull up Facebook, or watch the stream on the Twitter Mac app. It got to be mind numbing, discouraging, and affected my productivity.
Since then I’ve noticed a few things about myself…
- I think I’ve been more joyful. I haven’t been drawn in by every controversy in evangelicalism, reading each post, liking and commenting and retweeting, and wasting energy on stuff that is ultimately fruitless. I haven’t been carrying around the baggage of a discouraged attitude about the state of the church at large because I’m always looking at it. I’ve stayed informed through podcast and my own reading, but it hasn’t always been in my face.
- I’ve been much more productive. Sermon preparation has come easier, and I’ve read more, without the distraction of Facebook notifications and that never-ending Twitter stream in the background. There are enough distractions in the world as it is. It’s been nice to be without these two.
- Perhaps most importantly of all, I feel I’ve been more engaged with and attuned to the needs of my wife and children. And it’s not like I wasn’t before, but I’ve come to believe social media creates a subtle drag on even our closest and most important relationships.
There will come a day when I re-engage with the world of Facebook and Twitter. I have no doubt about that. I want to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in both, though, and I know there’s a definitely place for that. But right now I feel I’m best glorifying Him apart from that. I’ll come back in time, but it will be on my terms and it will be more disciplined. Even so, as much as I have enjoyed social media in the past, I don’t yet have any desire to re-engage. So if you’re reading this and you miss me, know you can still send me a Facebook message, and my email address is easy enough to find. You can even find my phone number if you really want it. I’m not avoiding you. I’m avoiding the drag.