I heard an event announcement on the radio and they said, “Share it. Tweet it. Like it.” I actually laughed out loud and the mimicked the radio, “Share it. Tweet it. Like it.” And then I shook my head and thought, “Gotta love social media.”
Social media, in various forms, has really taken over our lives. How many times have you contemplated a situation in the form of a Facebook status or a Tweet? Have you taken a picture just for the purpose of uploading it to your site of choice? Perhaps you find yourself thinking in 140 character statements. In and of themselves, none of these things are bad. It’s okay to post on Facebook. It’s okay to Tweet your 140 character wittiness. And there’s nothing wrong with loading your favorite photos for all to see.
I guess the question for me has become….how much is too much? At what point have you crossed the line from enjoying the benefits and value of social media and moved into obsessed and perhaps even addicted? When do you need to take a step back and just enjoy life without thinking about how to frame it in a status update or what it might look like in a photo or how to squeeze this into 140 characters?
January has been that month for me. Almost from the beginning, I was taking steps to reduce the amount of time that I spent on Facebook. I found that it was sucking up so much of my time. It’s amazing how easy it is to spend an hour or even two just looking at your news feed. How does the time fly by so fast?? I even stopped posting for a time. It was just too much for me. For a couple weeks, I was rarely on there and I was happy with that. I just kept Messenger active on my phone so that I could keep in touch with church people about the children’s ministry and other church related stuff. Just last week, I found myself drawn back into it periodically. I posted here and there but didn’t read too much. But then the reading time started getting a little longer and then longer. Today I made a change.
My church is doing a 4 day fast this week. I decided that the thing I needed to fast the most was Facebook. Right now I’m desperate for God’s wisdom. I need His guidance in a couple different situations. I have been asking Him for His wisdom but not always taking the time to listen to what He has to say. Part of that is due to too much time on Facebook. So I’m taking four days off. No Facebook. No Messenger. No framing my life in timeline posts. No taking photos just to “show off” on Facebook. No checking for messages way too often. Just four days off. It’s only been 10 hours and already it has been hard. I want to check in. I want to know what people are saying. I want to see if anyone has messaged me. Instead, I need to turn that time in prayer time, listening time. I need to open my Bible instead of firing up Facebook. Reading the Word and spending time in prayer is how I am going to hear from God on these situations, not through checking Facebook.
Social media is a good tool for connecting with friends and family, especially with those who are far away. My challenge now is to not let that good tool consume my time and keep me from the present time that God has me living.