For the most part, Facebook was really fun for me. I loved reconnecting with people from my past who I thought I’d never see again. I loved the accessibility of them, too–they’re all right there, friends from my childhood to now, all over the world, compiled into a single website. It’s really awesome, honestly. I think it’s fair to say that Facebook changed my life, and maybe many of our lives, when it came to be. For the first few years, I felt like I was at my high school reunion every day. Seeing how people had changed, if they were married or not, if they had kids or not, what they were doing for a living–that was so, so much fun for me. Because I was a stay at home mom and had been for the past 11 years, so many of my social needs were being met through that venue. And it was so convenient. As time went on, however, and people became more comfortable with posting status updates, negativity was gradually introduced. Griping, complaining, passive aggression, & vulgarity were becoming more and more common. Then the drama started. Folks were slamming their exes, insulting their friends, fighting with their families–and all of it was on full display for the Facebook world. One time I read (with a dropped jaw) an entire back and forth between a mom and her daughter-in-law. I didn’t know any of those people in the conversation, and yet I was learning all about Lola’s hurt feelings, and her daughter-in-law’s selfish, inconsiderate ways. And finally, there’s the gossip factor. The HUGE gossip factor. I could write many paragraphs about my experiences with this issue, but won’t. I’ll just say that, more than once, I’ve been approached by a person who isn’t on Facebook who had heard about a recent post of mine, and was offended by it. Are.You.Kidding.Me. Y’all, never underestimate people’s capacity and willingness to gossip. They do, and they do it a lot. It’s a very real thing.
Since this past summer, I have felt like maybe the Lord was nudging me to stay off of social media. At one point, I’d made a declaration to only my husband that I was going to deactivate every account I had. I wanted to take myself out of any kind of spotlight and focus my entire attention on my family and on people this side of the computer screen. But not even a day later, I said, “No, that’s too drastic. Half the world is on Facebook these days. You pretty much need to be on it if you want to stay in the loop–whatever the loop may be.” So I decided I would only get on these sites occasionally, and cut way back on my postings. I did for a while, but, as social media does, it sucked me in further and further, and before I knew it, I was back to being on it the majority of the day. The thing is, when you’re on Facebook that much, you begin to notice every little thing, including the people who you no longer hear much from anymore. When those folks would spring to mind, I’d go check their profiles and discover that at some point he/she (mostly she) had unfriended me. And that’s when the downward spiral would begin. I’d rack my brain for hours trying to think of anything I might have said or done that was hurtful enough to be unfriended. Then I would decide that he/she (mostly she) must not like me and never did. Then I would conclude that I’m a terrible person, and agree that he/she (mostly she) was probably justified in unfriending me. And then I would tell Lee about it, only so he could try to comfort me by saying, “Missi, you can’t put that much weight into what happens on social media. You have no idea what their motives are, or even if they meant to unfriend you.”
And that is where the problem is for me. I actually DO put a lot of weight into the goings on in Facebook world. Too much. Waaaay too much. It was clearly wearing me down, stressing me out, and making me feel like a loser. I was also feeling guilty for the amount of time I was spending on it. It was no longer fun, and instead a source of self-condemnation. So as of last week, I decided that I’m through with it. At least for the time being. At least until God straightens me out a little bit. I felt as if His Spirit were saying to me, “All you have to do is log off. So do it.” And as easy and straightforward as that sounds, it wasn’t. It still feels like I’ve severed an artery or something. But here’s what I think about when I begin to question my decision: “I did not deal with this kind of stuff before Facebook, and I don’t have to deal with it today just because FB exists.” The enemy will use anything and everything he can to accomplish his goal to make us miserable and destroy our lives. I really believe he was using Facebook to do just that. He wants to get us where we’re vulnerable. I’m a pleaser and want people to like me, so Facebook was the perfect place for him to make me feel hated. It sounds kind of dramatic and far-fetched, and yet, I’m all too aware of how many of my days were completely ruined because of social media.
So here I am now, a blogger! I’m so excited about writing here-I just about can’t stand it. I love to express myself through writing and always have, and this is a perfect place to do just that. It fulfills that need without subjecting me to a bunch of other junk. I have very little experience with blogging, so this will definitely be a journey of trial and error for me, and for Lee, too. My sweet and super-smart husband made this website just for me, and is still constructing it. We’re trying to figure out an easier way to post more pictures and videos–in time it will hopefully have a lot more on it. I never in a million years thought I’d hear myself say, “HTML is so complicated!” It thrills and humbles me that anyone would care to read a blog of mine, and so I very much want it to be worth their/your time! I pray it brings smiles, encouragement, laughs, ideas, inspiration, or all of the above. Most importantly, I pray my words point readers to Jesus, and that I’d never post anything that would point away from Him. He has been so gracious to me, and I very much want to represent Him well. Not everything I write will be this long, by the way, so don’t judge by blog #1–this is just the intro!
Thank you so much for checking this out-I hope you’ll stick around! Please feel free to comment or subscribe–I will respond!
Love and blessings,
“Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!” Galatians 1:10.