Facebook Withdrawal

The New Year arrived and, for the first time in many years, I did not sit down to write out a list of goals for myself.  I did, however, think of a word for this year...a word that I hope will flesh itself out in my life over this year and beyond.  That word is "fearless".

Part of the fear I want to give up- to allow God to change- is related to my diabetes- an anxiety that has crept in to steal the joy from everyday life.  But that is a post for another time.

Another fear I hope to focus on this year is what. people. think. of. me, or the fear that I'm not enough according to some invisible standard of this world.  A fear of people's thoughts that keeps me from stepping out where I know I should, or being who I know I am.  Or perhaps a misplaced trust in approval that I should only be seeking from my Maker.

Even though fear may always be a part of my life to some extent, I know the ultimate remedy for fear is trust...but not trust in myself, or trust in other people, or trust in circumstances or ability- but trust in God. 

Trusting more fully in God requires me to focus on Him more- meditate on Him and His thoughts- really immerse myself in Him in a daily, practical way.  So that I recognize His presence in the things that seem inconsequential as well as in the larger than life, from the doing dishes to the adoption sized things.

But unfortunately, I realize that I sabotage my ability to focus on God's voice in my day-to-day life.  I drown Him out with so many other voices.  I've become increasingly addicted to knowing just what people think of me, and just what other people are doing.  And while for some it is not unhealthy, for me I think facebook is one of those things that I have given to much power to.  That it is ultimately distracting me from what I really want.

1 Corinthians 10:23 says, "I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive."
1 Corinthians 6:12 says essentially the same thing but adds, "...I will not be mastered by anything." 

I don't think that facebook is wrong, just counterproductive for me at this point in even normal doses. So I've decided to only go on facebook once a week.  Of course, that is only after a first failed attempt at limiting FB.  Initially, I tried only going on once a day for 15 minutes, but somehow that was too slippery a slope to maintain.  Fifteen minutes morphed into a few minutes longer, or once a day sort of turned into three "quick" peeks.  (obsession).  Then I considered completely going off facebook but 1)I think there is some valid networking value to facebook and 2) I'm so ridiculously close to being able to put pictures of my youngest-almost-adopted child online and I cannot bring myself to give up that milestone.  

So, through a series of complicated algorithms I concluded Tuesday was the best facebook day, and when the New Year hit, I started my plan.  Unfortunately I didn't consider that January 1st was a Wednesday, and it has felt like foooooreeeeever since that day.  So here's my no-facebook journal: (its rough people)

Day 1:  I'm not going on Facebook, I'm not going on Facebook...look at me, so collected, not remotely needing facebook.  Then somehow Facebook accidentally popped up on the computer I was using and I might have seen that I had 18 notifications?...ah...avert the eyes!  Three second rule, right?  That's how long it took me to close the browser so I think I'm safe.

Day 2:  I got an email FB notification saying a friend tagged me in a post...but I couldn't see the post. (!!??**) Hyperventilation. (Yes, I'm still getting occasional FB notifications- so if you get a Happy Birthday text from me instead of a FB sentiment, it is highly likely that your birthday does not fall on a Tuesday this year.) I was also tagged in a picture- which I can't look at...but you can.  Gah!  I texted a friend for facebook withdrawal support and pretended to be doing lamaze breathing.  hee-hee-hoo...

Day 3: I must have been in such awful facebook withdrawal that I'm a little hazy on what happened that day...

Day 4: Saturday- I was feeling bored but unmotivated to call friends up. (Or have I lost the art of using a phone to make plans?)  In an act of desperation I asked my husband to check my facebook messages for me juuuust to see if anyone from my previous FB life had messaged asking to hang out.  (And he obliged.  Really...he's such an enabler.)

Day 5: My obsession is gradually being overcome by clearer thinking.  Starting to feel oddly freer...no weight to meet any online expectations...are you trying to get a hold of me?  I have no idea...ha...I'm off the grid... there's less fear that by not being on facebook I am missing all the fun and relationships.  Feeling less like a crazy person glued to a screen waiting for responses, likes, and invites from people.  I don't think I'm having any more friend request dreams. But will this last...?

Day 6: Monday.  Almost forgot that tomorrow I can peek at my glorious news feed again....ahem, I mean...that thing that I will not derive my self worth from.  Then, facebook literally tried to taunt and seduce me by sending me an email update with a list of just how many friend requests, messages, and notifications I have missed.  It even told me that I "have missed some popular stories."  You are only steeling my resolve, old friend.  Not going to cave.

Bottom line, I don't want to spend my whole life trying to capture or retell moments only to post them for the world- I want to be present in THIS moment, confident of who I am because of Christ, seeking to please Him. I don't want to invest a lot of time in something that actually creates a need for more approval by its very nature.  And, aside from the withdrawal symptoms, I really don't don't see how this experiment could hurt- so I'm praying it will be just one more piece of my fearless for this 2015.