I've decided to participate in a 21 day challenge issued by our pastor, Zach Miller. Part of the challenge is to read one chapter of the book of John (found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible) each day, spend time in prayer and reflection and to "fast" something important to you. It might sound silly, but I've decided to fast Facebook.
Facebook is my homepage, the first thing that opens on my internet browser. I have the app for my Palm Pre, I have text updates. I'm connected. I'm also a bit dependent. OK, so my husband says "addicted", Facebook junkie, etc. LOL My conversation is freguently sprinkled with funny "status updates" from family and friends. I often view situations as opportunities for clever Facebook posts. I enjoy seeing what people have to say and often what they have to say about what I had to say - yep, I'll confess to a wee bit of self-love)
It also gives me a false sense of connectedness. It's easy to "know" someone through what they have to say on Facebook. I can't possibly "know" what's really going on in their lives. They don't know what's going on in mine! Although I try really hard to be transparent and post the good and the bad, the funny and the sad; I often leave out the ugly. I don't put up a status update that says "Noel Giger: is really mad at her husband for forgetting their dearly departed son's birthday, working late and ruining the plans for a family visit to the graveyard to remember his birthday." or "Noel Giger: is feeling guilty for not being able to handle the screaming and bad behaviour of her toddler (who is trying to get her attention while she is "working" on Facebook) and leaving him in time out for 20 minutes." or "Noel Giger: hasn't cracked her Bible in a week, even though she's listened to several hours of Biblical teaching on Christian radio."
Yep, I'm in love with the false reality that Facebook provides. I have over 400 friends, I must be likable. People comment on my status, I must be popular. People "like" my comments, I must be wise. I don't cuss or "like" people who do, I must be a Christian.
I'm a little afraid that I won't be able to keep up my fast. I'm not addicted (I can stop anytime I want to!), but it has become part of the fabric of my life (cotton - anyone?) It's a cheap addiction financially, so it's easy to justify. What is less easy to reason away is the relationship that it steals. I don't want cheap relationships. I want real ones. I should have realized this when my husband signed up for Facebook and alerts of my status updates so that he could keep up with what is going on in my head. I was flattered! Now I'm just angry if he doesn't respond - it must mean he doesn't care, right?
I'm jealous of those spouses who are mutually Facebook dependent. You know the ones - they tell each other's walls how much they love them. They respond back to the other's wall "I love you too". They post in the afternoon how they can't wait to get home to each other's walls. Then later in the day they post a status update about the wonderful time they had with each other cooking dinner and bike riding and whatever else...
Ah, now that's honest - is it too honest? I know that my relationship with my husband is firm, loving and secure. It just isn't public to my false Facebook world. Therein lies the problem. I've (temporarily) elevated that world over the things that I know to be true. It's easy to do! Maybe the world that you've elevated over the truth isn't a false one from Facebook. Maybe it's your blog friends. Maybe it's your office. Maybe it's your teachers and clasmates. The time has come to grasp hold of what is TRUE and see through the flimsy immitations of Life. Facebook doesn't love me. It may temporarily make me feel better about myself, but it doesn't sacrifice for me.
So - that's a (really long) reason to "fast" from Facebook.
I hope to blog later with my reflections from John chapter 1 ("the one about the son" - yes, I was a Carmen fan back in the day!). I hope to read this as a family, or at least with my husband - so I'm saving it for after he gets home.
Oh - and Facebook friends, if you comment on this through "Networked Blogs" I won't get it for a while - so if you want me to see it soon, pst a comment on the actual blog, or send me an e-mail :)