Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things. [Philippians 4:8 – NKJV]
A few years ago, Sue and I discontinued our cable TV service. We were stationed in Germany, and wouldn’t have watched enough German language TV to justify the expense. We found that we had so much more time in our day from not watching TV that when we returned to the USA, we got cable Internet and phone service, but left TV service off. It’s not that there isn’t anything good on TV. It’s just that you have to sort through so much debauchery, blasphemy, and outright ugliness to find it that it’s just not worth the struggle. It’s certainly not worth spending our hard-earned money for the “privilege.” We haven’t missed having TV in the nearly ten years since we pulled the plug.
Today, I realized that I feel much the same way about Facebook. Please don’t misunderstand me. Facebook has some benefits that I do enjoy. I love my Facebook friends – most of whom are real-life face-to-face friends as well. I love the Facebook groups I have joined that allow me to exchange information and plan activities with friends and strangers who share common interests. I love being able to share my blog posts with a wider audience and receive their feedback. I love the humorous videos and memes that give me hearty and healthy belly laughs day-by-day. I love hearing about the happenings in the lives of those I love who are far away. I love the devotions written by my brothers and sisters in the LORD Jesus. I love and thank Facebook for putting me back in contact with folks from my past with whom I had long ago lost touch. I love being able to share the events of my life with the people I love with the ease that Facebook offers.
I’m going to miss those beneficial aspects of Facebook. With all that said though, in recent weeks I have become aware of a deep oppression in the depths of my soul, and just today realized it’s coming from all the time I’m spending on Facebook. It might be more accurate to describe Facebook as an antisocial rather than a social network. Intertwined with the funny memes, and the heartwarming news from loved ones far away is an overwhelming plethora of sarcasm, cynicism, debauchery, blasphemy, political bombast, and disturbing news of war, murder, civil violence, child abuse, oppression, governmental corruption, abuse of power, social strife, environmental catastrophe, intolerance, loss of freedom, demonic activity, global starvation, religious persecution, etc. The list could go on and on and on. You take my point, I’m sure. Practically everything I see on Facebook makes me angry or depressed or both.
Not only am I wasting many precious hours every day sifting through the great pile of detritus which is the vast majority of Facebook’s content, in doing so I am allowing the enemy of our souls to rob me of my joy in the LORD. What’s even worse, I find myself putting up Facebook posts that are adding fuel to this fire, of discontentment and division, and that must stop immediately!
So this morning first thing, I turned off all Facebook notifications, and deleted all the ones that had already come in overnight. It’s not that I don’t want to hear from you, dearly beloved, or learn what’s happening in your world. I do. It’s just that I can’t handle all the negativity that’s mixed in with the good stuff. I’m still undecided how I’ll approach Facebook going forward. For now, I’m on hiatus. I’m not sure for how long. I’ll continue to share my blog posts on Facebook, and my friends can always reach me through Facebook messenger, e-mail, SMS, by phone or in person. If you want but don’t have my other contact info, and reach me only through Facebook messenger, then send me a PM, and I’ll share the other avenues with you.
Bye for now – maybe for good.