I’m not the best with words sometimes; they can be ill-timed and ill-written. While I write a blog page, that type of writing isn’t the “off the cuff” status updates that are posted on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been stung a bit lately by status updates that I’ve either posted or responded to on Facebook. It’s left me wondering why I bother at times (yes, pity party material, I know) so I decided earlier this week to take a break from the cyberwaves. This included both Facebook and Twitter.
Now, as Twitter can be a somewhat more of an encouraging medium than Facebook (hold on...don’t get shirty just yet!) I decided to return to Twitter this morning. And ... I also decided that I would deactivate my Facebook page so that I am not tempted to sneak a peek at what my peeps there have been doing.
What is my reason for this? Aside from wanting to spend less time on social networking I decided to deactivate to answer a few questions that were planted in my mind a few weeks back.
“What would my days be like if the first thing I did when I got up was NOT check Facebook, Twitter or my email account?”
“What would I do if I DIDN’T know what my peeps were doing every single day of the week?”
“What would my life be like?”
Well, I’m about to find out. Yes, I still have my Facebook Fan Page, my Twitter account and my email, but I don’t have access to see what my family and friends are thinking, saying and doing on a daily – even hourly – basis.
I suffered a nervous breakdown just over 18 months ago, and no, it was not nice. And last year, twelve months after the first breakdown, I suffered another one. For those who have suffered, or suffer from, depression and anxiety, I’m sure you can understand when I say that part of the healing process is lessening the voices in your head. Cutting back on my cyberspace time is part of this process.
I need less of the voices in my head and more of His voice in every part of my life.
It’s not that I don’t love and care about my family and friends; I DO! I just feel that at this point in time it’s best if I cut back on my distractions. Now, please don’t misinterpret that ... by distractions, I mean that I have been guilty of looking through status updates, photos and profile pages instead of spending time with my daughter, with God, or doing much needed tasks around the house, never mind my IRL (In Real Life) family and friends!
As for Twitter being more encouraging than Facebook ... well, there are less “haters” on there, tweets are short, and there is more information about things in general that is shared compared to what someone might be having for breakfast that day (said with tongue in cheek for those who are aware of my cheekiness).
Galatians 5:25-26 from The Message resonated with me last week and I felt it was an answer from God to the questions I posed above.
“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”
I don’t want my life with Jesus to be just a sentiment. I want Him in every part of it.
I’ve found that Facebook can sometimes be about comparison too. Friends have even called it Fakebook because that is what some people can be on there.
Deborah West (@DeborahSWest) challenged my authenticity the other day: “As a writer, am I telling my story or God's story? (conviction)”. It got me wondering if as a social networker am I appearing as the real Paula or a fake version? Am I jazzing up my life to make me seem more popular to others. As a reformed people pleaser, I hope not and I also don’t think so. I believe I am authentic, and have actually been recognised for my transperancy.
The sentence that really stood out from the verses above was, “We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.” It’s not that Facebook isn’t interesting, but when we look at our mission in life as Christians, what is really more important? Scanning profile pages, or actually living the life God pre-destined for us. Yes, we must connect with others and be Jesus in flesh, but I feel there can be a limit. I know that for myself there certainly is.
I want to live on purpose. I want to make EVERY. MOMENT. COUNT. I want to make sure I am walking the walk as well as talking the talk. I want to “live creatively”. I want to share more of my daughter’s life. I want to heal from my depression and anxiety. I want healing in my neck, which I sprained almost 5 weeks ago and it’s still not better. And at the moment I want NO distractions while God works on me; while He focuses my mind on things for His glory. Taking a break means I can do all this.