On a whim, I deactivated my facebook account. It’s been a long time coming, but it never felt like the right time to pull the plug. “I’ll miss keeping up with out-of-state family.” “I’ll never be in contact with old friends.” “I won’t have any idea what’s going on in anyone’s lives.” The list of reasons to keep up with the checking of my newsfeed were plentiful and never lacking. Some of them I do consider to be valid, even now.
But today was the day. I don’t know why, I can’t pinpoint any one thing that made me think, “Yup, that’s it. I’m done.” In a fit of folly or complete foolishness, I deactivated my account. I’m done. Probably not forever, and probably not for as long as I should. I’ve officially been “off” Facebook for about a half hour and already I’m feeling the itch to log in as if nothing ever happened just to see what’s going on.
I think what it really boils down to for me is that I am tired of the roller coaster I allowed myself to be taken on via this social media site. For whatever reason, I increasingly found my self-worth and identity being parsed down to the number of ‘likes’ and comments I would receive. Or I would hover on the brink of depression upon seeing Instagram picture after Instagram picture of perfectly groomed women, children, homes…picture perfect moments that just do not happen in my house. Never mind the fact that in the year 2015 I still do not own a smartphone and probably will not for the forseeable future. So, those gourmet meals everyone snaps a picture of and immediately posts for oohs and ahhs? Yeah, forget that. Not going to happen from this kitchen.
Then there were the more subtle attacks on my heart and spirit. I am aware enough of my own failings and weaknesses to know that I struggle mightily with needing to feel needed and valued in my relationships, especially friendships, and that when I don’t feel that way, life sucks. This feeling would manifest when I would see friends posing for cute pictures on coffee dates that I wasn’t invited to (not that I needed to be) or shopping or whatever and Satan would automatically sneak in with thoughts of, “See? No one even thought to call you. You’re of no value to them as a friend. Look at how much they get together without you. You think you’re their friend?” And on and on and on till I was a shell and desperate for validation from every possible source except for the one that matters the most, and the only one that speaks truth into my heart every time.
Facebook was becoming my identity. And I didn’t like it. I feel like I have come too far in my relationship with Christ, too far in releasing and surrendering old hurts and wounds to allow this to happen again. My longing, if I am honest, is not really for the fleeting feelings of acceptance and self-worth from a website, but for a continuing depth and intimacy in my journey with Jesus. To spend time at His feet, learning more about who HE says I am, not the world.
So, I left. Until I pass through this season and can with confidence say that Facebook, as ridiculous as it sounds to even me, holds no power or sway over my emotions and self-worth, I am done.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. My hope is that this will help me invest more deeply into those friendships and relationships that are life-giving and are of immense value to me, and that I won’t feel further disconnected. But ultimately, I’m looking forward to realigning my heart with the truth: that I am a beloved, worthy, and cherished friend and daughter of Christ and that I am of immeasurable and invaluable worth.
No matter how many ‘likes’ that would ever get.
Blessings and love,