I used facebook for years – mostly keeping up with family and friends from college. Over time, I noticed I was engaging in debates on facebook – over football, hunting, politics, etc. The more this happened, the more frustrated I became wondering many times, “Why am I subjecting myself to this nonsense?” So, I decided to purge my account of the people that were drawing me into these senseless conversations. A year or so later, I felt the strong urge of God to just exit it which I (sort of) did, dropping everyone except my immediate family. But that wasn’t healthy for me either as it still gave me a gateway to all the people on facebook. Even if they weren’t my “friend”, I could still peer into their lives. Then came the “ah ha” moment. Facebook is a portal into other people’s lives. I can see things that I was probably never supposed to see. You KNOW what I’m talking about – that just cruising around and looking offers us up the chance to see our friend’s wife, who is on a CrossFit binge and proudly showing off her toned bikini body on their wonderful trip to some island paradise. Perfect people, perfect bodies, perfect vacation all coming into my world. Because… I invited it in. I am NOT meant to gaze upon another man’s near naked wife but my iPhone enables it. Facebook enables it and I’ve written about this before but I believe it is a tool for narcissism (look at how great my life is) and/or voyeurism (that I can peer into your life and see things I’m not supposed to see).
Anyway, finally, I killed facebook entirely – finally followed my Father’s nudging. Closed the account. Deleted the app. Boom – it was gone from my life and I do NOT miss it AT ALL. My life goes on without having to know about my friend’s vacation or his opinion on politics. They call it blissful ignorance.
It was not good for my soul and it required a choice – a somewhat rude, counter-cultural, almost monastic choice of “I’m simply going to walk away from it”. Benevolent detachment.
Which leads me to Twitter. Never had Instagram or Snapchat but I did have a Twitter. I was very careful in who I followed there – either ministry related people like Beth Moore, Erwin McManus, John Ortberg, John Piper, etc. or leaders I respect like Dabo Swinney, Gene Chizik, Hugh Freeze or professionals in my career where it could be a research tool. Twitter was never a big thing for me, I maybe checked in every other day.
Upon our return from Ransomed Heart and all the discussion about technology, social media, unplugging from the matrix, caring for your soul, etc. I opened my Twitter the next morning and this popped up …
Now, I would never follow AOC. I know enough to know her beliefs are toxic to me – they raise my blood pressure and distress my soul. But, because I followed Barry Ritholtz and because he likes what she tweets, he invited her onto my feed and I have to see this nonsense she’s posting about. Toxic to my soul. This isn’t a political thing – Donald Trump might have the same impact on me/you. The point is = pay attention to what these things are doing to you. Tension. The need arising to argue with them. The anxiety. The worry or heartache.
Whatever it is … why are you inviting these things into your soul?
That’s the question for us.
What is fascinating is to realize that 6,427 people felt the need to weigh in on her tweet. 6,427 people who thought their opinion was so vital that they took the time to reply or to argue with the other side. Almost 26,000 people retweeted it and 173,000 people felt it was important to “like” her comment … that it was that important to mankind that they weigh in.
do you see the madness of this?
This isn’t the real. This is artificial, fake. We are not having conversations with people. We’re tweeting, texting and facebook messaging people. We’re arguing with people we don’t even know trying to convince them they are wrong.
it … is … insanity.
and … it sucks the Living Waters from your soul. It is an utter waste of precious time that will not add one thing to your precious life. I said above, “pay attention what these things are doing to your soul”. What is troubling is that many of us are oblivious to the impact and may say, “Oh I can read all that or see some dysfunctional friend’s rants and I just swipe right past it. It doesn’t bother me”.
the problem is … it should – but you’ve moved so far up into shallows that you’re now numb to it.
So, after all this, I immediately shut down my Twitter and deleted the app. Boom. It’s gone. And I don’t miss it AT ALL. It requires a choice to disengage from technology and bless you, if you’re reading this, you’re on technology doing it!
My challenge to you is this – don’t fast from it for a week. Don’t take a day or two off from it. Delete it. Nuke it. End it. Take the radical step of saying, “I don’t know what’s on the other side of this but I’m going to walk outside in the sunshine to find out”. This is just one small step to take your soul from this …
to this …