Wednesday, June 3, 2015

40 Days Off Facebook (Part 2 of 3)

Thoughts after Ten Days of Facebook

I took a fast from Facebook to quiet my mind but also to face myself. Who am I? Who am I by myself? Who am I when I am not connected online? Would others reach out? When I feel absence, would I wallow in loneliness, would I eat in excess? If God's voice is found in the stillness, can I coax him out? Without all the noise, can HE hear my heart as it yearns for Him. Can I hear His voice when the distractions are silenced, cut off. Is it ok not to know what movie others are watching?

Will it help me not to feel so alone if I don't have to see pictures of my happily married friends and some of them with their children, knowing, at my age, the older I get the possibility for both in my life lessen, decrease? Is it good for me not to see all the pictures of extravagant vacations or mission trips, knowing that a month ago I worked 40 days in a row between my two jobs, trying to pay down this student debt. I simply cannot afford such luxuries in my life. No one is helping me. I am on my own.

I want to have those pictures, that life, but it isn't what I have, not who I am, at least not now, not yet. In truth, it may never be - and I'm sure for every smiling face there are arguments, for every vacation out, there are times of boredom and loneliness at home, for every mission or retreat, the reality of returning home.

Here, in the ordinary, between our desires and our realities; what we have, want, and need. In the complexities, this is where life is found... if we are honest. Facebook is a facade as much as an online dating profile; for as much as we try to use text, pictures, and videos, shares, likes, and writings - these are not us, not me.

That is the lie. We "connect" online and keep our distance in real life. We sacrifice voice for text, presence for an e-mail, a comment for a like; and with each step we have separated ourselves, we feel connected but aren't, not to others really, and certainly not to ourselves. Who are we apart from technology? Who are we apart from our online "social" self? We are millions of people logging on alone. What we once used to connect and help us meet others in-person we now use so we never have to meet in-person, never hear another’s voice, never have to see their face.

We have already begun to lose part of what makes us human, true connection. We fool ourselves, saying we are not addicted, not consuming - but we are the ones being consumed, being force-fed lies, unrealistic expectations. The only way to find ourselves again is to refuse to believe the lie, to disconnect.

Perhaps this means balance, moderation, or giving up the thing we believe connects us but actually divides us and leaves us alone. I wonder if even one Facebook friend will e-mail or call me out of 300 "friends" while I am offline. Honestly, I am skeptical. Who are my real "friends" anyway? How do we define "friends" anymore? Do they merely "like" a status update once a year? Do they say Happy Birthday and nothing more?

I'm not sure but I feel like I am beginning to see, like I am on the precipice of something new, something transformative. May God guide my heart and show me: What is true connection? What does it mean to be and have real friends, real community, and let go of everything else? What does it meant to spend my time and energy only on those worthy of my thoughts and affections?

We will see.
~ Single Me

No comments:

Post a Comment