Its not you, its me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010 9 Comments A+ a-

I truly had no idea that breaking up with Facebook would cause such a stir.  And let me clarify here, its not so much a break-up, as more of “taking a break.”  Let me preface this post with this… My decision had nothing to do with any one person in particular, I’m not singling anyone out, or casting stones on anyone else.  This truly is a case of “its not you, its me.”

It started out as an experiment.  A few of my friends had taken Facebook breaks, some even chose to stop altogether, and I really didn’t know what to expect from my own trial run.  I can tell you what I didn’t expect…
  • I didn’t expect to go through Facebook withdrawals.  I can’t tell you how many times my blackberry automatically selected the Facebook bookmark without a thought.  And the sudden surprise when nothing came up.
  • I didn’t expect to wonder what I was missing out on, nor that I’d text my sisters to see if anything interesting was happening.
  • I didn’t expect to “forget” about Facebook altogether a few days later.  Or that I was surprised that life still existed outside of Facebook.
  • I didn’t expect friends to start reaching out more often via texts, emails, and phone calls.
  • And I didn’t expect that a week later I found myself not missing Facebook at all.
It was at this time that I started doing some soul-searching about Facebook; my motivations for maintaining an account; how Facebook made me feel in general; and whether or not I should continue using it.  As I did this soul-searching, some very unflattering things came to light about myself and who I was on Facebook.  It was an eye-opening, knee-bending, mouth-gaping experience and I was forced to face some things head-on.  My epiphany?  In a nutshell, I didn’t like who I’d become while on Facebook.

For me, Facebook had become a validation of sorts.  I wanted my parenting decisions to be validated, I wanted validation that I was a good wife, mother, sister, and friend.  For every positive comment left, I was left feeling euphoric and happy.  For every Facebook status that was the opposite of my parenting/life/political style, I felt judged and ridiculed.  Never mind that it was probably the least of that person’s intention, never mind that it had absolutely nothing to do with me.  In return, I became shallow, judgmental, self-righteous.  I’d cast my own opinions about others, daring to believe that I had that right.

I was looking for and receiving validation in all the wrong places.  And it was an ugly revelation.

And so, for now, I must be off the popular social network.  I need to get my head back in the game, in the right game, seeking validation from the One whose opinion is the only one that matters.  I need to become secure again, in who I am, in who God has made me to be, I need to find my identity in Him and only Him.  Its been a long dry spell for God and I, months without regular quiet time.  And during that time, I’ve allowed something else (twisted words, hidden meanings, complete lies) to take precedence over the truth.  I crave His approval, His validation, His unconditional love, and His grace and mercy when I’ve strayed this far, for this long.  This “break” is about me and Him, whose opinion is the only opinion that I should give any real value or weight.

There are times I miss it, I miss my friends and the friendly banter, the easy way to stay in touch.  But this is how it must be. 

For now.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

9 comments

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Anonymous
AUTHOR
12:40 AM delete

Amen and Amen, Jenn. Thanks for the honest blog entry.. I will be prayig for you honey.....that this is a precious time with you and the Lord.
I love you, Mom

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Joyfulness
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1:59 AM delete

Very well thought out. Thank you so much for sharing it all. I know when I open FB, I always picture those people in the movie Wall-E, who "think" they are socializing with the "screen" but never with the person right next to them.

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Dana
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9:47 AM delete

I appreciate your honesty on this...I, too, have been wondering lately about FB and why I go to it. I am afraid my house, my children, and like you said, most importantly, my time with God, has suffered. I must rethink this as well. Thanks!

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Amy...
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5:17 PM delete

Interesting! I was curious about your decision so I'm glad I came here to read your thoughts! You have good reasons to take a break. But it is strange, I have similar feelings about blogging, but not FB. So far, FB is still a positive thing and I like having the ability to delete, hide, and add people. That sounds horrible! Oh, dear :) Anyway, I think you are making a good choice for you. Love you! One of these days I really will figure out how to make a phone call!

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aggiejenn
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5:29 PM delete

I totally get it! I've gone back and forth on the whole FB thing, and I think if I wasn't living in a foreign country I'd just delete my account, too. But it helps our family know what's going on with us, so I guess it will stay. I really have to check my motives, though, too. It can really be a monster!

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Christine
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9:26 PM delete

I admire you for taking this step and for being so honest Jenn. It's definitely something to think about.

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Marianne
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10:54 PM delete

Love you my friend!!:) You always put things so eloquently and in a way that makes others step back and think as well. Good job and I hope all is well, miss you and love you!!

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Amanda
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11:06 AM delete

I totally hear you! I think about quitting too... when I post something, I cannot wait to see what other people are going to say, or who is going to "like" it... the validation thing. Definitely food for thought!

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Sheri
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11:21 AM delete

Jenn, thank you for your transparency and beautiful words... as you know, I've been off facebook for 5 months, because of my husband's high-security job, and the only thing I've missed about facebook is the easy way to communicate with friends and seeing pictures of them and their precious children.

I have to say that since I've stepped back from that form of social networking, I have noticed exactly what you mentioned about genuine friendships, phone calls, emails, etc. It's been special to watch relationships become less "surface." And, I've spent more time with people "in person." Asking questions about their life and really "connecting".

I also see the good side of facebook, though, and will ask my mom and other friends for "positive" updates from time to time.

Enjoy your undistracted time with HIM (and your family)!!! Love & Hugs!!!

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