I have been increasingly convinced that it is in my best interest and the best interest of my family, for me to significantly decrease my presence online. Over a long period of time I gradually stopped looking at the news (online – we don’t have television) and deleted all bookmarks to contentious sites. I’m mostly down to my favorite sites for weather, haha. The elephant in the room has been Facebook, which shouldn’t shock anyone.
I have had a love-hate relationship with FB (like most people) and my activity there has waxed and waned over the years. The reason I kept hanging on was for the sake of the pages I manage. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but there are several: sites for this blog, my Etsy shop, and Lost Innocents, and I am the moderator for two small groups. I imagined that I had some sort of moral imperative to maintain those (and yes, I feel every bit as foolish typing it out as you might expect). Over the last couple days I have, thank God, realized that I had been deceiving myself; the world will not end if I am not on FB.
The last tug I feel is toward the friends I have made online over the years. These friends have kept me going during some of my darkest times and rejoiced with me during the best times. It is a simple thing to keep in touch via FB. Blogs have gone out of fashion to some extent, and people rarely even email each other (the written letter being nearly extinct). From past experience I know that my social circle will dwindle to near solitude if I pull out of FB. This is not something I consider lightly.
On the other side of the scales is something that outweighs everything else: my peace, my self, my salvation. Avoiding the news and contentious websites is pointless if you encounter the exact same content somewhere else. And it really does have an avalanche effect: reading one thing leads to another, leads to another… If I am in a constant state of frustration, or indignation, or anger, or whatever, then I cannot live a normal life. I can’t continue to ignore it any longer.
So, what does that mean? It first means that this blog, the shop, and Lost Innocents (one of the hardest labors I have ever done…and it never ends…but I consider it a work of mercy) will continue on unchanged.* The associated FB pages will go. My personal account will go. This will not happen overnight because details must be attended to, but it will happen. It must.
Let me add that this is not intended to be a blanket condemnation of participation in social online sites. Only you know best what is good for your own soul and where the balance is. I do not fault people for being on FB. I too have to make the decision that is best for me.
With all of this being said, I am not merely looking at this change as purely subtraction. Goodness knows how many hours I have wasted online (I really don’t want to know). That time now goes to other endeavors. I would like to reinstate regular emails to friends as well as using up my stationary on “real mail”. I need to spend more time with my family. I need to spend more time in prayer. I would say I need to spend more time on exercise but it would be a lie because nothing is going to get me outside in this horrible heat and humidity. Look, I’m not perfect, ok? 😉 We can revisit that when it cools off.
Perhaps around Christmas. Maybe.
*Actually, I am in the process of moving Lost Innocents to WordPress just like this blog. I will keep you updated on that.