I’m nearing the end of Lent and on my commitment to give up Facebook and Twitter for forty days. Wow…it was harder than I thought it would be. I wanted so badly to check my FB feeds. See what is going on in people’s lives. Or see what people might’ve commented when my blog post notifications go out. (I know at least one comment will ask why posts are still showing up on my wall when I’m fasting from FB…well, it was a notification from my blog. Not me! ha ha.) As for Twitter, I have thoughts and ideas and really interesting articles to share. I don’t have many followers but surely some of those things would be of interest to them. And who knows, maybe it will spread to the right person and change their life???
Really though, my contributions are really just adding to the noise that’s already out there. I recognize my need to see what people may have commented on my wall about my blog posts is really so I can respond or exert some influence back if it happens to be a negative comment.
There is a spiritual discipline of Silence according to Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline“. (I totally recommend this book by the way…these disciplines are HARD but so good for the soul.) Regarding Silence, the chapter points out how we want to speak in order to persuade, convince, influence, manipulate or control, the best we can, our listeners and readers. God may have spoke the universe into being with but a word, but we use many many words to try to nudge certain things to move in our favor. It also usually doesn’t work. Being Silent then, is to give that attempt to control completely to God. It’s saying, “I won’t defend myself because God is my Defender.” Or “I won’t try to convince them for my cause because God will provide who or what’s needed.” But, giving up control is hard. As usual.
And regarding not knowing what people are up to…not using FB means you really have to be intentional about making and maintaining that relationship. It forces me to be active in seeking someone else out as opposed to passively sitting back, scrolling through my feed until I see something interesting enough to get me to click “Like” or add a comment. But it’s SO convenient that way! I’m challenged to be more active in my relationships.
So…what’ll happen when Lent is over?
Well, I will be happy to check FB and Twitter again. But I will try very hard to not let FB and Twitter fill every free moment. Perhaps it’s also time to clean house and unfriend/unfollow those whom I really have no connection to. It’s not about the numbers. Frankly, I don’t like how Facebook has that kind of pull and control on me…or how it has all this information about me. I hope to be more mindful about practicing the discipline of Silence on and offline as well as being more active in building relationships.