Amanda's Meanderings

Another new Season
December 18, 2013, 7:35 pm
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I just re-read what I wrote last time. Now I find myself in a new Season of Change. Baby #4 is coming in the spring and with him/her comes all kinds of emotional and family dynamic changes. But, it’s really made me buckle down and make another change. I’m saying goodbye to Facebook. It’s something I should have done MONTHS ago! My level of disobedience to the Lord in this matter is somewhat shocking; even to myself. I’ve known for a long time now that this is what He wants me to do, but I’ve been dragging my feet and making excuses for keeping it. It’s become the main way church faithfully shares good and bad news and encouraging articles. It’s the only way I ever see or hear anything from long-distance relatives and friends (aside from the family gossip hotline). I enjoy reading status updates about the new discount grocery store in the neighborhood.

But here’s the thing: God told me to close it down. That’s honestly enough reason for me to do it.

This is the beginning of my new season of Home. I have (almost 4) small children. I’m supposed to stay home and nurture my family. (I consider a few non-relatives to be a part of my family and I want to nurture my relationships with them as well.) It isn’t my job right now to go all over the countryside (or the internet) seeking the superficial company of others. That’s what Facebook had become for me — a way to keep up with people I love without any real or intentional interaction. My life according to Facebook for the past 2 years has been to read updates from my friends and then to feel no real obligation to go the extra mile; to write them a note or to visit. I’ve considered a Facebook comment to be enough consolation for the death of a spouse, or enough Happy on a birthday. Or for a conversation about the Awe-inspiring God I worship… For people I claim to love! Shame on me. I’ve neglected people and personal interaction for the lazy way out; for the ease of simply pushing a few buttons. The most heinous part about it is that internet interaction (all merely written correspondence) removes all inflection, tone, body language, and Deeper Meaning from communication. Except when you really know the one you’re writing to. It eliminates our ability to qualify our point with a look of sincerity or the quiet tone of understanding. If I had a dollar for every time what I’ve written has been completely misunderstood I would be very wealthy. Facebook has become a tool to make us think we know each other based on the pictures and/or articles we share. It’s wrongly become a platform for “venting” about relatives and friends instead of being open with one another and sharing when we’ve been hurt and why — with the one it should be aimed at. The internet has enabled us to read meaning into a conversation through the goggles of our own bitterness, heartbreak, pessimism, and insincerity. As a culture, we’ve lost the personal responsibility that comes with personal interaction. And it’s caused an interesting social phenomenon. When I realize I’ve been “un-friended” it’s awkward to be around that person in real life. I wonder if it was something I said or shared, or a picture I uploaded…….or the undesired and misunderstood encouragement? It’s weird for me. I realize that’s MY problem, but I don’t think it’s just me.

But the bottom line is that I don’t know my friends anymore and I don’t like it. Unfortunately I’ve also discovered that a few people I considered my friends had changed so much that we no longer have anything in common. Literally nothing. And I’ve not allowed my friends to come to know me, (I mean, to know the real me) either. So here’s what I hope to change about myself — I want to be more purposeful in my relationships. I pledge to become more sincere in my pursuit of friendships. Please understand that I’m in no way suggesting that you also close your Facebook account. I’m not saying that the internet has no good use at all. But I am saying that I’ve abused social networking in a friendship-killing way and that I hope to change that. I want honest, open, genuine and sincere relationships with those people who have had the most impact in my life. So, I will stay home and make more effort to communicate with my loved ones. I am moving beyond Facebook and stepping back into real life and real love. Today, I’m choosing to change.

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