I have been convicted lately that my online habits have gotten a little out of control (not a little, actually a lot). Like in most things, though, I kept assuring myself that my online habits are “normal” and certainly not any worse than the next person. After all, I don’t have a Twitter, don’t use Instagram, and I can’t tell you the last time I logged into my Pinterest account. However, that does not mean my online habits are healthy or constructive or good. In fact, I think they are the opposite. I stalk people on Facebook that I haven’t seen or talked to in years. I read food blogs from people halfway across the world that I have never met that only make me feel guilty for not adding wheatgrass to my smoothies or eating quinoa and goji berries for breakfast every morning.
Today I read a newspaper article about new research that’s coming about regarding internet usage being linked to all sorts of negative things-anxiety, depression, loneliness, etc. etc. etc. I decided enough was enough, and I promptly deactivated my Facebook. I have thought about it before, but justified keeping it with thoughts like “It’s a great way to keep in touch with people.” While that may be partially true, the kind of “keeping in touch with people” that Facebook fosters just isn’t enough for me to justify keeping it anymore. Just before I deactivated it, a page came up that said “Your 488 friends will miss you, Emily. Are you sure you want to deactive your account?” If I wasn’t already sure, that pushed me over the edge. A few of my 488 friends might miss looking at my photos, or reading my occasional status updates, but they will surely not miss me. If they happen to miss me, it happens whether or not we are Facebook friends.
I also want to stop mindlessly reading other blogs. Some of my friends keep blogs that entertain, inspire, or encourage me, so those will stay. What will go are the previously mentioned food blogs, and fashion blogs, and fitness blogs, etc. Coming from someone that has struggled with anxiety for several years, I think most blog-reading only heightens my anxiety because it makes me compare myself to others and feel inadequate all the way around.
I’ve also been thinking lately about how limited my time on earth is, because these almost 7 months in Ireland have flown by. I really don’t think time is ever going to slow down. Do I really want to spend my precious, precious moments on Facebook? That may sound like a stupid question, and it looks ridiculous written out, but it’s actually not when Facebook eats up maybe more time than anything during my day. TIME IS SO LIMITED. I want to invest my time in eternal things, things that push me toward loving God and others more than loving myself.
Of course, I have very little figured out. I’m writing this really fired up about making changes but actually implementing those changes will require the Holy Spirit’s help and surely lots of time and perseverance. I’m also not saying that Facebook or blogs or lots of other things on the internet in themselves or bad. However, they have become bad for me, and that’s why I know I need to make some changes.
If you have any encouragement, tips, similar experiences, if you disagree, please let me know! However, my # of readers will probably go wayyyy down since my blog isn’t linked to my Facebook anymore 😉