Saturday, November 8, 2014

Recalculating… a technological fast from Facebook.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;" a time to use Facebook, and a time to fast from Facebook.

The other day I found myself scrolling up and down my Facebook feed past a bunch of messages I had already read, mindlessly waiting for the next update to pop up. Finally self-aware, I thought "What am I doing? And for how long have I been doing it?" My wagon wheels have sunken deep into a Facebook rut and every day it's more difficult to steer out of it.

I remembered a talk I attended called "Finding Your Joy" at the Maryland Catholic Women's Conference. The invited speaker suggested that all Christians should regularly fast from technology. Especially internet related technologies expose us to a number of images and ideologies that are extremely un-Christian. St. Paul wrote: "be transformed by the renewing of your mind". I think my mind is in need of renewing. A technological fast is just what I need to fill in those Facebook ruts so that I'm no longer stuck whenever I draw near to it.

It has been a while since Facebook recommended that I might like some sex related song but, just like everyone else, I'm still inundated with advertisements for clothing, engagement rings, Rosetta Stone, diet pills, and a myriad of other material items and products. I don't need constant enticements to lust and materialism, even if none of this has been appealing to me.

Today I see that Keira Knightly has posed topless to make a statement about body image. Although I didn't click the link, I'd imagine that the statement she's making is that a smokin' hot naked body still looks pretty darn hot before being Photoshopped. I don't see how this helps someone who feels uncomfortable about their own body. Each person needs to have their basic human dignity affirmed and to understand who they are in the eyes of God the Father. Pictures of Keira's naked body won't bring about either of those things.

Why would I want to read about rotten fruit born by a rotten ideological tree? That sounds harsh, but it's true. Our foolish culture tells us that we should be open minded about everything. Common sense tells us that "Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." (G.K. Chesterton)

A couple of weeks ago there was a link to an article about how an actress from some hit show and her boyfriend had just adopted a kitten together. Ok Facebook, thanks for keeping me informed… "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." [Philippians 4:8] I'm sorry, my mom's kitten adoption is one thing… but some stranger's kitten adoption just doesn't cut it.

While Facebook is in some ways a great tool for keeping in touch with people I never would have otherwise, it has not magically transformed me into a good keeper-in-toucher. I've never been good at that and Facebook hasn't helped me to send the sort of personalized messages that are required to sustain what can be considered a true relationship. I do know other people who maintain relationships over Facebook, and more power to them. My mom has a great Facebook page called Learning To Walk With Jesus, and I encourage everyone to check it out.

I'm not saying that Facebook has no value for me, but it's not something that is a basic necessity. So in order to break free from the Facebook trap that has ensnared me, I will fast from Facebook for a while. If you need to contact me but don't have my email you can always comment on this blog. Anyone interested (probably just mom) can receive email updates for my blog by going to and entering an email address under "Follow This Blog by Email". I'll at least try to do 7 Quick Takes more regularly.

I plan to deactivate Sunday night and expect to return to Facebook some time in the next calendar year. See y'all later!

That said, here's something silly just because:

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