Social Media (such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) have been places for me to communicate for a little more than a decade. I have been able to communicate with people from my childhood, school friends, teachers, family, ministry partners, organizations like church and other ministries. During this time I’ve run different pages/groups like one for teen moms, Dessert of the Month Club and My Heart’s Cry blogs. I have loved this online interaction. It felt fresh and unique. There have been hundreds of friends I would not have been able to keep up with in any other way. I will always remember it as a unique experience.
Social media has been a place to post my pictures and express my thoughts. Because I’ve been posting for a decade now, I get to see an overview of this last decade of history. I think that is the fun part about it. I have received support from family and friends through this medium. It’s been a great place to make celebratory posts and to see other’s celebratory posts and pictures.
However, during this election cycle, I’ve already greatly eased off my use of social media, mostly because of censorship. I think it is pretty uncool of social media to censor one side of thought. Consequently, many of my “friends” got off the platform. I understand that they have the right to do that. But as with any product or recipe, if they change the ingredients and I don’t like it anymore, I can stop using it. Likewise, because of the way these three platforms run now, and because I don’t like how they have chosen to run now, I am going to stop using the three platforms I mentioned for one month, then reassess.
Personally, I feel I’m starting a new season in my life. My heart is longing for deeper connections with a few people instead of surface connections with hundreds. The Bible talks about a specific time for everything under the sun. I do believe the last decade was about connecting with many people far and wide. I believe this new season is just the opposite. Personally, it really started a couple of years ago when I decided to have a few people I would check in with every week to pray. I discussed this in my Praying for Friends blog post. This year I have added a few more to my list and talked about having a prayer journal. Now, when I drop off the radar for a month, at least one of these friends will check in on me. And honestly when I am quiet, too quiet, there is a reason why. It used to be because I was too busy, now it’s usually a health related reason.
I believe there is great power in loving a handful of people well. To love them, pray for them, walk with them or when they move away still making an effort to maintain the connection. These are the friends you have your deepest conversations with and have done life together at some point. There is a special bond. I met my first one of these close friends at age 9 and she is still one of my closest. It seems like every decade God brings another kindred spirit into my life. I have been blessed.
In the Bible it says Jesus had 3 close friends: Peter, James and John. He had His other 9 disciples. Then He had his followers. There were 120 followers in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit. Then there were others who knew Him and listened to Him but weren’t available or willing to stay in a upper room for 40 days waiting for what Jesus said was coming next. During His life, there were times for Him to be with the crowds and He did that. But when Jesus knew He was going to die in a few days and He was praying deep prayers, He only wanted His closest 3 friends with Him.
Where are YOU now? Is this a time to continue on social media with its censorship and stay with the masses or is it time to ease off social media so you can focus in on a few of your closest friends? What if you wrote down a list your three closest friends, 6 close friends and then 3 budding friendships. Who would they be? How would you treat each tier of friends? In five years, how much do you think that friend list would change?
There are friends I’ve gotten closer to because of social media. I need to get their information before I permanently close my account. I’ll go through my pictures too to see if there are any I need to grab. Then I’ll say my goodbyes.
Here are some things I’ve been able to enjoy now that I’m not on social media so much. I’ve been able to work on embroidery projects and I’ve already finished one quilt I started before my middle son was born. He’s now in his 20s. Also I’ve started to embroider a baby blanket for a future grandbaby. Doing this has brought me great hope in thinking ahead to the blessing of a new generation of my family starting in the future. I’ve also crocheted some kitchen scrubbers and a bath scrubber. I’m amazed at the types of yarn available now. The process of doing these creative arts is stress relieving and good for my brain. How many hours have all of us wasted scrolling on the phone instead of making gifts for others and beautiful things for our homes? Too too many hours is my guess. You know, I found out I still have a queen size quilt I made 25 years ago that is pieced together and only has 3 squares quilted on it thus far. I have my eyes on that project next.
So yes, my friends, for a month I will be easing off social media. I will repurpose and reclaim my time for other goals like my close friends, crafts and writing. The friends that I choose to keep up with or that God places into my life will be deeper friendships because I will not be spreading myself too thin. I am quite excited about that. And when God puts someone on my heart to reach out to I get to do that in faith knowing there’s a purpose in it.
Goodbye Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
What are your thoughts? You are welcome to contact me using the contact form.
May God bless you.