I have spent entirely too much time on Facebook and have been in denial about this for too long. Maybe you don’t care about my particular struggle, but as I share this with people, I find it is a common narrative of many lives.
I thought I had my time spent on Facebook handled. I thought I was OK, but was only fooling myself. I recently saw this video: I Forgot My Phone and tried to deny that I was that dude on the phone…but the more I got honest in thinking through my typical day I could no longer lie to myself about my addiction. Truthfully I realized the main issue for me was the one app I continued to open: Facebook.
I wanted to share every funny moment. I wanted people to see my kids being silly. I wanted to share my stupid meal that turned out bad. I wanted to update everyone on a good quote I was reading. I wanted to share a line or two from my Tozer devotional that morning. I desired to see how many people “liked” all of those things I shared. I wanted to share everything. I no longer was living the moment, but sharing it. I wasn’t experiencing life through my eyes but rather through the 4 inch screen on my phone. I was giving up actually living life so I could share it with the world…
I was addicted to hitting these buttons as well: I couldn’t not see what people were saying about my posts. I couldn’t not read the recent message from a friend, or a new friend who wanted to see my stuff…the draw was how accessible it all was. In my pocket lay my tool to connecting myself to hundreds of people…and ultimately no one in reality. I lived my life around what I could share, how funny it was and grew disappointed when something I thought was funny got little to no “likes”. Even as I write this, I’m thinking of the likes it will get and the traffic to my blog it will bring as people read and share it…
I won’t lie, I creeped on everyone else’s stuff too, arbitrarily deciding what was worthy of my “like” and what wasn’t. I’m intrigued by the voyeuristic aspect of Facebook and found myself on the outside looking in trying to see what was funny and what wasn’t. I was looking for good articles, quotes or comments worthy to share.
I found myself at home randomly looking at Facebook on my phone. At times ignoring my wife and kids. I would try to catch up on Facebook while I was driving and would get mad when a call would come through which interrupted my “ego time” or my “creeper time”. The video I shared above described me. I tried to fluff off the truth for awhile and ignore the reality of my issue…until I took Facebook off of my phone.
Taking it off of my phone has been one of the most liberating things for me! I don’t have it blinking at me, telling me I need to see this or that comment. It’s not linked to my kindle on my phone, so I can’t even share something cool from my time with God unless I do it afterwards (not during like I would previously). I can’t share random videos or photos of my kids religiously like I had been doing every time I was with them (which takes time away from them)! However, the big sign to me that I was on Facebook way too much was how long my phone battery lasts now, compared to when I had Facebook on my phone. This was the home run to my heart.
Let me share why. Previously with the app downloaded my battery would go from 7am and begin to almost die around 6 or 7pm. The other night I noticed that at 11:30pm when I plugged my phone in…I still had 15% battery…15%! I thought my phone was draining battery somehow, blaming it…not realizing it was me who was draining the battery. Every day it would be near death around 7pm, the ONLY thing that changed was the Facebook app was deleted, which forced me to see just how much I’d been on that little piece of social media. All pretty convicting, huh?
As I look at it, I don’t think I can justify for myself putting the app back on my phone. It’s just too accessible, it’s so tempting and until I think I’ve kicked this habit, I’m going to leave it off.
If I’m not around the social corridor as much it’s because I only check it, and post to it when my computer is up. I refuse to allow it to rule my life and how I spend time with people and family. If my phone checking has wounded you in the past…I am sorry!
Where are you at? How much time are you spending? No judgment here, just sharing my journey and seeking to see if it truly is a common narrative…