Monday, November 1, 2010

the social networking battle

For the month of October, my church did a church wide fast to spend some time praying for the upcoming elections. Although the main reason for the fast was to pray for the upcoming elections, which I certainly did, God always finds a way to teach me something that I wasn’t expecting to learn. Immediately when my Pastor made the announcement about this fast, I knew in my heart that God wanted me to give up social networking. For a few months previous to that, God has been working on my heart about my constant “need” for Facebook/Twitter. I didn’t want to admit that it consumed more time than I would like it to, and I always kept making excuses that it wasn’t consuming my time, but in my heart I knew that I needed to make a change and this fast just completely confirmed that to me.

First, let me make it clear that I am NOT opposed to social networking…in fact I think it’s one of the greatest things that technology has provided to us. However, what I am opposed to is letting it control my life, my emotions, my thoughts, and most importantly my relationships. Honestly, it had come to that point and I just needed to break away from it all. At first, I thought it would be SO hard to step away, but as days went on I hardly even noticed the break. To be truly honest, I felt somewhat relieved to not know every person’s up to the minute update on their life. For me, not being so focused on all of that stuff gave me time to reflect on myself, and let God speak to my heart about some things that I needed to address in my own life. There are so many thing that Scott & I are praying and believing for in our life, personally, financially, and spiritually that this was the PERFECT opportunity to spend time seeking God on those things. Taking a break from social networking was the best thing that I have done in awhile, and it completely opened my eyes to a lot of things that I never knew I felt and thought, as well as how much I was letting really unimportant things effect my life.

I don’t know if I am the only person that feels like this, but sometimes Facebook/Twitter can make me feel like I am back in high school where people are always competing and trying to out do the other with what cool things they do, or have, and so on and so forth. This part of it I hate the most because no matter what you say we all have the tendency to join in on this “game”. I sure know that I have done it! However, from here on out I refuse to be apart of this “game”. As my wonderful sister-in-law mentioned in a similar blog post, after all it’s not a fair fight to engage in. We all are in different places in life with different view points and challenges so to try to compare our lives to each other is just stupid.

Another thing that I hate is that there are times when I would feel like maybe something that someone posted was directed at me...although I am sure that there are times where it wasn't and it was purely just how I took the comment, since things via the internet can easily get lost in translation. Bottom line is that I was letting these things effect my feelings, and how I would talk or think about people that I haven’t had face to face interacting with in YEARS. It was to the point where it was just plain ridiculous. Over the past month, I have had a lot of time to think about these things, and how I didn’t want it to be this way anymore when I started back on social networking.

Well, today is my first day “back” at it, and within minutes of getting back on I felt all these things coming back up to the surface for me. The one thing that is always true is that whatever God works on your heart to teach you and change you in something, you can bet  that instantly a test will come to see if you are going to follow through with your word. Boy oh boy that happened to me this morning!! It was SO easy to slip back into those old habits after a few minutes of being back on it, and I honestly had to log off, step back, and nearly slap myself in the face to realize that I was letting this happen.

With all this being said, I have decided that I am going to continue to social network, but I am going to have to make some drastic changes. I realized that there may be some “friends” that I need to remove from my accounts, not because I have any ill feelings towards them, or to be catty, but because the only solution that I can think of to keep from moving backwards in things is to remove the situation all together...and in this case removing the situation means "removing" people. But truly, in all honesty, this really isn’t even about those people, but rather this is about me (as it should be) growing in the things of  God. I don’t want anything or anyone keeping me from growing in the Lord, and growing in life, and there is just SO much that I won’t get into here because it’s truly, truly personal, but in order for me to move forward in my life some of these things just have to go. And honestly I really don’t care how people may think this makes me look, or what motivation they may think is behind my choice to do this, because only I know my heart about this and the people who truly matter to me know my heart about this situation, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters to me.

I’m fairly sure that some of the people who I am “friends” with currently who truly don’t care for me, or find what I say to be annoying, and honestly, all I pray for them is God’s best in life. I truly don’t have any ill feelings towards them whatsoever, but I don’t really see the point in letting them see the details of my life. I wouldn’t do that with a “friend” who I spent time with face to face who felt/acted that way towards me, so why do it over the internet?

My husband, my family, and the personal things in my life are more important to me than anything else in this world, and I try to protect and treasure those things as much as I can and to the best of my ability. I feel like in making this choice to remove some people from access to my accounts that it is the best decision to honor how I feel. I only want people in my life who want to see me succeed, and pray the best for my family, and so I just feel so at peace with making this decision. And after all, at the end of the day I do this stuff for my enjoyment, and if it’s not enjoyable for me to have access to some people, or for them to have access to me, then why continue doing it?

The battle of social networking is one that I know is not yet over. I will have to continue to face these challenges as I continue to choose to use this outlet. However, I feel so great about the place that I have come to today with it, as well as the choices that I have made to deal with the difficulties I have faced. I truly have peace and joy about it, and therefore I know it’s the right thing to do.


Ruffled Snob said...

First off I am so proud of you for fasting something so hard! Many people don't last during fasts so way to go:) second I think this post is wonderful. Sometimes we need to explain things that could be wrongly conceived! I am in total agreement that sometimes removing people has more to do with who you are and are striving to be rather than your feelings. Some people are just not neccessary to have in your life. I love you! Here is to movig in a forward motion:)

Leslie said...

Thank you for visiting me at Rustic Whimsy! I am so excited that people like my table! I love you blog and your family is just precious!

Wenninger Family said...

wonderfully put girl! you're an awesome writer and so good at putting words to what so many of us may feel/experience! i love checking in on your're so inspiring with all of your super creative ideas and just genuine-ness! :)

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