Today’s post is a special application to the 5 Week Refocus Challenge. In the last post, we tackled the idea of taking inventory of our life-givers and time-wasters. One thing I found to be poorly serving me is Facebook. I often defend my devotion to Facebook, claiming its sufficiency as a tool for social connection. However, I’ve noticed it is now a big bulletin board for things people find interesting (I already have an app for that called Pinterest).
If I see another FB article using cheap attention-getting tactics like “This man opened a door, you’ll never guess what happened next!”, I think I will pack up my family and move to a remote cabin on a mountain somewhere, then I’ll make a blog post about it titled “She moved her family to the mountains, and you’ll never guess where”, and when you open the blog post, it will say, “never, ever. The End.”
Seriously, it’s getting obnoxious. I realize as a blogger, I want people to share my blog posts. But I am completely ok if friends and family want to just know about my life, not my interests. So, as a courtesy, I pledge to only post about personal life happenings on my personal profile. No more interests (see my pinterest profile for that). No more blog posts (follow my blog-page for that).
I realize that every human being is not interested in compartmentalizing Facebook as I am. There will always be another Buzzfeed article or Bestvine to clutter my connection with actual humans. Therefore, in order to use Facebook for its purpose (at least in my opinion) to build relationships, I found a way to hide everything else.
I make a habit to do this simple clean-up exercises every time I scroll through Facebook. It doesn’t take much time, and it is somewhat cathartic. If I am really interested in a page or article, I will find it on the internet or pinterest. Facebook actually has an algorithm that shapes my feed, often favoring pages, and ads over friends’ posts; its all based on my clicks, so I don’t even click on those any more! Since “hiding” them, I haven’t seen anything from buzzfeed or vines anymore, however there is always another page promoting something.
It takes diligence to clear up the feed, but it’s worth it. Now, I can scroll through and focus on relationships.
However, even focusing on relationships can fail to serve its purpose. My husband preached a message in our youth ministry a few months ago about God’s omniscience (that God knows all things, about everything, at all times). Shane said we often “play god” through social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Newspaper apps, etc.), pursuing the need to be omniscient about everyone. Convicted, I resolved to use social media apps as tools for connection, not a means of control and presumed-omniscience.
In order to ensure that social media serves it’s purpose, Shane and I decided to build boundaries on when we utilize screen time. The main parameter we set up was no screen time in bed. I do not use it to “wake up” in the morning, nor to “wind down” before sleep at night. (Who am I kidding anyway, it never works that way.)
By purging Facebook of distractions, and by limiting screen time, I believe I have recaptured the beauty of media as a tool for appropriate connection.
Week 4 Challenge:
- Monday: Take inventory of your life givers. Schedule sometime this weekend to enjoy one hour of a specific life-giving activity.
- Tuesday: Make a list of your time-wasters. Pick one to address this week (mine is FACEBOOK!).
- Wednesday: Clean up your social media tools to optimize your use of them (networking, family keep up, etc.)
- Thursday-Saturday: Spend some time enjoy your favorite life-giver with a friend, your family, or just by yourself (is that a novel idea for you?).
How has the 5 Week Refocus Challenge helped you reclaim your social media space?
Share your progress by adding this post to your personal Facebook or twitter feed:
“I’m reinforcing life-givers by cleaning up my Facebook feed! #reinforcinglifegivers #5weekrefocuschallenge @campfiregrace.com”