Thursday, March 3, 2011

Facebook Fasting

I'm giving up Facebook for Lent.  That means on Wednesday I'm letting a friend change my password and de-activate my account so I cannot use it for 40 days.  You won't be able to contact me using it, either!  This could be suicide for my blog because I know so many of you find the link in my Facebook statuses, so I'd love to ask you to bookmark the page or follow me on Twitter (oh_hey_jake) to make sure you keep reading new posts while I'm "gone".

So why do it?  Well, I think you know the answer to that question.  We all waste so much time using Facebook.  It's become a habit or, worse, an addiction.  When I'm typing a paper I'll click over to it every few minutes to see what's changed.  The issue is, though, that nothing important has happened!  Rarely do I click over and see something that is life-changing and/or not something I would have encountered without Facebook.  I read about so-and-so getting a new job or what's-her-name getting engaged or that-one-guy complaining about something-or-other.  None of this is consequential to my life and I fear that I am also posting the same inconsequential material about my own life.

As I've discussed in previous posts, social networking has changed the way we interact with people.  I need to re-center my interactions, remove myself from the computer, and remember what it's like to have real, important, genuine relationships with people.  I do not believe that I am having ingenuine relationships at the moment, but I feel that they can get better.

Instead of writing on someone's wall, I should get a beer with them.
Instead of shooting someone a Facebook message, I should pick up the phone and call.
Instead of "liking" their comments, I should go visit them and see what other comments they have.
Instead of "friending" a nice young lady that I think is cool, I should just ask her out to lunch.

I don't think I've used Facebook incorrectly, but I think I can do better.

I look forward to this sacrifice.  It will be a way to divert my wasted time back to my schoolwork during the home stretch, but more importantly it will be a way to reset the way I look at interactions.  If you want to get a hold of me, give me a call or send me an email.  I'll be back, but with a new way of looking at my relationships with people.  You should do it, too!


  1. I actually am chooising this as one of the things i'm giving up for lent as well! I'm more excited about it now that i have read you blog on it!

  2. Jake: Excellent idea. Let's try to reschedule your visit, while you're giving up Facebook. I'd love to talk to you more about this fast, faith, and basketball... and blogging, too.

    Grace and peace, brother.

  3. I'm so proud of you :) I'm doing it too. Email me when you get the urge!

  4. One of my new year's resolutions last year was to give up the Internet one day a week. I chose Sunday, thinking it would help me have a better Sabbath and allow me to spend more time reading and praying. What ended up happening is, yes, I would read and pray, but I wouldn't talk to anyone until church that night (and by then I was so weirded out by the sudden social interaction that I bailed immediately after the service so I didn't have to talk to anyone). It was a terribly lonely and isolating thing. Of course, in truth, we're (I am) just using the internet as a drug to mask these feelings. Bring on the pictures of funny cats!

    I guess the trouble is that we don't know how to have normal social interactions any more. Or maybe it's just that as we become more like "adults", it's harder to feel like you're interupting someone else's life when they are married, have kids, etc.

    Maybe that's just me.

  5. it's true, the internet and facebook have changed social interactions forever, possibly. i feel like it has to be all-or-nothing as far as social interactions to be "saved". some people don't have cable and/or internet and they love it. i feel like it's less about what we use and don't use, and more about the purpose: reinventing genuine relationships.