an unwanted fast with a side of ‘tude

Posted: May 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

Something I hadn’t realized before jumping off into a month off of Facebook was how many different ways and times I’d be offered the opportunity to derail and get right back on.  While I’m not “jonesing for Facebook,” I am also not particularly thrilled with being away from it.  Funny then, how often I find that when I google a question, if I don’t pay attention, the link for the answer drives me to a Facebook page.  Over and over in the past 9 days I have found myself there, not because I TRIED to go there, but because I searched for something and didn’t pay enough attention before clicking.

Of course, once you’re on a FB page, even though it’s not your OWN page, you can immediately see how many notifications and messages you have.  My number was pretty spectacular, the last time I was inadvertently driven to a FB page by inattentive googling.  Happily for me, I’m not tempted to “just take a peek” when this happens.  I highlight and copy the information I’ve come for, making a point not to look around, and then I quickly make my exit.  Easy peasy.  I made a commitment.  It stands.

I also find myself unthinkingly trying to open FB when I’m on my phone for other purposes.  I moved the icon to a location that isn’t quickly available; countless times I have found myself absent-mindedly searching for it in its usual place without even realizing I was doing so.  So I guess I’m glad I moved the icon.  It’s surprising to me that I do that without even knowing it!

Apparently FB is not happy with my time away – it has now resorted to sending me emails.  “Did you notice the comment that so-and-so posted on her picture?”  “Have you checked out what your friend liked yesterday?”  On and on.  Most days there is an email trolling along in my inbox, trying to draw me back in.  I just chuckle and delete them, but it DOES occur to me that somebody out there – scratch that – that the people making money off of FB – really want me to be there.  Always.  Without interruption.

If all of this sounds hateful toward FB, trust me, that’s not my feeling.  I sure know a lot of good folks who have a lot of uncomplimentary (and potentially true, to some degree or the other) things about this form of social media.  As for me, I don’t hate Facebook.  It doesn’t stir envy up in me.  I don’t only see posers and pretenders there.  Yes, there is the possibility of wasting time and only being shallow there, but there is equally the possibility of connecting with faraway friends, of delving deep into interesting subjects, of expanding my horizons, and of using it for an awesome prayer tool.  Facebook is what you make of it.  You won’t find me hating on it.  Which is why I’m not impressed with being off of it for a month.

Yes, I am stubborn and silly enough to be arguing even as I know that I was very clearly led in prayer to take this month off.  I am following the lead.  I am looking earnestly for what I am supposed to be learning.  But am I of the “this is so freeing!” or “good riddance” type while fasting FB?  Nope, and nope.

Along the way I’m having an uncomfortable adventure.  I’m not only off of FB, I’m also off of Netflix and (processed/added) sugar.  That’s a whole lot of distractive/numbing agents off the table.  I am under the assumption that since God brought me here, He’s got some stuff to say to me.  I “happened” to hear this really excellent (though unwelcome) podcast, and then my pastor, “by coincidence,” recommended this pretty good (though deeply annoying) book as a highly unwanted follow-up (being the gracious church member that I am, I was pretty snarky with him about it the last time I saw him – sorry about that, dude!)  Both have spoken some truth to me that I don’t want to hear.

I love multitasking.  The truth is, though we think we rock at it, science shows we really can’t do it well at all.

I love bunny-hopping frenetically from task to task, with peeks at email and social media tucked in between hops, never lighting very long at any one location.  Studies show that this damages my brain’s ability to focus and think deeply.

I love filling the “boring” spaces of life (standing in line, time in the bathroom, etc.)  with drinking up reading on the internet.  What I’ve been learning says that if I never allow my brain those “boring” times, it will get so addicted to stimulation and entertainment that it won’t be bothered with doing hard work.

I.  HATE.  THIS.

I guess the best time and way to learn it is while I’m on this big not-my-idea fast.  In the midst of it, the connectedness of the messages coming at me is crystal clear.  I’m listening, I’m listening, I’m listening.  Complaining all along the way.  Working with all my might to work at least part of this out the way I want it to go.  Listening with a ‘tude.  But listening.

That’s good enough for now.  I’ll report more when there’s more to report.

 

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