I’m pretty excited. To be vulnerable, I’m totally addicted to social networking. I love love love facebook and reading blogs and then some more facebook. Awhile back I limited myself to the number of blogs I checked a day, and now I am adding another resource to allow me to spend more time in God-honoring ways (namely: with my family, loving on my friends and community, cleaning and keeping our home, working on school, and with Jesus [read: not wasting it on pointless status updates!]).
Now hear me out: I’m not about to make an unrealistic New Years Goal and wiping out of facebook/checking blogs altogether. Instead I’m going to use a free desktop tracking device which logs how much time I spend on websites and enables me to limit access to certain websites after my designated time allowance. I’m using Rescue Time feel free to sign up along with me! (FYI- I’m not getting paid for advertising, just excited about a free accountability resource)
Let me elaborate: I recently read this article and was super convicted about how I rob myself of authentic community by using facebook instead of visiting or calling (even emailing!) those I love and care about. I am not advocating that we should eliminate facebook altogether, there are wonderful features which this website provides. However, personally (and I would challenge you to evaluate your heart as well) I find that I spend far too much time reading dumb updates from people I never talk to in person in order to procrastinate more important tasks which should be occupying my time.
Plus, what type of image am I displaying for others when my facebook status updates mainly revolve around pride (“look at the new tea pot I received!”) and sympathy (“Augustine spilt milk all over my new dress”)? Instead of authentic representations of who I am before the community of believers. Again, I think facebook can be used for vulnerability (perhaps posting prayer requests, or links to blogposts like this one). On the whole though, I think we are better communicators when we converse over a cup of tea rather than in 140 character tweet.
My gracious husband has also discussed this topic with me quite a bit. Intentionality is a wonderful outlet to enable us to glorify God well. I spoke on this a bit yesterday regarding dating and marriage. When we say “no” to wasting our time in unproductive areas it enables us to embrace the places we enjoy. As a mother, I can choose to spend my time reading godly books, initiating crafts with my children, preparing wholesome meals, going on a date night with my husband, meditating on God’s word, praying for friends, completing school assignments, and even planning to spend time on facebook for personal pleasure. I must simply stop using the internet as a means for laziness and procrastination. When Shaun arrives home from work, I want to have created a haven of rest and relaxation for us to enjoy. When he asks me about my day, I want to give an exciting report. It is all to easy to let the chores escape me.
I find that I am most tempted to distraction when the mundane tasks are overwhelming. The dishes are piled high, nappies are soiled, laundry has become a mountain, and my kids are screaming for attention. Who really wants to jump into these activities when I can look at pictures of my friend’s trip to the beach or watch a youtube video of somebody’s newborn. I much desire to read a blog about Sally’s afternoon adventures than to repeatedly play cars on the floor and wipe runny noses. Paul’s exhortation is timely and apt:
English Standard Version (ESV)
Instead of escaping the hard work of my holy calling with the internet, I want to embrace it to the best of my ability with the help of the Holy Spirit guiding me. We are not promised our next breath. One day we are going to be held accountable for our every action, I want to evaluate my heart and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit today.
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any [a]hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.