Why do you use FaceBook?
If you don't want to answer that for yourself, thinking that your answer might be self-incriminating, ask your friend. You could even ask one of your 2,000 friends on FaceBook that you don't really know, but you call them friends anyway. Why? I'm not getting ready to bash FaceBook and tell everyone that Mark Z. Is the anti-Christ and Facebook is the app that somehow is how the demon hordes of hell will ride into your mind, so relax. Relax and answer the question.
The reason I'm asking you is because when I've asked others why they are on FaceBook the answers I get back are pretty lame. I've heard everything from, "I use it to share photos with family." To, "I just like keeping up with what everybody is doing." (Ironically this last one is what we used to call stalking which is a punishable crime in 50 states). I think if we are honest with ourselves, the reason we are on FaceBook and other social media platforms are not substantial, but rather minor. If your reason to be on FaceBook is to, "be social," great! But is your socialization online the best way to socialize? Does it produce and sustain deep heartfelt relationships that last a life time or are those relationships formed in face to face meetings.
FaceBook and other social media platforms have their place in our lives and in our culture, but I think we have elevated a 'minor-help' to a 'major-help' level. By allowing the seductive social media world to creep into all the gaps of events in life, we have lost the ability to be bored. If someone says they're bored, or possibly even think they are bored, God help us all! This is closely akin to the cardinal sin! Bored? You must never be bored!
- If no one is ever bored then when do our minds have the time to create?
- When do we think deeply about something?
- When do we pause to ponder and meditate on the greatness of God?
You can see this played out time and time again in people's lives. The moment there is 30 seconds of down time, out comes the phone.
The other day I walked in and saw my son Noah playing video games on the TV. Normal I know. But what caught my eye was that he had an iPad on his lap with another game going on that screen. When I asked him what in the world he was doing, he told me that he plays the game on the iPad during the few seconds that the game on the TV is loading. Seriously? God forbid we have to wait! Waiting gives birth to boredom. The only sedative that quells the dullness of boredom is another shot of social media.
Again, I'm not saying social media is bad. But what I am putting forth is the idea that we should have well defined boundaries of when and how to use social media and not let it out of that playing field. Even if we somehow become bored and are possibly forced to do the unthinkable: Think.
Quick Boundaries For Social Media Health
- Limit the number of social platforms (2. 3 at the most.)
- On your phone delete the apps and force yourself to access it through the web.
- Turn off all alerts and banners for pesky non-stop notices.
- Set up specific times during the day to check the social media, and under no circumstances should you vary from the schedule.
- Have a predetermined time that you allow yourself to spend on the social media platforms.
I'm sure you can come up with more boundaries to help you navigate the time sucking apps. Imagine what you could do and accomplish if you regained 50 minutes every single day? That's the average time a person spends just on FaceBook. Tid-bit of advice: It's not a sin to be bored. Think.