5 days under a rock (my life without facebook)

Last Tuesday, I started my 2nd break from Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook almost daily for 11 years, aside from a few weeks off last year. I wrote a blog last time I took a break, and decided to blog again about this break as well because It hasn’t even been a week but its crazy how just a week off reveals so much about why I love/hate facebook.

Desire to Share: I think one of the perks of Facebook is that you do have a platform to share a lot about your life. Stories, experiences, pictures, videos.  At the click of a button you can let everyone on your friends list know that you’re mad at the guy who cut you off in traffic, or that you really enjoyed the Incredibles 2 movie. You can also share your thoughts, feelings, frustrations, opinions, etc with people almost immediately. It’s very gratifying; have a thought>share it on Facebook> have people instantly validate your thought. I think that is one of the reasons its so addicting. We are always thinking, living, having experiences and so why not share them with the world? It’s that cherry on top, not only do I get to go and see my favorite band in the front row, but I also get to tell hundreds of people about it!! What did people do before social media? Just live their lives??? what?

 

The Performance: As a story teller and writer myself, I used facebook as a platform to share my story as I experienced it. I’ve gone through a lot of growth and change and loved getting to share it with others as an encouragement to them. However, I’ve recently hit a stage in my life where change is coming and I don’t know the next chapter, and I’m stuck staring at a blank white page with nothing to share. Then, you are reading the newsfeed and getting lost in all the stories of other peoples lives and you’re looking at your life and their life and wondering what the heck? Why am I not getting my dream job? dream husband? and dream ranch in the hills of Montana? Oh dear friend, remember your friends are only sharing their highlights. Just like you tend to only share yours. Not every family is perfect, not every event is “a blast”, not every friend group gets along all the time. You are not the only one. You are not the only one. You are not the only one who feels lonely, or disappointed or like they don’t have anything figured out.  I try to be as authentic as possible on social media. However, I still catch myself only sharing the highlights, because well, that’s what people do and its sad.

3.  Connection: As soon as I had a friend change my password for Facebook, I felt a twinge of disorientation and almost loneliness. Like, all my friends were accessible at all times on facebook and now I have to like call them, or text them or meet with them in person. WHAT. IS. THIS. MADNESS. I found that though it takes more effort to meet with people this way, it means a million times more. A person is not words on a screen, or a picture on a page. They are more than the words they can type or the like button that they click. They have a laugh, a smile, a face they make when they can’t hold the tears back anymore. We are made to connect. Can Facebook be a tool to connect? sure. but don’t forget to call, to meet in person, to do things together.

I need to take frequent breaks to remind myself of this: You are not the number of likes you receive (your stories, thoughts and opinions matter not because someone validated them, but because they are yours) , someone’s status update is not an accurate depiction of their life and neither is yours so stop comparing,  you can connect with people in person and it means SO MUCH MORE than commenting on their status.

-Marlie

 

(6 days till Albania!!!!!)

 

 

 

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I’ll follow you Jesus, but first let me take a selfie.

Yesterday afternoon the sun was shining through the clouds and it was breath taking. I’m a  sucker for sky pictures so I rushed to get my phone out because the clouds were moving quickly. I unlocked the screen, opened the camera app and I held the phone up to the sky and instead of seeing the sky in the screen, I saw me, squinting. The face-fronting camera was still on. By the time I flipped to the regular camera,  the moment had passed. The clouds had rolled on. I was frustrated. But think about this. What if I didn’t even try to turn the camera around that day? What if i just saw the clouds, admired their beauty and exclaimed: “oh I have a great idea!” Then, I pointed the camera at myself, took a picture, and shared in on all the social media with the caption: “Look at me! I’m great.” Kind of ridiculous right?

That’s how we’re living our lives. And it’s ridiculous. We have a choice as Christians, with each day, hour, moment, to worship God or ourselves. We’re shouting with each twitter, facebook status, snapchat, instagram photo: Me! Look at me! I am great! I matter! The world should be looking at me.” We go to church on Sundays, admire God, and go home and take a selfie with our cat (I do this.) The world does not need more witty tweets, or snapchats, or those ridiculous lists. And dare I be so bold, the world does not need us. Another selfish, self-obsessed person.  The world needs Jesus. Instead of using social media to encourage, and build each other up: we’re arguing, and defending our opinions.  We’re using the internet to share how great, difficult, challenging, awesome it is to be us.

Have you seen those lists floating around the internet? The ones with the titles like: “# struggles so and so has for being so and so” Just fill in the blank. For example, “18 things I want you to know about me so the world can know how great my life is because I’m me.” Or the more popular “6 struggles that a certain group of people face that people who aren’t in that group should take note of than feel so bad for those who endure those 6 struggles on a day to day basis.”  Why do those go so viral? . I think we have this inner desire to be understood. This deep need to be known for something (our curly hair, being a twin,a band member, in volleyball, from a small town) and when articles are written about having curly hair, being a twin, a band member, being both introverted and extroverted, a volleyball player or from a small town, we’re like YES. That’s me!! Someone knows me and gets me! Small town girl, big city kid, curly hair, straight hair, introvert, extrovert, college student, twin, dog lover, cat lover: it does not matter. If you are a believer in  Christ, your identity is in Christ. Not in your personality, your hair, your education background or the city you lived in. Your personality will change, your hair will change, your schooling will change: But your identity in Christ is forever.

We want to be understood, we want to be needed, accepted and to feel important. Those are human desires and they are not wrong. I haven’t lived long, but from my experience, looking for those desires to be met in other humans instead of God is a mistake. I heard a pastor say that us humans are like ticks, and God’s the big golden retriever.  We’re feeding off each other for love and starving all the while God’s standing here full of love and we just got to latch on.  (Gross and imperfect analogy, i know) But, it’ll stick in your mind for years now, just you wait. And yes that was a tick pun. You’re deepest need as human is not going to be met with a certain number of facebook likes, retweets, blog views. You’re deepest needs are met in Jesus. He knows you more than human ever will, and loves you more than any human could. Find God. Relish in His beauty. But don’t stop there. Read Romans 12:1-2. And then Read it again. don’t conform to this self-obsessed culture. In the grand scheme of things, our life is but a snapshot. It’s up to you to decide who or what is going to be in the frame.