Facebook is a great tool that technology provides. You can see your high school classmate’s children, what your grandma ate for dinner, and who your next-door neighbor voted for. Facebook is not a bad thing; in fact, it can be very good. People use Facebook to evangelize, stay connected with friends and family, and to receive encouragement from others. So, with all the good that Facebook can provide why did I delete my account? Well, I did not delete it because I’m a self-righteous monk who does not want to be involved with society. Neither did I delete my account because I do not want to see the good taking place in other people’s lives like a modern-day Grinch. Here are the reasons why I deleted my Facebook account.
I don’t know about you, but Facebook would often drain a good amount of my time. Okay, maybe it wasn’t Facebook, but it was my irresponsibility in using Facebook. I would log into Facebook with the intention of just browsing around for a minute, and would wind up being on for an hour. Time is short, and I need to do whatever is necessary to make the most of it (see Eph. 5:15-16). My two children are young. What a shame it would be for them to grow up and remember me staring at my phone more than I do at them. I do not have time to know what everyone else is doing around the clock and still get the things done that I need to (see 1 Thes. 4:9-12).
Many times, people say they don’t have time to pray or study the Bible, while hours of their day are wasted away looking at profiles. It’s possible to spend a great amount of time on Facebook and still take care of the important task, but let’s be honest, most of us are not as disciplined as we would like to be. I got tired of putting time restraints on my Facebook usage and just decided I could live without it. There is a Newspaper article that describes parents limiting their children’s technology time, only to exceed that time themselves (this was me). The purpose of technology is to give us more control and freedom in our lives, especially as it relates to time. But too often the opposite is true.
Facebook was a hotbed of temptation for me. Jesus says when things cause us to stumble there are times to take radical and drastic measures to prevent eternal destruction (Mt. 5:29-30). Temptation comes through different avenues but the result is always the same when we give in: we sin and suffer spiritually. Maybe the election taking place this past year heightened this for me, but I found myself tempted every day to get involved in a controversy with people, especially Christians over things they would post (see Eph. 4:26-27). Things would make me angry and even sad as I saw the ungodly sarcasm and blatant disrespect that characterize too many Christian pages. One of the key themes in the New Testament is unity (Eph. 4:1-3), and we need to do what is necessary to maintain it. I am not suggesting that discussing things openly and having different opinions is not productive, but I saw very little constructive discussion taking place on Facebook.
Facebook sometimes ignites a heart of covetousness within us, as we see the possessions of others who seem like everything is going perfect in their lives while we wish their life was ours (Col. 3:5). The answer to the problem of covetousness and jealousy is contentment in Jesus and all that he has given us. Without Facebook, there is more time to close my eyes to the things of others, and open them to all Jesus has done for me. People told me I could just unfollow people who post foolish things or unfriend them, and this is true. However, I also could take a hiatus and be fine as well (see 1 Cor. 6:12).
Whenever I tell people I have deleted my Facebook account, they always give me the stare of death, as if I have walked out of the known world. Someone may say, “well how are your family members ever going to see your children if you don’t post pictures of them?” I want my family to know what’s going on with me, however, Facebook is not the only method of contact or communication. For all that social media is supposed to do to help us connect, it has made many people anti-social as we seldom call or speak face to face. All we do is post into the void.
Others have said, “Facebook gives you the opportunity to reach people with the gospel you could never reach otherwise, after all, Jesus did say go into all the world.” Evangelism is serious business and people that are bringing people to Christ through Facebook are to be commended. But, I do not have to quit evangelizing just because I am no longer on Facebook. I see lost people every day in real-life, and I need to gather the courage to speak to them about eternity and the Lord. There are many methods to share the gospel. While Facebook is one way, it is not the only way.
At the end of the day, it’s about choices. I am not writing to guilt you into deleting your account. Maybe you have thought about deactivating before but felt you might be missing out if you did. The truth is, you may find that when you go without Facebook you are more plugged into your friends, family, and priorities than you have been in the past. People lived before Facebook and they will live long after Facebook is old news if God allows it. Who knows, I may be back. But for now, these are the reasons I deleted my Facebook account.