I signed off Facebook a long time ago. And I don't miss it, really. I now truly know my handful of friends in rich, deep, transparent ways, instead of knowing a little of what is publicly shared from 100 or more "friends". Elliott keeps me posted on family since he is still socially connected. I am convinced that the decision for me to be off Facebook is the right one, every time he asked me to look for some particular post on there and I find myself sucked in for twenty or thirty minutes scanning through the praise reports of everyone's day. Moments of distraction I can never get back...
Then I found Instagram. I really enjoyed the square shaped photos and the cool filters. For a long time, I didn't know I could have "friends" on there too. My list of friends slowly grew and imperceptibly, my app that made my photos look cool turned into a "I wonder what my Instafriends have posted in the last day... few hours... twenty-three minutes..." I have taken the app off my phone, only to reinstall it. I have said I wouldn't post to keep myself from the temptation of perusing. Alas, my flesh is weak, I do ok for a day or two, followed by checking way too often for another day or two.
And then it happened. It was the same thing that happened with Facebook. The conviction that I was spending too much time in my virtual world was already starting to gnaw at me. I tried to justify it by making the excuse that the kids would be thankful for all my cute photos. But then the kids started saying, "Are you gonna put that on Instagram? I wonder who will like it." Or, "When Mom is done on Instagram, maybe she could read to us..." Ugh.
I admire the moms who can manage a socially-networked life and not lose touch with their real-life one. As much as I seem to be able to multitask in other areas of my life, it seems I cannot be "social" and "real" at the same time. I'll be honest, it's a hard pill to swallow. I have to admit to myself how weak my flesh is, how much of an approval junkie I still am. I have to repent of the sin of comparing myself to others, of being ungrateful for my blessings because someone else's look like so much more or because they have the photography skills I could only dream of, their homeschool day flows more sweetly than mine, they live on a farm with chickens and sheep, they have adopted kids from all over the world, they sell my favorite shoes and travel the world sharing shoes with all... the list goes on.
The trouble with being social for me is that my heart is drawn away from the things that truly matter; Jesus Christ and His Word, my husband and children, going out in front to keep in touch with neighbors. When I am "connected" I get distracted from what is real and true and lasting.
Bye-bye Instagram and social networking. Again. For good.