You ever felt whooped? I mean worn-out, beaten down, tired, weary, and the overall feeling that your energy has been sucked out of you? I mean you swallow a 5-Hour Energy while drinking a Mt. Dew and you get no pick-me-up? I mean whooped!
That’s how I have felt for too long, and this melancholy cloud has been spreading deeper into the recesses of my mind.
I was talking with my son today after picking him up from school. This past January he shut down his Instagram account for the month. It was a challenge from our church to fast. Everyone was encouraged to give up something. He chose social media.
I figured at the end of his fast, he’d jump back on and reconnect with everyone. He never did. He hasn’t been on Instagram, or any social media, for the entire 2017 year.
I finally asked him about it today (it took me 10 months to follow up on this). He told me:
- It was wasting his time
- It was destructive. The drama, the suggestions to watch something, follow something, etc.
Basically, today’s social media is not what it was intended to be (or maybe it is). Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – they were all started to connect friends, family, and people with like interests. That’s great. But, that is not what social media is about today.
A third reason my son told mentioned about why he completely gave up his Instagram account was a conversation he’d had with one of his youth sponsors, Adam. He was describing how much better the world would be without any social media, and that social media was having a far greater negative influence than it was any kind of positive, or even neutral, influence.
I couldn’t agree more.
Today I deactivated my Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin accounts. I mean it’s really not that big a deal, but it felt good to shut them down.
I had about 310 friends on Facebook. But come on… really?
The reality is only about 15-20% of those people I would want to spend any time with today anyway. My real friends can be found in my contacts on my cell phone. The other 80-85% – I wouldn’t want them to have my phone number anyway. And they probably wouldn’t want mine either.
The reality is that Facebook is a HUGE time suck and it is blasted with everyone’s political, religious, racial, gender, and national opinion, plus their anti-opinion. Very few posts show pictures of families. It is one continuous meme after another stating someone else’s opinion.
I don’t want to sound like a bitter, grouchy old fart, but here’s the reality:
- I’m 52 and am tired of wasting my time
- Many of my FB friends I barely knew. They were only an acquaintance of a friend.
- Many of my FB friends I wouldn’t even recognize if I we walked past each other.
- Many of my FB friends I wasn’t even friends with back in the day.
- A few of my FB friends were professors from college. They gave me “C’s” in college!
- Most of my FB friends were not “friends” at all. Facebook has redefined what a friend is – and I’m rejecting that definition now.
Twitter was an easy deactivation.
Linkedin, well I got zero benefit from that.
This is not meant to be one of those ignorant declarations on Facebook where you state, “I’m taking a break from Facebook,” or “I’m cutting back from friends by 25% – Congratulations, you made the cut!”
I’m basically stating this – I learned something life changing from my son today. Life was better before social media. And my life is going to be better without social media.
Seriously… how many hours of my life will I not waste over the next week, month, and year by not being on Facebook and Twitter? That answer can be staggering!
And besides, I don’t want to know what my “FB Friends” think of President Trump, the rainbow gender club, guns, or what they’re mad about today. Somehow, by God’s grace, my life will go on without them.
I know I will be horribly missed… or not even missed at all.
I still love technology for sure, but my ticker is ticking, and it’s time to spend my time being a better friend to my friends, and certainly a better husband, father, uncle, cousin, brother, and son to my family
So if you’re looking for me, drop by the house or shoot me a text.
Whew… feeling less whooped already!