Yes. I did it. I deleted all my Facebook friends. All 623 friends on Facebook are “poof”…gone. Even my husband got unfriended. (Check out how to do this on LifeHacker.com)
I even went a step further, I ‘unliked’ all those wonderful Facebook pages that filled my newsfeed with delicious recipes and helpful tips.
I’ve also unsubscribe to almost every one of those emails filling up my inbox. And I have to tell you, I don’t regret it.
Why I Didn’t Deactivate my Facebook Account
Deactivating your account doesn’t amount to much more than logging out of Facebook.
[pullquote]If we want to experience God like no one else, we must sacrifice like no one else.[/pullquote]
Facebook deactivation is a farce. It’s like saying that just because I decide not to drive by Target that the store doesn’t exist. You can ‘reactivate’ at anytime and everything is just as it was.
In order to really cut down the noise of Facebook in my life, I had to do something drastic. Something that couldn’t be undone easily.
Dave Ramsey is often quoted saying, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
Of course, he’s talking about money. But I think the same thing applies to any area of our lives.
The area I want to REALLY live like no one else is my spiritual life. So I’m taking Dave’s quote and making it my own!
If we want to experience God like no one else, we must sacrifice like no one else.
Why I deleted all my Facebook Friends
Facebook was taking up too much of my time…and not productive things either. More like Buzzfeed and snarky memes. The endless scrolling was killing my productivity and my soul.
I was full on addicted.
By deleting all my Facebook friends I was deleting all the random blog posts that I could do without reading. Deleting friends meant I wouldn’t be tempted to engage in endless arguments about politics or religion with people I barely knew. And deleting friends meant I could focus less on what everyone else was doing and more on what Jesus wanted to do in my life.
But like any addict, I denied my overuse of Facebook. I made promises to myself that I couldn’t keep.
Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I won’t be online as much. But the truth was that I was letting my online ‘social’ life overshadow my offline spiritual life.
I let all the amazing aspects of Facebook keep me from the one thing I wanted more than anything. I was filling my Jesus-shaped-hole with a bunch of Facebook junk.
Sure, I’ll miss the cute photos of my best friend’s kids and funny motherhood memes. But I’ll live.
Why I Kept My Facebook Account
I didn’t delete my Facebook account because I do see the benefits of being able to connect via Facebook for:
- instant messaging
- business pages
I’m still active in my Facebook groups (though I did un-join most of them). Facebook groups are a shining light. Usually groups are focused on a topic like my writing groups or my head covering group. When I do scroll through my groups, I don’t stay long because there usually is less fluff.
I can still instant message my friends. I send messages to friends on a regular basis. When I first did it, I sent personal messages to those I thought might be offended at my ‘deleting’ them as friends so I could explain what was going on. I’ve had a couple of people try to refriend me, but I explained it all via instant message and they were totally cool. No one really seemed to mind me being ‘on’ Facebook but not having friends.
Because I didn’t just deactivate my Facebook account, I can still have my Radical Christian Woman Facebook Page (and actively post on there), but most of my time on Facebook is ministry-related, productive and purposeful.
I do have a ‘news feed’ on my page where I can still read articles from specific pages that inspire me in my faith. Most bloggers act as content curators for the best blog posts online in their field of blogging. My news feed is a great place to find those blog posts to share on my Facebook page for my readers.
On my page, I don’t subscribe to food bloggers or DIY bloggers because that’s not what helps my ministry. There is no scrolling past recipes posts I will never cook, vacation photos of people I don’t actually know in real life, or new BuzzFeed articles that I HAVE TO KNOW what they are saying but don’t add anything of value to my life. (Seriously, that site can really write a good hook; therefore, Buzzfeed and HuffPost are NOT on my news feed.)
And of course, I can still see my own personal timeline where I’ve posted blogs I like or recipes I ‘saved for later’. Facebook is a great online storage of photos, so there’s that.
I’ve been praying more and scrolling less. It’s a win/win so far.
What I Hope to Gain
Before I deleted all my Facebook friends, I fasted from Facebook for five days. It made me realize something.
After five days of being away from my regular Facebook groups, I noticed that I was kinda discouraged. I realized that I’d been getting much of my spiritual support on Facebook. While that is AWESOME that I can get comfort and encouragement from social media, there is something special about sitting in my living room drinking coffee with a friend. She can see my smiles, my tears, and hear my tone of voice (big one, right?).
[pullquote]Don’t let all the other voices drown out the ONE voice we really need to hear.[/pullquote]
After five days offline, I felt kinda alone. And that’s kinda pathetic.
I realized had been putting most of my eggs in my online basket and neglected my offline one.
I want to be spiritually encouraged in real life. I want to put face to a name, I want to touch your knee when I speak passionately about something. I want to hold hands and pray while sensing the Holy Spirit in the room. These things can’t happen online.
I hope to gain a fuller life. Go to the park and accidentally meet a new homeschooling mom or go to a Bible study.
Of course I could do this all without deleting my Facebook friends. What I did…I did. It was personal. It was a decision I made only for me.
I’m not writing this post to tell you to follow my method. Surely not. Follow Jesus only please.
No one needs another blog post telling them what to do! REPEAT: NO ONE NEEDS ANOTHER BLOG POST TELLING THEM WHAT TO DO!
I just want to share my heart which is this:
Don’t let all the other voices drown out the ONE voice we really need to hear.
I have to mute the volume for a while…maybe even indefinitely because there is something I’m seeking that Facebook will never give me: a personal, in depth, radical relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
One day I might decide to add my friends back. But not today.
An Alternative to deleting all your Facebook friends!
If you are like me, and you need a digital break but aren’t ready to make such a drastic commitment as deleting your Facebook friends or deactivating your account, may I suggest a delicious little app called FB Purity I’ve discovered since deleting my friends. (I’m honestly glad that I found this app after deleting my friends).
FB Purity gives you control to ‘mute’ any part of Facebook so you can ‘turn down the noise’ a little that is constantly vying for your precious God-given time on this earth.
AND IT’S FREE!!!
Installing the FB Purity app gives you more control over your Facebook account. (GET IT HERE)
I have installed it to mute the ads on the sidebar and some other annoying data. It’s super easy to use and you can check off or on the things you want to see depending on your needs.
Life Since I Deleted All My Facebook Friends
I can sense the marked difference in my spiritual life since deleting all my friends.
I can also sense that my heart is more contented with my life at home. I’m spending more time on the floor playing cars with my son. More time in the kitchen baking cookies with my kids. Less time feeling the need to perform online. Less time scrolling “just for a minute” to see if anyone has posted anything mildly interesting. And definitely less time rehashing some ‘event’ that happened on Facebook. (Seriously, many of my offline conversations where complaints about something that happened online.)
Now I have space to rethink my online agenda. Where do I want to spend my time? What’s my purpose when I go to the internet.
I’m not giving up the internet or social media. But too much of a good thing is…well, bad.
And like many people have said before:
“Good is the enemy of best.”
Since deleting my Facebook friends, I’ve realized more than ever before that there is life outside of Facebook…and it’s sooo much sweeter.
Head covering Christian woman who loves good wine, coffee, stinky cheese and missionary books. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 2 boys).