Why I’m stepping back from Facebook (a bit)

This summer I took a couple weeks off from watching the TV news. The presidential campaign and all its negativity was in full swing, and I must admit – it was nice to take a break.

I had mixed feelings about taking a break from TV news. On the one hand it is good to declutter, and it felt freeing to remove from my purview the cantankerous talk and constant negativity. On the other hand, as a pastor I think I should stay informed, and felt a bit out of the loop.

I wonder how a constant stream of negative media affects our psyche. I realized only a few days into my “break” from watching the TV news how much more positive my view of the world became.

I’m starting to feel the same way about social media. I use Facebook as my social media hub, and find it an invaluable tool to connect with others. Yet in the wake of the election (and the last few weeks leading up to it) I found Facebook to be a source of constant noise: conspiracy theories, outrage, blame, insults and laments.

It might be time for a break. Or at the very least, a stepping back.

I was at a conference the first part of this week and stayed off social media while I was there. It was refreshing. The mood among colleagues was supportive, congenial and constructive. In a world of digital connections, face to face interaction may not be passé yet.

I think it is incredibly important in these days where so many people are hurting and feeling vulnerable that I (and we) don’t tune-out, hide and/or play it safe.

Yet at the same time I think the constant messaging of how bad everything is (and how bad everyone is) helps no one, and all the yelling – even in a digital format – may be detrimental to the help and support I (and we) hope to provide. I’ve got to stop clicking on everything.

So I am going to limit my social media work (especially Facebook) for a time. I’m not going away or running from the world. Quite the contrary. I’ll keep reflecting, creating and interacting and posting. But it is time to monitor amd evalualte the things I click on and what I “like.”

What may be needed most in this time amidst so much pain and struggle, is listening – ideally face to face – which may only be possible with less noise in the background. Then I (and we) can be more attentive to comfort, support and encourage those in our midst.

PGS

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About geoff sinibaldo

Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, Son, Friend, Change Proponent, Goofball, Seeking Faithfulness in the 21st Century
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3 Responses to Why I’m stepping back from Facebook (a bit)

  1. asacredrebel says:

    Reblogged this on Wonderings of aSacredRebel and commented:
    I have been thinking the same thing. It may just be that time.

  2. Carol Clulow says:

    I have been watching Christmas movies nonstop.It is so much better than the news.On the downside…I am old enough to remember threats of war, blackout shades and babysitters telling my sister and I that we were going to be bombed.I pray every day that we never come to that again.

    • This is where (a bit) is operative. It is easy for me to be consumed by news; it is another to tune out conpletely – which i dont want to do, but need breaks. I’m seeking to find some balance to be able to engage intentionally both locally and on a wider, national sacale. Not easy. Enjoy your movie. Afterwards go out of the house and give someone a hug who needs it. 🙂

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