Dear Facebook, It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Dear Facebook, It’s Time to Say Goodbye

I know I know…Facebook is not a person but I do have a relationship with it. My guess is that you do too. In fact, I have been in a relationship with Facebook for over a decade. To put it in perspective, two of my four children were born after I joined Facebook. I’ve shared plenty of photos of them and the other two on Facebook and Instagram. That is part of the issue.

Let me cut to the chase. I am leaving Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram in the next few weeks for at least two years. I am less than two years away from a big milestone birthday and I need a break for several reasons. Quite possibly, I may leave forever. Here are my three top reasons (with a few more added later in the blog)

First, I want to better live out the Greatest Commands to love God and love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:36-40). Facebook and Instagram impede this for me in a couple of ways. First, they become a great time-waster that prevents me from Kingdom priorities. Second, they create envy and jealousy in my heart and quite often lead me to think much less of people than I should. I have attempted more discipline, created more boundaries, even unfollowed a lot of folks, but I still struggle with these things. For me, the answer is to remove myself from the environment.

Second, I want to spend more time with my wife and children and more time in face to face conversations with people. I do not want my children to be neglected by me because I am interacting with someone virtually. I do not want my wife to read my thoughts about something on Facebook when I haven’t even discussed it with her. Yes, I have neglected my children and failed to discuss things with my beautiful wife because of time spent on Facebook. No more…those relationships and my example to my children are worth more to me than staying connected to folks I don’t see every day. I am convicted by Ephesians chapters 5 and 6.

Third, I have some significant ministry pursuits and professional goals that I wish to accomplish. With my parents living with me and the ages of my children, I need to create more space and time to reach some goals and to have a greater impact on more people. Time spent on Facebook and Instagram, no matter how enjoyable or entertaining it might be, prevents me from pursuing more worthy agendas. I want to be wise about my time (Ephesians 5:16)

I do plan to continue on a limited basis on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus…but it will be very limited. Those social media networks will be primarily for sharing my blog, staying connected to millennials and ministry friends, and to find good articles to read.

Just a few more thoughts about why I am breaking off my relationship with Facebook and Instagram. One, I have lost some sense of mystery about the world and about other people by constantly being bombarded with what others think and share and by what I also share. Two, my family and I need more private moments to treasure in our hearts without any pressure to “share” them with the world. Three, I need to better practice the spiritual discipline of simplicity in greater ways both for my own sake, for the sake of my family, and for those who I seek to influence. To put it simply, I have found that less is more, and I want more of it.

I will continue to write my blog. I will also be creating a website to help church leaders and churches. I will be writing at least one book, if not more, with hopes to have a more lasting impact on the world.

Thank you for reading. I hope you will continue to come to this site to read my blog and the blogs from other great writers.

Blessings,

Tim

Timothy (Tim) Gunnells started his blog "Desert Spiritual" while living and ministering in the desert in Arizona. He knows the world in which we live is a "dry and weary land where is no water" and souls are thirsting for God (Psalm 63:1).Tim currently lives with his family in East Tennessee. He is available for retreats, leadership development seminars, and church consulting. He enjoys hiking, singing, spending time with his family and friends, and blogging about Christian spirituality, culture, and life in general. He may be reached at timothygunnells@gmail.com.

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