1. make (something, typically technical equipment or a virus) inactive by disconnecting or destroying it.
(A simple Google Search of the “deactivate definition”)…
If you are reading this, dang that is probably a miracle of some sorts since I wasn’t able to post this to my Facebook page. That is a reality I had to choose to face.
So… I deactivated my facebook. Well first I “deleted” it. Which really isn’t deleting it since they make you wait 30 days to shut the thing down and “erase” your data (if they actually do that). You know there has to be some psychological studies backing the 30 day wait period. People who have been stimulating their minds with dopamine alerts, and “likes” might grow weary and need to login for one last time to satiate the identity seeking desire. Of course, once you “pop, you can’t stop” or something like that and if you decide to try and quit you will again face another 30 day barrier between you and freedom from endless and mostly mindless scrolling…
I deleted it last night after my four month of resurrecting my attention and participation with the social media beast. This morning I remembered that I might actually want to connect again with some of the “friends” on there in the future and wouldn’t want to spend the vast time it takes to start over. There is also the reality that many people get concerned when they thought you were their Facebook friend in the past and now you randomly pop up as a friend request (thinking you are a scammer or something).
After reading an incredible book by Charles Duhigg called “The Power of Habit” and having an experience of a friend (who I have a lot of respect for) called me out about my Facebook usage I chose to delete my Facebook profile around 2014. Around 2015 I started getting tattoos on my arm and my tattoo guy was not yet my friend would only communicate through Facebook. So… Like an addict who had been sober for some time I justified the need for Facebook and opened a new profile.
Since opening the account, I maintained my discipline by never clicking on the app, I also didn’t think about things/thoughts to share with my friends, and I felt empowered and a little better than peers when I could say that “I am not on Facebook”. Being Holier-than-thou takes many forms even beyond organized religion! Yes, I must admit that I was a Facebook abstaining Pharisee.
From 2015 to this last October (2018) I did not wake up thinking about people outside of my day to day activities very much. My real social network was… well… pretty much real social interactions. Something changed in October, like a need to reconnect with some people I hadn’t talked to in a while. So much continues to change in my life and so much has changed in my journey over the past 15 years.
For four months I have been getting on Facebook daily, adding friends, looking at all the stuff that people share. There was a point where I thought that I should see if I can grow my friend list as fast a possible just to see how wide my network of “influence” is or could be. The reality, however, is that I capped out at about 220 friends.. Haha! I feel somewhat accomplished j/k. Some of my friends who do incredible artwork or produce music etc… have 500 to 2000 “friends”. It is incredible to think that many built those networking connections over a decade. It is impressive to be able to say something in a couple of sentences and impact so many people at once. Truly fascinating to me.
The dark side to Facebook to me is that it is time bandit. One week my phone told me that I had spend an average of 51 minutes per day on there. I thought to myself… there is no possible way that could be true. But sadly, it was.
I have seen so many issues arise from misunderstandings with Facebook between friends, spouses, and co-workers. I have seen good people not regulate (which is pretty hard when it is a click away on your phone and so easy to grab when there is “down” time). I decided last night that I was done with my “experiment”. I was ready to get back to not thinking about clicking on that app daily. The scary reality is, however, that I know that Facebook is not done with me. One of the most powerful companies in the world with over a billion people addicted to feeding their stories, identities, and egos with a taste of connecting, meaning, and activism. Facebook is good for a lot of those things. It is a business must in our world. Every product I come in contact with has a picture of the logo and the message “like us on Facebook”. I recently have been reading the Epistle of James in the New Testament and the poetic wisdom literature book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament (Many see James as a sort of New Testament wisdom book).
Two brief observations that contributed to my deactivating Facebook. In James chapter four there is a warning about boasting about tomorrow’s plans without qualifying the potential reality that there is a Creator involved with one’s life. Life is short. It is a vapor. Ecclesiastes also reminds that life is Heble (Hebrew word meaning vanity, meaningless, or better breath). The picture is that human life is a bunch of breathing from the beginning to end. That is all you get. What are you going to do with that breath is the haunting question I am asking myself. Other ones pop into my mind stemming from that question is, did I pray to the God I believe in and for the people I care about as much as I looked at non consequential stuff via my Facebook life investment.
So… More to come on my Ecclesiastes reflections.
For now, I have taken action to de-activate wasting (for me) time that is precious.
What will I do with an extra 51 minutes added back to my life (13 days per year!)
What do you need to evaluate and deactivate?
It is worth noting that virus was a part of the Google definition mentioned above…
Don’t let anything overcome you.
Watch this video of me talking with my friend Payte on his show Discern Daily