Why I’m Removing Facebook From My Mobile Device

Aug 25

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

Facebook is an incredible tool. It connects family members far and wide. It links friends, old and new. And it allows businesses to communicate with customers around the world. But as much as it has enabled me to connect with people online, it often disconnects me from those sitting right in front of me—my kids.

TMII confess:  there are times when I seek to disconnect…when Facebook is the easiest, most convenient escape from the constant can-I’s, she-said’s, will-you’s and to-do’s that flow from my children’s mouths. But having instant access to Facebook from my mobile device means the ability to escape is readily available at the push of a button. Truth be told, it’s not unlike a self-administering morphine pump, tempting to numb me from the pain of my responsibilities. What began as a quick way to checkout Facebook has become a mechanism by which to simply checkout.

On those occasions when I’ve exhibited some self-control, choosing to deny my inclination to see what everybody else is doing, the Facebook “push” notifications interrupt what I’m doing. This application is a constant pull for my time and attention, leaving less of it for those around me. Sure I could adjust my settings, but let’s not be naïve; the whole goal of the application is for Facebook to retain their captive audience—captives like me.

Ironically, my chronic five-minute Facebook field trips don’t leave me refreshed, ready to resume my mommy duties as they did once upon a time. Instead, I often return to my circumstances annoyed…annoyed that my kids interrupted me while reading an article or commenting on a post…annoyed that my season of life doesn’t resemble the steam of fancy-free pictorials from friends…annoyed that I can’t respond to every injustice that plagues the world, according to the 24/7 newsfeed. Like any mind-numbing behavior, eventually the buzz wanes, leaving behind a nasty habit—one that I’m ready to kick.

Don’t get me wrong. I am by no means saying that Facebook is destructive or bad. The benefits are obvious and not everyone reacts the same way to what, for me, amounts to an overdose. I’ve just come to realize that in spending so much time catching up on other people’s lives, I might overlook the best moments of my life.

Facebook has been a huge blessing in my life, reuniting me with long-lost family members and friends as well as keeping me informed about world events within minutes. And I love its ability to chronicle my family’s special moments in real-time, what I refer to as a “living scrapbook.” My plan is to continue participating in this social media space, just not from my mobile device wherever I go. Rather, I’ll be joining the party from my computer where the barrier to enter is much more appropriate and healthy for me. I may miss many of the status updates that I previously would have responded to; but at least I won’t miss out on my family and they won’t miss out on me.

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10 Responses to Why I’m Removing Facebook From My Mobile Device

  1. Vicky says:

    Bravo girl! I love this. Way to be honest about your experience and where you feel youv’e gone astray with it. I love most of all how you really recognize how it leaves you less refreshed and more stressed! I find that it has trained me to function in tiny bits of time and focus. I feel as though I’m “just checing facebook” or “just checking my email” or “just returning a text”. There are times I’m “just not able to focus for longer than ‘just’ a few moments.” I’ve done this to myself but, like you said, I can also undo it.

    I love your commitment. My commitment is to leave my phone in my room when I’m home. In the car when I’m out and about and really don’t need it- which is most of the time. I want to BE in the moment, and for longer than a moment.
    This was awesome, Dana!

  2. Diana says:

    Love it. True honesty with something we all struggle with- an addiction of sorts. I deleted my app now too. Thank you for the tip!

  3. I can relate! Sometimes Pinterest does this to me. I just want to keep scrolling down the endless stream of pins looking for the next “great” idea… My husband gets so annoyed with it. I’ve recently laid off it a lot more, and he really appreciates it. Sometimes media outlets can really distract from what is truly important.

    Just so you know, every Friday I have a link-up called Free to Talk Friday at my blog dreamingofpefect.weebly.com I hope you’ll join me this week. :) Thanks!

    • Dana Matas says:

      Hi Hannah!
      Thanks so much for sharing how you related with this post. I agree about Pinterest–it is addictive….row after row of great ideas :) I look forward to checking out your blog and linking up.

  4. Christine DeSantis says:

    Dana…I absolutely love this! The points you make are right on and I am now deleting my mobile app too. I love Facebook for all the reasons you mention and feel that having it on my phone makes it too easy to take me out of the present moment with my family. You are awesome and love your blog!!! <3

    • Dana Matas says:

      Hello Christine!!
      It made my day to see your comment, knowing that I’m not alone in this and that I was able to help others by sharing my own struggle. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing–its my encouragement :)

  5. Sometimes you just need to unplug and reboot. There will always be that tendency to find out what everyone else is doing but its not good for us all the time. Good for you for putting facebook down. Sometimes its best.

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