By the end of last week (the week before last), I was really sad. I realized I had hardly done anything productive throughout the whole week. I had so much work to do and most of it still wasn’t done. I had so many books I wanted to read, but all of them were still sitting on the table. The cause: distraction. I had been WAY too distracted by my online life– Facebook, Twitter, email, blackberry messages, and blog statistics. Yeah. It all made me sick.
I checked my heart and discovered how full of myself I was. In many cases, my obsession flowed from a narcissistic heart. How many visits to my blog did I have? What was going on on Facebook? What was the last tweet? Did someone retweet me? Oh, gosh. It all fed my sinful tendency toward laziness and procrastination. Idols of the heart were once more revealed.
I asked for forgiveness from God. I had too much to do this week, so I decided I would try to stay away from the whole of social media this week (bb, facebook, twitter). If you think I was given a halo of holiness to wear just because of that, think again. I was not. In fact, I want to share with you some lessons I learned as the week progressed:
1. Social media isn’t bad in itself— it just showed what was going on in my heart: I knew this all along, but it was good to be reminded of that.
2. Social media and being connected all the time does take time away from priorities: this week, by God’s grace only, I could use my time wisely: I read a book (yes, I did!), listened to a sermon, had my devotions, worked on a personal project and finished the first part of it, did chores at home, went to the movies, ran errands, and when spending time with my friends and family…I was actually there for them. YES!
3. Social media and being connected all the time does take your mind away from what God might want to teach you: since I was so distracted, I could not see some things God was working on with me, things such as waiting and trusting Him. Since there was so much noise in my life, I couldn’t almost couldn’t hear Him.
4. Sin does not go away if you stop being connected all the time: In fact I’d say it shows in different and more real ways. Do you remember when I said how I realized how full of myself I was? Well, this week I found myself full of pride in the way I reacted to correction. It’s the same idol but just shown in a different way.
5. Being offline won’t kill you– it might even free you! Take this from a technology lover: I.did.not.die. I’m actually a very happy survivor! I was, instead, free to do what I ought to do and enjoy doing!
6. Sin kills you– not technology: John Owen said “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you”. What we all ought to ask ourselves is “how does social media and technology in general help me (or not) in my aim to kill sin?” Of course, I’m glad I could exercise some self-control, and get some laziness killed in my life this week, but even that is part of God’s grace.
In conclusion, this week I wasn’t made holier just because I fasted from technology. Good works don’t make you holy, Christ and His grace does. They’re just means of grace and have been created by God so that we should walk in them. If anything, I was made more aware of what truly matters in life– my own need of God’s transforming power through the Gospel to be able to fight sin, enjoy Him and His gifts, and find balance.
Amazing grace, huh?