People are so hooked on social media sites like Facebook nowadays that they seem to have forgotten how to go on living without first scrolling down on their news feed and seeing photos and posts of their friends.
Dr. Jennifer Miskov, founder of the Christian ministry Destiny House, admits she used to be a huge Facebook addict before she decided to give it up for an entire month.
“Deactivating FB made me realise that every time I woke up or was stressed out, or went to the bathroom and got away from the crowds or even when I was with people, there was a compulsion to check FB, even if just out of habit,” she writes in an article for Charisma News.
What Miskov learned was that she was looking for instant gratification every time she opened her FB account. And instead of having deep conversations and connecting with people in real life, she would find herself getting distracted by Facebook.
“It began to change the way I think. I began to think shorter thoughts,” she says. “In the beginning of my FB fast, I had to restructure the way I thought. I was living life and enjoying the moment but then stuck with how to share these experiences with my friends.”
But after deactivating her account, she was at a loss how to share her adventures with people on a more personal level. “One thing I have learned so far on my FB fast is that it is very liberating to not have to check FB every five minutes after I’ve posted something to see who liked it or commented,” she says. “It’s wonderful being out to dinner with a friend and being able to be fully present in the conversation with the person in front of me rather than checking to see which one of my 4,000+ FB friends responded to one of my posts.”
Miskov says her Facebook addiction kept her from focusing on life’s values, but after her FB fast, she learned how to enjoy a simpler and more focused life.
She is now enjoying more time with her friends and having deep conversations with them without getting distracted. She is reading more books, spending more time with family, and praying to God more often.
“I’m learning to grow in vulnerability, be uncomfortable and remain with the people in front of me rather than escape by looking down at my phone all of the time,” she says.
Miskov says she might reactivate her Facebook account in the future, but before doing so, she wants to set some boundaries that will limit herself to the “constant infiltration of words, videos, pictures of others’ lives and begin to live my life more fully in the present.”
“I want to utilise FB so it becomes a blessing rather than let it control and take over my life,” she says.