Friday, June 29, 2012

Facebook-less

After a couple years of oscillating between loving and hating Facebook, I deactivated it again over six months ago.  I've done this before for short periods of time, but this time, it is for good.  A couple people have been pestering me to explain why, so I decided to take the time to write it out.

This isn't a call for others to give up their Facebook - this is a personal philosophy.  :)  I know people who are very careful about the time and energy they invest in FB and I respect them for being able to balance it so well.  Unfortunately, that isn't the case for most people.  And I have to admit, I have the best of both worlds.  I am very happy sans Facebook, but if there is something I really, really want to see (new pictures of my niece, for instance), I can get on the Mister's Facebook to view them.  So I'm not fully sans Facebook.  Nevertheless, here are the main reasons that I am staying off Facebook.  I tried to write carefully, staying far away from "ranting", so I hope you'll take the time to read without prejudice.  :)

1.  Security

Facebook is creepy.  And I don't trust Mark Zuckerberg. (Ok, I really will try not to rant now!) FB links to all your social contacts, your phone (with smart phones this means they have your location as well), pictures of you posted by anyone, your educational institution, your job, etc, etc.  Even if you are careful about your security settings, there is simply too much information on there.  


I am extra careful about personal information because my husband is in the Air Force.  There is always the chance that personal information could be used against him - or against our family when Caleb is deployed.  Of course, this will probably never happen - but I'm not really willing to take the chance.  

This view about personal security naturally raises the question of why I have a blog.  Put succinctly, I monitor everything on my blog.  Unlike Facebook (where others can tag pictures, leave information, post on my wall, send private messages), I am the only one who writes on my blog aside from a few commenters.  There have been many times when I have left details out of a blog post (or not written the post at all) because of OpSec (that's the fancy AF word for being careful about what information you give out about yourself).  Additionally, I can delete my blog and everything would be erased whereas FB only allows you to "deactivate" - all of your information is still there which means it could be accessed.  Of course, there IS still information about us on my blog  - I'm not denying that.  But I like being more in control of my blog and limiting the amount of information/pictures that are on it.

2.  Intentionality 

If we are honest with ourselves, FB puts us on a fast track to relational laziness.  With virtually no effort (and no need to respond), I can get updates about several hundred people in a matter of minutes.  When I had FB, it was easy to simply collect information about people and act like I knew them.  I want to live an intentional life, especially when it comes to my relationships with other people, and FB was not helping that.

Instead of calling a friend for an update, it was far to easy to go check their FB and think that I "caught up" with them.  If someone posted that they were having a bad day, I could either ignore it or write a quick note on their status.  Does that really make a difference in their life??  Sadly, I doubt it.  Even as an RA in college, I had to work at this.  It was a cop-out for me to write a message on their FB instead of walking down the hall, knocking on their door and actually taking time to care.

I am connected to far fewer people without FB.  Sometimes that means that it takes me a couple days or so to hear news that everyone else already heard.  That's okay, though.  I hope that it makes me a lot more intentional about calling/emailing/texting/writing the people close to me than simply skimming the surface with everyone.  And I really appreciate the friends who have chosen to stay in touch - it shows that they value our friendship above convenience.  And shouldn't we always value people above convenience?  Of course, FB is certainly not the only way that this happens.  But I noticed in my life that FB was a major contributor to my unintentionally.  

I read an article recently that said that we are the most connected society and also the most lonely society.  Isn't that sad?  It is as though we each sit in front of a computer in an endless cycle of typing and reading just waiting for someone to reach out to us.  But no one reaches out because they are busy doing the same thing.  We are connected to a whole network of people almost 24/7, yet we still feel alone.  FB gives a false sense of intimacy.  We fool ourselves into thinking we "know" someone and are connected to them, but are we really?  Do THEY feel like we are connected to them?

3.  Levels of Friendship


I was a chronic "friend deleter" when I had FB.  I tried to keep my "friends" to a short list, but I still had almost two hundred.  In my perfect world, I could have a FB that only my immediate family and a couple close friends knew about.  But once you're on there, it's all over.  People "friend" you and sometimes they get upset if you don't respond (ask me how I know!!).  ;)

With FB everyone is a "friend".  I argue that this is unnatural.  In real life, different people have access to different amounts of information about me based on our relationship.  For instance, when a significant personal event happens, it is unnatural to announce to all of your "friends" at the same time.  For instance, when our baby arrives, we're calling his grandparents first.  Then his aunts and uncles.  And then move to great-grandparents and our close friends.

Oh wait.  I forgot to mention the most important step:  we are going to savor those first few moments with our little guy.  Our first thoughts are NOT going to be telling people or putting pictures on FB.  I really don't like when personal events happen with the noses of 500 FB friends pressed up against the glass of my life.  Some things are meant to be personal.  Meant to be savored.  Meant to be shared slowly with loved ones first.

Of course at some point the news about our baby will go on FB....  But there's no rush.  We have REAL lives to live, not simply virtual ones.



So there you have it: the main reasons I gave up FB and continue to stand by that decision.  I could have gone into much more detail.  Trust me, I have had many a rant against FB and have been known to call it narcissistic and voyeuristic (I stick by those descriptors, by the way).  But I wanted to avoid a tirade and simply explain.  Hope that it made you think and encouraged you to use FB with more intentionality.  :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

article

My mama's here so I am happily busy showing her around town and running errands.  :)

But I wanted to share this beautiful article that just so happens to be written by my college mentor.  My favorite line:

"After knowing deeply Christian parents whose children have strayed, I believe that if my children are faithful disciples, it is a grace, not a gimmick."  

Thanks, Marlena, for the wise words.   



Saturday, June 16, 2012

on blogging and marriage

**written sometime last month

I lay here in the dark thinking of the wonderful parts of marriage.  His hand caresses my bare shoulder and he softly plants a kiss on my cheek.  I am filled with gratitude for this man who loves me dearly even in the moments when we drive each other crazy.

I hesitate to write these things because I know that we are only in the beginning of this journey.  I know that there will be days when marriage is so frustrating and difficult and we look at each other and think "Where in the world is the person I married?"

But I write all the same.

In college, my professors said that when a couple was having marital problems, one technique to help is to get them to remember how they fell in love.  
I write so that Mr. Mays and I can retrace our steps if we get lost.

One day the inevitable will happen and Mr. Mays will be called away into the wild, blue yonder to serve our country for months on end while I hold down things at home.  From all accounts, deployments are one of the hardest time for a married couple.
 I write so that we will remember our connection when we are far apart.


It is easy to let each day slip by unnoticed and unappreciated.  I must work to keep my heart pondering and keep my actions intentional.
I write to keep a record of the fleeting days and, hopefully, to keep myself accountable to live them fully.


While we say that we have a lifetime together, the truth is that neither of us knows how long "a lifetime" really is.  It could be that we spend sixty years together that are both good and hard.  It could be that one of us is taken tomorrow without warning and that these days together were shorter than we ever imagined.
I write so that we will have a memorial.


We're bringing a baby into this crazy world in just a few months.  Life is unpredictable.  In all likelihood, the little man will grow up with both of us there.  But what if he doesn't?  Will he know us? How can we leave a mark on the little life we created if something happens to us and he is raised by someone else?  Even if we are there through his entire childhood and into his teenage/adult years, he won't remember what we were like at this stage.
I write so that one day he will have a glimpse into our lives and will have a chance to know us in a different way.

Mostly, though, I write so that I will remember God's faithfulness.  So that I can look back and see how He has gotten me through and how He promises to get me through the next hurdle in life.
I write because I have spiritual amnesia for which the best cure is reading my history and acknowledging His perfect faithfulness.





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

all sons and daughters: reason to sing


this spoke to my heart tonight.  hope that it does the same to yours.

p.s. click here to hear the story behind the song.

dinner last night :)



I first spied this recipe last month and have been waiting for the perfect night to make it.  (Click on the link because those pictures are much better - I really need to stop using my iPhone as my primary camera).

The past few days I've had super high pain levels and it has been wearing on me a lot - truthfully I've felt pretty miserable.  After I tried all the usual methods to distract myself, I decided it was time to cook.  And this recipe came to mind.  Mac and cheese is comfort food, yes?

The Mister likes Kraft mac and cheese (yes.  i mean the orange kind).  Which is weird.  BUT...he also likes my versions of homemade mac and cheese (the last one I made was this buffalo chicken mac and cheese).  And he LOVED this recipe.  And requested that I make it again soon.  I'm slowly converting him.  ;)

This is super rich!  But that was okay because we've been eating mostly fruits and vegetables since summer produce has been available.  For the next couple of days, however, it looks like we'll be eating leftovers of this!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God in the darkness

“I will have nothing to do with a god who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.” 


-madeleine l'engle
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