For Lent, I decided to give up all of social media but mostly ended up giving up Facebook (more or less). I still glanced at Twitter but to be honest, Twitter has become, for me, what I imagine being telepathic would be like and hearing all the random thoughts of a thousand strangers. Most of those thoughts are inane and irrelevant and more and more about selling you something. Twitter used to be more personal.
I spent time perusing Pinterest; mostly looking for interesting recipes and the occasional cool idea. Pinterest is dominated by women who, like men, are mostly boring and interested in stuff, I don't care about. Pinterest is also becoming the preferred venue for spammers. I quickly figured out that if a stranger follows you, following them back will fill up your feed with crap. I think people must be getting paid for posting stuff to Pinterest now and it won't be long before Pinterest too becomes a great wasteland. Happily, unfollowing someone is as easy as following them.
I confess that prior to giving up Facebook for Lent I spent a fair amount of time reading, replying and posting there. I always sent birthday greetings to any Facebook friend having a birthday and regularly shared my particular brand of wit with a number of close Facebook friends. But, Facebook also tended to get me riled up, usually over political things people posted and frankly, I didn't miss that at all. During my 40 days wandering in the desert, my wife kept me apprised of significant Facebook happenings and showed me the occasional picture so I wasn't totally out of touch.
Yesterday, with Lent finally over, I logged into my Facebook account and posted something about singing for an Easter service in a gymnasium. I got a few "likes" and one comment. I was back but I got the distinct feeling that no one missed me at all. Today, one of my close Facebook friends said it best: "you were gone? LOL" Thanks, Joe. I needed that.
Actually, Facebook isn't that interesting to me anymore. It's like moving away and then coming back to visit only to find that the people you left behind have moved on too and you don't have much in common with them now. Social media is just like life, except that when you quit life, you can't come back (unless you're Jesus.)