Thursday, March 7, 2013

Life without Facebook

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"  You've likely heard that philosophical thought. But in the past few weeks I've had another one.

"If an event occurs without being posted on Facebook, did it really happen?"  I've been on a 40 day Facebook fast. In those days I've been to the museum, attended 4 field trips, watched my 8 year old in her first talent show, and rushed to the ER to be with my dad, as he experienced chest pains.  I've celebrated my daughter's birthday, sat 8 hours in a hospital waiting room while my dad had surgery, taken on a 2nd client at work, and had lunch with friends. I stayed home 4 days with a sick child,  planned a trip to Disney, experienced the only major snow event of the season, and will celebrate my own birthday (Mar 9), all while on a Facebook fast. Did those events occur without my posting and receiving commentary from my friends?

Yes, they did. The only thing different was the drama level. Yes, I did miss the collaboration on my bad days, but I'm sure my friends weren't sorry to miss my drama. And honestly, I didn't miss theirs.  Because the people I would have shared those events with offline - I did. And the people who needed me, found me.

Facebook is a great place to find relationship when you need it. But often times that pseudo-relationship of Facebook keeps us from deepening our real relationships. And the wasted time interferes with our relationship with God.  I once heard someone ask, "Do you run to the phone before you run to the Throne?" And I think now, we often run to Facebook with our dramas, before we come to God.  How often do we ask for prayer on FB, before we've actually prayed ourselves?

Facebook can fill a lot of time, and even some "empty places."  But Facebook doesn't fulfill. That same time spent with God fills those empty places with God-glue, versus Facebook fluff. God is a permanent filling, that keeps you coming back not because you need another fix, but because the relationship is so rewarding.

If you spend a lot of time on Facebook, I encourage you to try a fast. Some indicators that you need a fast are thinking in status updates or posting a photo of an event while you are still at the event (versus enjoying the event and posting the photo later).  Live your life in real time, and worry about Facebook later.  The drama you avoid may be your own.  And the time you save may be spent with Jesus.

So let your words be few. Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.... Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. 
Fear God instead.  Ecclesiastes 5:2b, 3, 7 (NLT)

Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at

Chatty Kelly


Jennifer 'Miner' Ferguson said...

I think your words are wise.

Kathryn Hughey said...

I go on Facebook fasts a few times a year for this very reason. In fact, I was recently convicted when a friend posted a status about how she is taking her Facebook off her phone, because it was taking time away from her time with her almost 2 year old son. My daughter is six months older than this little boy, and while I rarely check my fb on my phone, it IS always up on my computer. In fact, when my daughter is playing the first place she comes to find me is the office, because that is where I am often at. Facebook is great for keeping up with family, but it definitely can easily take over everything. I think it is about time for one of my fasts from Facebook as well.

Kelly Combs said...

Thank you Jennifer.

Kelly Combs said...

Thanks for sharing, Kathryn. And good for you for taking regular fasts. They may become part of my life too!

Sharon Sloan said...

Cyber fasts are necessary and, dare I say, mandatory!
I will be praying for your dad. I am sorry he went through that but am glad he had you with him.
Love and miss you friend!

jbledsoejr said...

Great post! I have, too, been guilty of allowing FB or any social media to replace deepening relationships and meaning conversation. Thanks for sharing.

Linda E said...

Happy Birthday Kelly! Hope you are having a lovely day!

Kelly Combs said...

Thank you Linda!

kelly said...

I have been away from facebook for lent which ends tommorrow morning. i must say it was hard at fjrst but now i am sad because i dont want to go back on facebook! Lol :-)