Now I have done this before- taken a "Facebook Fast" - however it has always been for myself for a set period of time. I've wanted to create more time or wanted to re-focus on an aspect of my life. Today though it is different.
Today I am making a silent protest. Silent because no one (save the 12 people who follow this blog) will ever know what I am doing. I am making a protest against the abuse of social media. Earlier this week teen Rehtaeh Parons died after committing suicide because she couldn't escape the criminal harassment following a tragic rape. Photos of her during the rape were taken and shared- on social media. And she feared that as long as she would live those photos could haunt her.
Social media is the communication medium for our current generation- they live their lives (to a large extent) based on the influences of social media. In some ways this is not so different from generations earlier when social norms were strictly enforced and those who deviated from those norms would face public humiliation and ridicule. But in some ways it is different. Social media ebbs and flows- not with Biblical standards, or a sense of right and wrong but instead rewarding that which is more different or extreme with more "likes" and "comments" . Social media is merely a tool, a technology that we must teach our children to control (rather than be controlled by it) but it is also something that plays into the deepest part of who we are- we are driven by the need to belong, to find our place - to learn that we fit and it is this quest that makes us so so so vulnerable. On Facebook adults (myself included) struggle sometimes with hurt feelings or frustrations because we feel we are being judged incorrectly or misunderstood or simply not valued. I am so thankful that Facebook didn't exist when I was a teenager.
So today I say goodbye to my Facebook account in a small act of protest. I say good bye to my Facebook account because I am a mother to three wonderful little girls and I don't want them to grow up thinking that what matters is what is on Facebook. And while I will miss my Bible study groups, my homeschooling support, and the photos of friends around the world- I will sleep well knowing that I am doing what I can- as little and as insignificant as it might be.
I pray for Rehtaeh Parons and her family, I pray that Jesus returns, I pray that I can be a good mother and while I will at some point have to navigate the messy waters of social media with my children and teach them how to manage- today I do not. Today I just have to hold them close and be thankful they are ok.
Quotes for today “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
― Elie Wiesel
“To spend one's life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I'm not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?”
― Charles Fuller
― Charles Fuller