Why I Broke Up with Facebook, Part 2

Photo Courtesty of Alexandre Dulaunoy

Last week, I shared about the relationship landmines that are intrinsic to Facebook usage.  It may have appeared I’m completely innocent and ever the victim of the landmines, never planting them myself.

Confession: I’m guilty, too.  In fact, I’ve been called to testify for the defense in the War Crimes Tribunal for FB landmines.

According to Wikipedia, landmines were originally designed for two main uses:

  1. To create defensive tactical barriers, channeling attacking forces into predetermined fire zones or slowing an invasion force’s progress to allow reinforcements to arrive; and
  2. To act as passive area-denial weapons (in order to deny the enemy use of valuable terrain, resources or facilities when active defense of the area is not desirable or possible).

 I have used FB to exert control over my relationships.

By creating defensive tactical barriers, I’ve channeled all of my relationships into a predetermined zone where I don’t have to express any vulnerabilities, inconsistencies or realities of my life. 

I can keep the messy parts in the messy parts. 

And, the fun, exciting, even impressive parts, I can share online. 

But, by keeping my FB friends in the predetermined zone, I have avoided and even detached from cultivating emotional intimacy with others.

It hasn’t even required that much effort.  It’s a passive area-denial weapon

I don’t have to defend my insecurities because they’re not even on display. 

I don’t have to explain to anyone why I’m upset about something, because they don’t even know that I am upset.

Trouble is, that’s not a real relationship. 

It’s a false sense of intimacy based on snapshots of my life.  And, when a relationship is nurtured solely through snapshots, my friends are missing the big picture

::

I desire true intimacy with others.

I want my friends to know I don’t have it all together.

I want to be known and to be loved for who I am, in the midst of my messiness. 

It’s too much work to keep up that façade in real life.

I want to break down the defensive tactical barriers and diffuse the boundaries of the predetermined zone

I want to live like Paul admonishes us to live in Ephesians 4:25,

             25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.

I can start by continually asking myself,

What if I logged out of Facebook and logged into my real life?

::

What boundaries have you created through electronic communication?

Is it really necessary that everyone in my life know the dark and twisty parts of me?

***Just to be clear, I did NOT breakup with my Pop Parables Facebook page, just my personal FB page.  You can still find me on FB by going here

30 thoughts on “Why I Broke Up with Facebook, Part 2

  1. I think that’s why I blog.  I have been “called out” for revealing too much on facebook before and it’s not fun.  But on a blog – it’s all my own and I really don’t ask for any “nay-sayers” because it’s all my journey and expression of who I am – who can really argue with that, right?  But I do believe that I’m exactly who I am online or offline and in person.  Ask my husband who knows me best – also my BFF – she knows me really well too – and would say that I am pretty authentic – even on facebook – at least I try.  I recently unblocked some people who made me feel uncomfortable and I thought were spying and judging.   My good friend Ray said – “unblock them  – let them see your life” and he’s absolutely right.  So with no fear – I will release even that.  A scary place to be – but I want to be able to have it real – online and off.

    1. You bring up a great point, Cindy.  Is it possible to be genuine and authentic without revealing everything about yourself?  I think it is.  But, I guess when you purposefully post certain things to save face or paint a picture that isn’t true, you’re walking the line between truth and fiction.

  2. It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves and think that we’re cultivating real relationships online, but it’s often just a masquerade. But then again, I think the same thing can happen apart from the internet. We can seem like the life of the party but really only relate on a surface level with people.
    I don’t think the solution is necessarily to be more open on facebook or more open to everyone we meet face-to-face. We can have great and deep relationships with close individuals, and I think that’s the key. It’s not our behavior on facebook that’s wrong. It’s when that’s all we have.

    1. Loren, you’re so right on here >>  It’s not our behavior on FB that’s wrong.  It’s when that’s all we have. 

      But, you’re jumping ahead of me!  More on that next week.  :)

    1. Oh, I have seen lists like this before.  She forgot the “song lyric poster”.  The person who only ever posts lyrics to songs and nothing else. hehehe

      Thanks for sharing, Jessica!  :)

  3. Electronic communication has actually removed a lot of boundaries for me.  It’s been good for me.  I’ve been able to build relationships in real life because confidence that had disappeared in real life was rebuilt online.  It allowed me to heal and find me again so I could go out and be real in the off-line world.  

    As for whether or not people need to know all the dark twisty details…that’s between you and God.  He’ll tell you what to reveal and what to keep inside.  I know that I don’t reveal all the details because most times they’re not necessary to get a point across about something in my past.

    1. Jason, that is so interesting.  Honestly, with regard to my blog, I have certainly gained confidence in expressing my faith.  It has helped me to decompartmentalize my faith, to bring out of the pew and into every other area of my life.

      I really like what you have to say about not revealing all the details to prove a point.  Sometimes you don’t have to reveal any details whatsoever.  I know that some of my personal experiences have allowed me to connect deeply with other bloggers/readers, even though I haven’t (yet) shared the dark and twisty.

      I think it’s amazing that social media has been a part of your healing.  God can truly work in any area He desires.  He always meets us right where we are.

  4. There has to be boundaries drawn, for sure. Like you mentioned, I feel it is easy to get sucked in and forsake the people (in the flesh) standing right in front of you (and me). I’m guilty of that. Right now, even.

    With that being said, I think I’ll send a message to a friend on FB to see if he wants to grab coffee next week. :)

    1. The problem with social media is that it allows me to interact only when it’s good for me.  I think that’s part of the reason I’ve been sucked in-it’s convenient and works for me when it works for me.  It doesn’t force me out of myself.  It doesn’t require the sacrifice that real life relationship does.  Hope you’re able to connect with your buddy in real life soon.  :)

  5. “It’s a false sense of intimacy based on snapshots of my life.  And, when a relationship is nurtured solely through snapshots, my friends are missing the big picture. ”

    That good right there!

    As far as the dark & twisty parts, that should definitely stay off social media. Not because I think you should put up a front, but to speak to one of your points, its a false intimacy. Some people air out their dirty laundry publicly, thinking that they are being “transparent”. But real transparency comes in an intimate relationship where you can both be encouraged and you have given permission to be corrected/rebuked when necessary.

    1. I think it’s also a false intimacy because it isn’t mutual-which I think is exactly what you are saying.  Putting out my dark and twisty in social media isn’t much different than writing a memoir, is it? 

      That being said, I think there can be a purpose for sharing dark and twisty things online.  I’ve read amazing posts about people who have struggled with depression, addiction, or just pain in general.  The difference between that and just airing dirty laundry is that they have come to a place of healing outside of social media.  Social media media isn’t their avenue of growth, but rather a place to express where they’ve come from.

  6. I love social media. Trust me, I do., but I think today we are experiencing social media overload. We feel the need to tell everyone everything, when that shouldn’t be the case. Some things should be reserved for people that you have a close bond with, and who know you. I know for me, I try to stray away from posting personal things,etc because well truthfully, my facebook “friends” don’t need to hear that. We definitely need more in person communication.

    1. I think I’ve deluded myself into thinking that just because I’m sharing something online, I’m sharing enough, even with my real life friends who need to hear the dark and twisty.  But, you’re right-goes along with what Tony said-there should be specific people in my life who I intentionally share the dark and twisty with.  And, in general, this should be more often in person, not via social media or purely electronic communication.

  7. I struggle with what to share on FB, Twitter & my blog. But honestly, I face a lot of those same struggles in person. There are things that I deal with that only Josh knows, and it moves out in concentric circles. The problem that I find with social media is that it all becomes very black & white. You’re either vulnerable, honest and transparent, or your not. People feel like they have to share everything in the name of transparency, but that’s not how we live our lives. The boundaries I set online are the same that I set offline. After someone has proven themselves to me as a person I can trust and respect, I open up more to them. Yes, we’re seen through a filter online, but it’s the same in person. Your post has inspired me to be more intentional in how I interact with people both online and off. :)

    1. Oh my goodness, Melissa. We’re so much alike, it’s a little freaky.  Honestly, I’ve been pondering this whole post sine I wrote it and realizing, I do this so much in real life.  I expect that if peole want to know the dark and twisty about me they will pointedly say to me, “Keri, tell me about your dark and twisty.”  But, they never do because that’s just really weird.  Of course, I have friends who do ask about the hard things and want to know what’s really going on. But, I have a really hard time opening up to others.  And, heavy FB usage hasn’t really helped with that. I, too, can be much more intentional about what I share with others.  I have always had a hard time trusting people, so it takes me a long time to get to a point where I really do want to share things about myself.  And, like you said-that doesn’t have to be with everyone.  I guess what I struggle with is maintaining a sense of authenticity even when I’m not sharing all my deep, dark secrets.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story Keri. I have a personal account on FB, but i can’t tell you the last time I used it for real relationships. I have my Instagram connected to it, so you may see some photos but very little “communication”. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say (I always have something to say), it’s that I don’t want to share it with my FB friends. 

    Real relationships is where it’s at. The touch of a friend, the whisper of a brother who’s praying for you. The noogie from an older uncle. Those are what matters. 

    1. I think that’s part of it, too, Moe-you NEED real face to face connection to create intimacy.  For me, shared experiences and cultivated memories are the foundation of a relationship.  If you don’t have that, it can be easy to lose touch and even recognize that someone has changed.  I think you can still develop a real friendship through social media.  I know I’ve done that with people like you and Melissa.  But, that requires a very real intentionality-its a different kind of relationship.  And, in a weird way there are things I’ve shared with you guys that I have never even talked about with some of my real life friends.  It’s not like I’m hiding it, it just doesn’t always come up.  And, that was one of my reasons for starting this blog.  I wanted a place to talk about these things.  And, that has happened.  Ummmm, I’m rambling!  And, you’re on vacay so go soak up some sun and don’t worry about my dark and twisty thoughts. 

  9. Thank you for sharing your story Keri. I have a personal account on FB, but i can’t tell you the last time I used it for real relationships. I have my Instagram connected to it, so you may see some photos but very little “communication”. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say (I always have something to say), it’s that I don’t want to share it with my FB friends. 

    Real relationships is where it’s at. The touch of a friend, the whisper of a brother who’s praying for you. The noogie from an older uncle. Those are what matters. 

  10. I’m Thinkin’ that these landmines could be effective for herding cats as well… but I’m not sure most cats know much about true intimacy either. Facebook or not, true intimacy only happens in the context of a real relationship, where we let down our guard and just be ourselves. That takes guts, confidence that just being me is ok, and that I’ll be accepted. I’ve “met” some really neat people on FB… would enjoy actually seeing them face to face but also know I may never have that opportunity with all of them. Ok, so I’ll admit it… I am a total optimist :)

    1. I don’t know much about cats except that I’m super allergic to them.  But, I do think that dogs are much more intimate and lovable than cats.  {Don’t hate me because I’m a dog person!}

      As I’ve mentioned to a few others in the comments, I think part of my struggle is knowing how to be authentic without revealing all of my dark and twisty.  I don’t want to wear a mask, but I can’t be vulnerable with everyone that friend requests me!

      1. i’m not really a cat person either, just caught up on the concept of cat herding at this time… maybe there’s something there with cats and dogs… just thinkin’ 

  11. Been thinking about this quite a lot lately, how to minimize my digital footprint to get out there more and spend time with those who are all around me… I find such great faith followers on these blogs and via Twitter though…

    As for letting all the parts of yourself sit on a page, I like to create boundaries for that.. Especially with my own blog, I keep it to stories and personal experiences that don’t share name that way I don’t grow an anxiety over my whole life sitting on the internet. Ya know?

    Great blog.

    1. Thank you so much for reading, Hannah Katy!  It’s taken me so long to respond because I lost in the black hole of your blog and The Good Women Project.  WOWSA!!! 

      I, too find my faith is so nurtured by reading blogs and being a part of the blogging communities.  There is an intentionality here that doesn’t exist so much in the real world.  But, the cool thing is that since I’ve started my blog, so much of the conversations that begin here are transferred to the real world.  AND, I’ve gained an increased confidence in how I talk about my faith.

      Boundaries are good and healthy.  I think it just gets really fuzzy when some of my real life friends are my online friends and vice versa.  I’m still figuring out if it’s normal to compartmentalize certain parts of my life when making use of different forums.  Confusing!  Hence, the breakup. 

      So nice to meet you!  Thanks so much for sharing. 

  12. Hmmm… interesting.

    I’ve always been the type to prefer writing over chatting. That’s probably because, as a young’un, my father always got mad at me when I “interrupted” him, though he had z-e-r-o problem interrupting me! (Years later I was told he may have had a punctured eardrum that he never bothered getting medically dealt with. That didn’t change the attitude he had, but the damage was still done.) As a result, if somebody cuts me off while I’m talking, I cannot dive right back in. Even worse is when my wife someone else dives in & takes over the conversation; I usually wind up on the back burner listening to a complete change of subject.

    Anyhow, for that reason I tend to like typing, which fits in with Facebook & blogging just peachy-like.

    As for the “dark & twisty parts,” I live those out loud, too. That way someone else who has to deal with occasional uncontrollable moments of panic or anxiety can know that (a) they’re not alone, and (b) it might be endocrine-related, not a horrible sin that will keep them from God. Now, granted, I don’t offer everything to everybody at all times … but I don’t hide them, either. I’m probably one of the hardest people to blackmail, because I’ll tell everybody the “dirty, dark secret” held against me before the bad guys have the chance. And my version will probably be juicier, too! :D

    1. I think that’s the key, Joe-you don’t have to tell everyone, but you shouldn’t hide it either.  Nor should you act as if it doesn’t exist.  Side note: I had no idea that panic attacks and anxiety could be related to the endocrine system.  Makes a lot of sense, I just didn’t know.   

      I like to chat and I like to write, too.  I express myself differently in both, not intentionally-just in the sense that it allows me to use different parts of my brain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>