On May 3rd I posted about my need to disengage from social networks for the month (you can read that post here). For the past month I have not been on Facebook or Twitter and it has been very revealing. Tomorrow I plan to reengage with social networking but in a very different way than before. Below are a few of the things I have learned during my time away.
I have read the blogs, seen the studies about how social networks can suck you in and take up most of your time and attention. It was not until I stepped away however did I actually realize the truth to that. I was able to spend more time, more focused time on sermon prep, reading and engaging people. This was time I was losing because of my own willingness to be distracted by social networks. I actually got stuff done, felt more engaged with what I was doing when I stepped away. The problem was not social networks, it was the amount of time I devoted to them, even a few minutes here and there every hour adds up.
What this means: I plan to set aside times to be one social networks, but those will be set times and not during the hours that I have dedicated to study and sermon prep. This is something I need and my church needs of me.
Controversy to Controversy
Social networks are a great place to get caught up in the waves of controversy of the day. Just when one controversy ends another wave comes by. This is dangerous, unprofitable for me as a pastor to engage in or get caught up in. I like to talk sports and New Mexico on Twitter and share quotes or family moments, which is where I plan to leave it. For me it seems unfruitful to engage in debates and serious discussion on a platform that is so limited in tone, detail and intimacy. Some can do it, I can’t.
Social Networks are Good but Not Great
Social Networks are good to engage in, and I believe an important medium today. However they are not great for actual socializing and truly getting to know people. I want to spend more time engaging people I know, people I share common passions with and people I can help, and social networks limits how much of that you can do. I think it is possible to do all of that but it is not the best platform for that.
All this to say, I am excited to reengage social networks, but in a different way than before. I have learned a lot from this fast and plan to do this on a regular basis. I encourage you to do the same .