Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Read, Write, Relate...deeply and intentionally

September alway feels like a new beginning for me. With the opening of new reams of paper and colored pencils comes the time when I like to evaluate "things" in my life with a critical eye; to pray about what needs to be picked up, and what needs to be put down.

I made only one personal goal this year, but its going to take my whole life to hone it: Read, Write, and Relate...deeply and intentionally. To start, this means my days of social media (apart from this blog) are all but over. I cannot write or relate on a deep level if all I am reading is status updates and bits of useless information that doesn't intentionally foster deep thinking or relationship.

The biggest thought and time sucker in my life is Facebook. So I'm cutting way back. It's not that I don't think there is room in life for fun or fluff. However, even "fluff" (good fiction books, movies, light conversation and time having fun with actual people) lends to a thought process that runs deeper than pictures of newly painted toes, snarky sayings, or emotional opinions given over the internet that would not be verbalized face-to face. For the record, I'm not talking about politics here. Nor am I nursing a wounded ego from cutting words on the Timeline. This isn't a personal diatribe to vent feeling or frustrations I will not take to someone face-to-face. This post is born out of a deep thinker's need to re-learn the process of thoughtful thinking and living. A gift I gave away when I chose to lend the whole of my thought life to stats, tweets, #ideas in 140 characters, more or less.

The thing is this: I do love Facebook as a means to connect with those outside of my community; to see pictures of growing kids, vacations, pregnancy/good news announcements, and to get prayer requests from those who are hurting. I enjoy seeing updates from those who were a part of my life for a short season, but are no longer even acquaintances. I like that there is a place I can contact people whom I would love to keep in touch with every once in a while.  The truth is, I wouldn't be in contact with this group of friends every day, month or year (and some cases, decade) but its nice to check in when we can.

Then there are my dear friends on Facebook (and in real life) that I rarely get to see, but when I do, its like the distance never exists. Those friendships have stood the test of time and will continue to do so whether I log in every day or not.

Relationships within my community are entirely different. They deserve more than a quick push on "like", they deserve deep and abiding connection while I am here to do it.  Obviously, I cannot do this quickly, or even everyday, but that doesn't relinquish my responsibility in the building of relationships with those within my reach. The lie of Facebook is that it keeps us connected with the click of a mouse and we call it "relating." It just isn't true. We aren't meant to live life this way. It isn't true living. And its killing my ability to think.

The initial concept behind Facebook and other sites was a good one: to serve and help foster relationships and ideas. For me, it has done the exact opposite. It has dulled my senses and strangled my thinking. I am meant to foster relationships in a meaningful and authentic way; not be a slave to the shallow stats of life. To this end, I'm reserving my Facebooking time for occasional weekend check-ins, making more time to think deeply, read thoroughly, write more thoughtfully, and enjoy living life with those who are willing to spend it with me.


Gretchen said...

Good thoughts, my friend. I know you & I started talking about this long ago. Perhaps it's time for me to hone, too. Miss u.

Jenster said...

Me three?? You just wrote everything I think on a pretty consistent basis. It's no coincidence that my writing (and several other things)started suffering about the time I got hooked on FB.

I'll miss you on Facebook, but I'll catch you here!

Tanya Dennis said...

I find that at least 90% of my time on facebook and twitter is mere procrastination. I'm not doing what I should be doing. I'm putting off things that are more difficult, but so much more important. I want to be intentional. More than that, I want to live fully, not just on the surface.

Heather said...

You know, it's funny. Usually I check into facebook about once a week. A few days ago I realized it had been a few weeks since I had looked at facebook and I thought, "Oh, I must really be living then." :) I hope you enjoy this new change, Kellie. I look forward to your blog posts!

LJ said...

Hi Friend. I totally understand the FB thing. I never post and feel funny after waisting a half an hour to an hour on the "connecting" site. Truth is, I would rather see you face to face or hear your sweet voice on the phone!Thanks for sharing what many of us have felt. You're deep mind and spirit are too beautiful to be taken for the "quick" connected world! Miss you.