When Facebook opened their registration for anyone over 13 in 2006, I signed up. This new way to communicate with friends and family and meet new people was going to revolutionize our society.

In 2020, it’s become a way to divide our people. We have movies about the social network. Some might say it’s a Circle that is weighing our social scores in our culture. For some, you have to post the right virtues and signal that you’re part of the “woke” crowd and if you say the wrong thing, you’re canceled.

The other day I decided that I was going to go against culture. I was leaving Facebook.

It started with Twitter. I went on my Twitter account and was reading all sorts of mean things people were tweeting at one another. I found myself feeling sick. So I just deleted them. I have one for me and one for this website. They are gone now.

Then I asked myself if Facebook is any better. I realized that these companies are banning people from saying what they want and censoring their speech. Then they take your information and find ways to sell you things through ads. Get that? You can’t say what you want, but your info is used to sell you junk. So it’s okay for them to steal your information and “likes” in order to make money, but you can’t say things they don’t like or use their platform to make your own money. Right.

Some say it’s their prerogative to do this. They invented it. It’s their property. They can do what they want to do. But then you can’t disagree with a pundit online or your account is suspended. That’s not right.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, et al are now interfering in our elections by banning the President’s speech. Listen, I don’t like what the President says online. It’s pretty toxic. But I don’t think he should be prevented from saying what he wants to say. Don’t like it? Vote for someone else. These publishing platforms are deciding what speech we can and cannot see and hear. They aren’t mere platforms for free speech, they are telling us what is true with their hand selected left-wing moderators of fact checks. They don’t check all the facts…just the ones that agree with them.

But I digress…

I wanted to share some observations as I am in process of leaving social media. I am going to be vulnerable here so stick with me.

One thing I have noticed is that I was completely addicted to it. I would find myself picking up my phone every 10 minutes to check my accounts to see what someone else is saying, if someone liked something I said, or to read more news articles on different subjects. I would run my battery life down in half the day and have to plug in again to recharge.

Without these platforms, I’ve been picking up my phone and realizing that there’s nothing to see. I am suffering withdrawals. But I am getting better as I find other things to occupy my time and my mind. Reading books has become fun again.

Another thing I have noticed is that everyone else is addicted to social media but they just don’t know it yet. They don’t want to give up their addiction. I have had people lament that I am leaving Facebook. They want to see what I think and hear my opinion…but not really. They really want me to hear their opinion. A lot of people have a lot to say about everything. With the coronavirus and the death of George Floyd, everyone is sharing an overabundance of articles and writing their thesis about the state of our world. Everyone feels the need to say something they think is new and trite about these issues when they are saying nothing and the same things over and over again. And they are now “offended” that I’m not there to read it.

I say “offended” in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. They don’t really care what I think but they seem to feel slighted that I would go against the norm of having a Facebook account. As though I am not as cool as them now. But that’s the thing I am finding most interesting. Lots of people are actually feeling emboldened by this step I took.

I have gotten emails and texts lauding my decision and telling me that they are thinking about doing the same thing. I left my Declaration on my Facebook about leaving and posted my phone number and email telling others to message me there. And they are!

I have emails from friends saying they want to take this step. I got a text saying “Wow! This is bold and I’m encouraged by your conviction. I might leave too.”

What if we all left Facebook? It’s not a godly place to be. I see junk there every day. I see Christian brothers and sisters arguing on there all the time. The time will come when Christians cannot claim the truths of Scripture anymore because they will go against Facebook’s standards. We stand against sin, but sinful living is what is accepted there. I have also been reading about being a light in that dark place. I agree to a point…but what I am finding is that maybe my light can shine brighter by NOT being there. What if someone asks me if I have Facebook and I say “no”? Then my witness is that I don’t have to participate in those kinds of things to be a happy and healthy man of God.

I am still trying to figure all of this out. I’m transferring all my data from Facebook so I will have all my pictures saved there on my computer. I noticed how many pictures I am tagged in that I didn’t take. Makes me think about how much our world is changing where we might have cameras everywhere watching us and seeing what we are doing. I don’t want our world to become The Circle and have a social credit score. I’ll be fine with a 0.

The truth is people are watching us anyway. I am being watched. As a minister of the Gospel, people are watching my every move. They want an example of how to live in our world. I believe that this is what I am doing. I am giving an example of how to live. I want to start a movement of people leaving social online publishers (who pretend to be just platforms) and who share life face-to-face. I want us to be people who pick up the phone and call a friend and say “hi”. With the shelter-in-place of the coronavirus, a lot of people are learning to Zoom, Facetime, and use other video chats to talk directly to friends and family again.

Our kids are leaving these social media places. The next generation isn’t using Facebook anymore. They are moving to TikTok now…and I won’t add more of these to my phone. Our kids are watching our behavior and our example isn’t very good.

Another thing I have noticed is I have watched my kids go park in parking lots and sit in their car trunks and hang out with their friends IN PERSON. Maybe we can learn from them. Our best relationships are done in real life. Social Media is NOT real life.

Join me! Let’s Twexit! Let’s FBexit! And if you want to talk with me, leave a comment. I’ll send you my email and phone number and we can talk in real life again.