Saying goodbye to online networking

Andy Rau

Have you ever felt called to pull the plug on your blog, Facebook account, Twitter feed, or any other online social tool?

In the last week, two prominent Christian bloggers announced that they were turning off the lights on some of their online networking outlets: Mark Oestricher is done with his popular blog, and Anne Jackson is deleting her Facebook account. Their reasons for doing so are different and personal to each of them, but judging by the resulting comment threads at their blogs, they aren't the only people out there who have quit (or thought about quitting) social networking.

I'm struck by the fact that for Marko, Anne, and many of the commenters on their blogs, the decision to engage or step back from social networking has a strong spiritual component. It's not just a question or whether Facebook (or Twitter, or blogging) is fun or useful or time-wasting or boring; it's a question of how these tools fit into the broader picture of your Christian life. If you've got a finite pool of time, energy, and attention in any given day, where is God leading you to direct those limited resources?

I don't feel a particular call to delete my Facebook account or blog right now. But I really like to hear people like Marko and Anne sharing their decisions and the thought processes that went into them. In their cases, tools that have been spiritually helpful for them in the past are not the best use of their energy now, for reasons that are unique to each of them.

Have you ever made a conscious decision to close down a blog or social networking account because you felt God was calling you to do so? Have you ever found yourself looking at an aspect of your online life and thinking, "This activity isn't evil or sinful, and may have been helpful in the past—but it isn't where God wants me to be right now"? What has been the result of that decision?

Topics: Online