Yesterday I deleted my facebook account.
It was one of those swift decisions that had to be done decisively or not at all. There would be no announcement, no angst-filled "should I delete my account" status that allowed all my friends to talk me out of it, no agonizing and re-considering. I would simply disappear from the ranks. Hard to say if many people would even notice.
Part of the impetus came from reading my sister's status, posted on the 9th. I admired her resolve and how she didn't wait around for something to convince her to do it.
"Well, my not-so-dear-Facebook, I guess this is it. I have been on the brink of doing this for so long and quite frankly, I'm tired of waiting for something to come along and convince me to keep you. You can be sure that I will not miss you and your mostly meaningless, time-wasting drama. The real world is much more interesting. For those of you who would actually like to keep in touch, you can always call, text, or email me: [redacted]. You can also follow me on my blog [redacted]. I will leave this status up until tomorrow when I will permanently, eternally, and joyfully delete my facebook forever."
That same morning, I had read in Amos 5:13, "Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time." I had noted on my Kindle on that verse, "Reason to get off facebook? Characteristics of this evil time, vs. 7-12. They turn judgment to wormwood, hate him that rebuketh in the gate, tread upon the poor, afflict the just, and take a bribe."
I also listened to Leonard Ravenhill's sermon, Where is the Fire, and in it he pointed out that God told Elijah, "Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith." (1 Kings 17:3). Ravenhill exclaimed, "Go hide?" This is what God told the prophet to do? And I thought of facebook again and thought it was time to "hide" at least my internet footprint.
Additionally, there was no reason for me to keep my account. I rarely used facebook for contacting people. I rarely posted statuses or pictures. I kept the chat turned off and rarely used the messaging feature. But what I would do was to get on facebook and scroll through my news feed, mindlessly reading people's statuses, seeing pictures, and basically just receiving whatever facebook fed me. Sometimes I would sit there for an hour or more, eyes glazed over, back hunched over, scrolling down, down, down forever. My goodness, this is less entertaining than television, and I wouldn't watch television. At least on television there would be some semblance of an interesting story line. How can it be that this was addicting?
Before deleting my account, I checked my entire friend list, just to make sure that there were no contacts on there that I would regret losing touch with. I found that I already had the contact info for the people I actually keep up with, and I figure the people I don't keep up with probably won't notice I'm gone anyway.
It was a bit difficult to find the link for actually deleting my facebook account (not merely deactivating it), but google found it for me. I followed the steps. Facebook certainly tries to retain customers--even after "permanently" deleting your account, they offer a 14-day change-your-mind period where you can still get it back.
I happily went to bed, unsuspecting what I was in for the next day.
I woke up late. I felt like I was in a spiritual fog. I tried to pray and couldn't break through. I tried to work on writing my book, and the writing which usually flowed just wouldn't come. I felt stuck, lethargic, and opposed at every turn. I had had 9 hours of sleep, but I was so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes open. I couldn't get anywhere, couldn't think, and couldn't fight off this mysterious "blah." I couldn't even concentrate to read (and if you know me, that's weird.) At about noon I was so tired I lay down on the floor and woke up at 2:30 with a rug imprint on the side of my face.
I got up. "What is going on with me?" I wondered. I went to the kitchen to make myself some lunch, and while I was cutting up vegetables for a stir-fry, I prayed. I asked the Lord why in the world I was so messed up today. And he told me.
"OH!" I said out loud. "I made somebody angry!"
It was a spiritual attack. The enemy was not happy, and this was retaliation. He had checkmate in two all lined up, perhaps, and now I had escaped it, or he had further chains of time wasting and unfruitfulness just waiting for me, or he saw how taking this step would "hide" me just out of the reach of his clutches. Who knows? It was just shutting down facebook. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I certainly never thought the enemy would have a vested interest in me keeping my profile.
The thing to do when you recognize that this is happening: Hit back with prayer. I don't have to take that. I do not have to be foggy, droopy, lethargic, and brain-dead in the work God has given me. I am in Christ, and He has all authority over the enemy. I can run to the strong tower and be safe in Him, and be alert to do the work He has given me to do.
When I sat down again to do my writing, it flowed effortlessly. It was as if all the things that had seemed so daunting before were brushed away, and I easily and quickly reached and surpassed my writing goal for the day.
So just a heads-up if you're ever thinking about closing your facebook account. If you have all sorts of unaccountable opposition hit you (before, during, or after), hit back with prayer, and don't succumb to the enemy's tactics like I did.