scaling back on Facebook

There was a big dust-up which reared its ugly head on my Facebook news feed a week ago Saturday. A well-known (in certain circles) author of books on the history and future of Christianity made a comment complaining about the new design of a popular Episcopal news and features Web site. That created a firestorm of comments and some justifiably hurt feelings. The original poster then, somewhat immaturely in my mind, said that she was never, ever going to post anything at all about the Episcopal Church on Facebook again.

FacebookOn that very same Saturday I had an email from my spiritual director confirming our appointment for the next Monday. She also said, in response to a question on my part, that she wasn’t spending a lot of time on Facebook these days.

I thought it was a good time to follow suit.

I unfollowed a number popular religious figures in various denominations who were appearing regularly on my news feed. I unfollowed a number pages as well. I have not unfollowed family or friends from high school, college, and work. Nor have I unfollowed those blog friends with whom I have developed a rapport. So if you are a friend on Facebook and are reading this blog entry, you are almost certainly still showing up in my news feed.

The whole thing made me think about how Facebook, unchecked, can be quite the time sink. And given that it is rife with inaccurate information, out-of-date news, anger, bias, and sometimes simply frivolous content, scaling back was a good thing.

Transforming my news feed into a way of keeping up with friends and family, along with a few Episcopal resources and the NPR Books page, while paring away the rest has been a liberating, freeing experience.

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