This past Lent, my wife, I and a few others we know gave up Facebook. It wasn't a huge sacrifice for me, not being a Facebook junkie, but it did help me to gain a better perspective about the role that social media attempts to play in our lives. Here are a few lessons I [...]

This past Lent, my wife, I and a few others we know gave up Facebook. It wasn't a huge sacrifice for me, not being a Facebook junkie, but it did help me to gain a better perspective about the role that social media attempts to play in our lives.
Here are a few lessons I learned:
1) Social media is no substitute for the real thing. In fact, virtual relationships are not truly relationships; they're just acquaintances. Of course, we may have real relationships with some of our Facebook friends outside of the virtual world, and that is a good thing.
2) You can waste an inordinate amount of time on Facebook and other social media if you're not careful. The key is to use social media as a tool and not to be used by it. Subsequently, I have decided that I may just drop out of the social media scene now and then, if I feel it's using up too much of my time.
3) A parallel lesson: social media can be a major distraction if you allow it to become so. How important is it that we keep up with the incessant chatter found on Facebook and its ilk? If it's not uplifting or doesn't serve some other noble purpose, then the time spent on Facebook is mainly just a major waste of time.
4) Facebook can be a tool to help you find lost friends or family and then, ideally, to reconnect with them through a telephone call, a letter, or a visit (how's that for old school?)
5) My life is no better off with or without this form of communication. If I never logged into Facebook again, then it really wouldn't make much difference.
6) It was refreshing to just ignore Facebook, especially during the recent Special Congressional Election that we had here in Kansas.
The verdict: being Facebook-free for a period of time is good for the soul. Try it for yourself sometime.