As I sit here and type I have five tabs open including this one. Two are social media tabs. Google+ and Twitter. One is my parish bulletin (checking mass times for Friday) the other is gmail. I’m not going to mention which one is missing because I am sure you all know to which site I refer.
I go through moods/phases, if you will. I need to unplug and quiet my brain. I need to reach out and connect. I have to stop the ugly. You name it, I’ve been there. Over the last week, I’ve found myself checking that other tab less and less frequently. Not posting there or commenting or even “liking” much. What was wrong with me all of the sudden? I thought. Nothing it turns out.
See, last night while I was at work, the world found out about the untimely death of actor and comedian Robin Williams. I was shocked and saddened at the news when I saw it online when I got home, but I avoided posting and quietly said a prayer for his soul instead. Let someone else wax poetic this time. Plus, I knew it was only a matter of time before the giant internet hand of spanking appeared. This time, I’d spare myself the aggravation and irritation.
And today as I largely stayed offline and didn’t much care, I realized that was it. So much information was making me care less. More information about Christians in Iraq was becoming commonplace and I wasn’t caring anymore as ever more and more graphic images and horrors scrolled through my feed. I would just look and say, “ugh, again?” And it disturbed me that that was my reaction.
But it wasn’t just major world events. It was personal ones too. “Another new baby picture?” “More wedding pics from Nantucket?” “more pics of her kids dressing up?” “more news about how horrible his exes are?” Yeah, I was over it. And I felt really, really bad about those thoughts and my eye rolls. I wanted to slap myself and say, “You’re being a really sh***y friend, Kristen!” Because I am being that way. Totally that way.
So, I unintentionally began pulling back. I don’t read news sites as a general rule, but I stopped even browsing headlines. I started just perusing for recipes and back to school ideas. I read with my kids. We took a long walk. Went to the park. I read blogs I’d been neglecting. But only ones that I felt would improve my mood and outlook. And I prayed. And read the Bible. There is something about reading about the Israelites triumphs and God’s faithfulness even when they so didn’t deserve it or Him that calms my heart and whispers, “It’s all under control.” God allowed me to fall into shallow apathy waters because He knows I know when to snap myself out of it and get with the program. And I did. Even now, I closed twitter and google+ because what are they adding? Well, at this exact moment, nothing.
I’m not giving up social media. I’m not taking a stand or any such nonsense. I’m just going where He leads me. And He’s leading me to love the closest ones, the ones at home, to paraphrase Mother Teresa. He’s leading me to pray for those hurting, those being persecuted and those who just need prayer without the need to consume mass quantities of information about them or their situation. I’m not dead silent, but I’m a lot less vocal because my voice, doesn’t have a lot to add to every single conversation. Where it’s needed to be heard by humans, it is. And where it’s not, it isn’t.