I was 12 when I first got my Facebook account. My parents believed it was a good way for me to stay connected to my family who all were starting to disperse across the nation. I already had an email account through a child-friendly service so my parents could access and read every email (even if it had previously been deleted). Facebook felt like my first account that had true freedom on the Internet. I could post whatever I wanted, and I could talk to any of my Facebook friends. My parents warned me not to accept anyone I didn’t know in real life and that even if the Internet seemed temporary and I could delete, posts live on forever. Soon, I was on my way.
In the last scroll through your social media—Facebook and Twitter especially—did you feel happy? Were there an abundance of posts that made you laugh, smile, and feel giddy inside? I reckon there weren’t many. Today’s social media climate has become a toxic sludge pile of negative and emotionally draining posts, filled with arguments in the comments and finger-pointing to cast blame.
My family has an affection for certain shows. Many of you do as well, I'm sure. You don't simply have a show you watch, but you have shows that are "your shows”. You may not rush home to watch them, like in the days before DVRs and streamed TV, but something has happened culturally where we all gained a possessiveness to our shows. At our house, we like Star Trek of various kinds, Young Indiana Jones, and Sherlock. We get our reality show fix in the form of The Amazing Race. You can probably make your own list. It maybe slightly less nerdy, but I bet you have a list.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
What great words for “Screen-Free Week,” wouldn’t you say?