On Why I'm Leaving Social Media (for now)

Let’s face it. The internet is great. Endless knowledge, unprecedented news coverage, and more cat videos than you can ever see in your lifetime.

It’s awesome.

But if we’re not careful, the internet (in particular Twitter & Facebook) have an immense power to dominate. They consume. They take over.

At least they have with me.

The great thing about sites like those, particularly Twitter, is that they give you a wide sea of voices. You can interact with folks from all over. Every country, tribe, religion, ethnic group, etc.

In my case, I have let too many voices that have no place of authority in my life, claim a spot atop the throne. I have found myself not saying what i think, or even worse, changing what I think (or at least what I say I think) in order to win the approval of some of those voices.

That is wrong.

Because of my desire for the approval of others, which is fueled by my self-doubt, I have lost sight of what is important. I have made my wife, my kids, my community, my work, and worst of all, my Jesus, second-rate. I have placed more importance on muscling my way into a circle of influence that I thought I needed. I have sacrificed family, relationships, and some of my theology, on the altar of Twitter.

And it has to stop, because it’s not just my time, but my theology that is suffering.

It came to a head during a conversation with my wife recently. We were talking about something, and I made a statement (that if I’m honest, I didn't really believe to be true, but for some reason still felt the need to project) and she just said to me, very lovingly,

“It just seems to me that if someone is really trying to follow Jesus, they would want to live as much like him as possible.”

And for the rest of the day, it just cut me every time I thought about it.

So for my sake, for my family’s sake, and for my creator’s sake (or at least my love for him) I’m disengaging from social media for the immediate future.

This means several things:

1) I will not be active on Twitter. The app has been removed from my phone, and I won’t be checking it at work / home.

2) I will not be active on Facebook. The app has been removed from my phone, and I won’t be checking it at work / home.

3) I will still be blogging as regularly as I can, and will still be posting on Twitter/Facebook via Buffer. If you want, you can subscribe via email at my website (stephenecarter.com.)

4) I will be reading the scriptures more regularly, and other stuff less regularly. If I want to know my savior better, the best way to do that is read about him, and read the things he said and did.

5) I will be spending time finishing my ebook (which you can still contribute by clicking here to donate.)

So when will I be back? I’m not sure. I’m not putting a timeline on it, because I don’t think pressure is what I need right now. I will come back when I feel like my family has been cared for, and my soul is in a place that it is healthy enough to handle it again.

For those of you who have read this whole thing, thank you. I appreciate every single one of you. I will lose some readers, and some twitter followers over it, but I will hopefully gain a deeper love for my family, and more importantly, a deeper love for my creator.

You can still get in touch with me via email at stephenecarter@icloud.com. I will answer any and every email that you send.

Thanks to each of you.

See you on the other side.

Stephen