on facebook (and possessions)

Two weeks in, how’s the Facebook fast going?

Actually, I feel like a fraud. Actually, it’s pretty easy. Actually, I think my friends are the ones missing out – they know nothing of the silly things I’ve done with my kids, the hilarious sign I saw at a motorway service station, the unfortunate typo in an email received from a Freecycler, the amount of wine I’ve drunk, chocolates I’ve consumed, men I’ve kissed (a bit, a lot, one – in that order – if you’re interested). Yes, now I think of it, I can’t imagine how my friends have coped without my adventure-filled life over the last fortnight.

Have I missed Facebook? Al tells me I missed a fair few birthday messages, and I’m ignoring the increasing numbers of emails-with-angry-titles from Facebook telling me how many messages or notifications I have ‘pending’. They might be pending, but they are not missed. And for those of you concerned that I have missed the Harlem Shake meme – don’t worry, Al filled me in. For your information, my favourite by a long way is this one, from Al’s alma mater (Al’sma mater?):

In wondering why I haven’t missed Facebook, the answer comes quickly:

I don’t know what I’m missing. 

Perhaps all sorts of interesting things are happening on the Book of Faces – but because I haven’t seen them, I don’t miss them.


In the same way, I often imagine that life would be much easier if I were living on a desert island. Limited possessions – but no exposure to advertising or peer pressure that would make me want more.

I wouldn’t know what I was missingso I’d be totally content with what I had. But, as it is, I live on a consumerist island, where there is pressure on every side.

This weekend we’re having a sale. We’ve had a bit of a clear-out of our things, and are inviting friends to an Open House, with an opportunity to buy anything they like the look of. Anything people donate (nothing’s priced) will be going to one of our favourite charities, Christians Against Poverty.

2013-02-27 21.22.53Now some of the things I’m getting rid of are things I don’t like. It’s ridiculous, for example, that a non-fan of Mozart should own four Mozart CDs. But most of the things which are going are things I do like. Some I like very much indeed – but it comes down to this:

Am I prepared to keep cash tied up in possessions I may or may not use in the future (and haven’t used for the last four years), when – in my own city – families are breaking up, children are going hungry, and many are contemplating suicide because of the financial pressures they face?

2013-02-27 21.23.28

I don’t write from a position of virtuous piety. Believe me, I write these words ashamed, knowing that there are many more things which go unused or unnoticed in our home which I’m still holding back. I hope God continues to challenge me on this one. I can relate to these words in Mark’s gospel, said by the father of a boy with a demon, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief”.

Facebook and possessions. Two areas for de-cluttering.


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