Making my online life mean something.

DSC_0005_SnapseedA little over a month ago, I wanted to quit all of it. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this blog... I wanted it gone. I was tired of feeling obligated to update with pictures and posts of what was going on in my life. Maybe because my every day routines involved household chores and poopy diapers (which I'm so THANKFUL for and wouldn't have it any other way!) Or maybe because I just didn't feel like I had much to offer anymore. I've heard this is normal for stay-at-home moms, but I seriously started to feel an identity crisis coming on.

"I'm going to get rid of it." "No! Don't! You have family and friends all over the country that want to stay connected." "I'll just delete Facebook." "But that is where you have the most interaction!" "I'll just scale back on how much I post." "How will you decide what's important enough to share?"  

I went back and forth with myself for days.

And every time I thought about shutting everything down, the word "influence" kept resonating within my heart. "You have influence." God? Was that you?

I talked with Josh about it. And I prayed continually. Why did I feel this war within me to make social networking an "all or nothing" deal? I couldn't understand why I needed to know the "why" behind using Facebook, Twitter, etc. or else I was ready to give it up.

Then I heard about The Influence Network. And wow... it all made sense! The site just launched yesterday. And after reading the first post, I knew I needed to join! The post could have been written from my heart. Here is just a snippet.

When it gets really quiet and we’re faced with the scary questions like – is my time online a waste? - we have three choices. We can stick our fingers in our ears and check out and keep going the way we’re going regardless of the effect our behavior has on the world around us. We can have a knee jerk reaction and quit all the things – shut everything down and smash our laptops and iPhones and cancel our internet, all in the name of intentionality and real-life living. OR – we come together, as a community, and work it out – we can band together and make sure that what we’re doing is valuable, that we are leveraging the influence God has given us for good and not futile works. That’s what The Influence Network is about.

I was struggling through the first two choices - ignoring the possibility of number three. This network and it's mission is exactly what I have been praying for. And I don't believe it's a coincidence that God laid the word "influence" on my heart, long before I knew this network even existed.

Maybe you've been asking yourself some of these same questions. Maybe you've wanted to quit it all a few times too. I hope that reading this has you encouraged, that instead of quitting, you can use your resources to further His kingdom! Join the Influence Network, start a blog or just be intentional in what you share online. People are watching. People need community. If they don't find it in the people of God - they will find it somewhere.