So Long, Facebook!


July 3, 2013 by mattfradd


So I went ahead and did it. I crossed over. I deleted my personal Facebook account (I still have my public figure page) which had maxed out at 5000 friends.

Why did I do it? Two reasons: 1) I was addicted. 2) The need to separate my public and private life.


That shiny blue square with the white “F.” I sought it while I was alone; with company;  in the bathroom (you do it to); I’d seek it out when the person in front of me got boring (no pressure, right?), or when they’d get up to go to the bathroom; I’d even begun seeking it out whilst singing my kids to sleep—not cool.

There have been many days of late where I’ve asked myself the question, “if you tallied up the time you spent looking at your wife and children today, and compared that with the amount of time you spent looking on Facebook, who’d win? Who (or what) was it that won your attention, your time.”

Public Vs. Private Life

I no longer want thousands of people I don’t know seeing pictures of my family, or reading my more personal updates.

So that’s one reason, the other reason is that I seem to have a gift for offending people. Text, after all, is tone deaf. Perhaps people misunderstood some of the things I wrote, or perhaps I just posted without thinking. At any rate. I’ll start putting thought into to my public messages and reserve my off-the-cuff quips to my private ones.

One more thing on that note; It’s a weird thing when one of your 5000 “friends” takes offense at something you’ve posted and begins correcting you publicly (in a thread). I get that that’s partly due to the nature of social media—a free-for-all back and forth—but I still find it weird. In the real world you wouldn’t, under ordinary circumstances, correct someone you barely knew in front of a bunch of strangers, or at least you shouldn’t! Surely the thing to do would be to pull him a side and share your concerns privately.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses (Matt. 18:15-16).

In cyber space that would seem to me to be a private message. But I’m venting.

My Public Page

I have a public figure page now, so perhaps a better title for my post would have been “Facebook, we need to cool things down a bit okay? Back off!”

you can find my public page here: . . . If you’d like to continue following my work, that’d be the place to go. To the small army of you who pray for me while I’m out of the road speaking to teens and young adults. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll continue posting my prayer requests there.

So what about you? Is social media becoming a problem for you? What steps have you taken/should you take to avoid becoming an addicted bore?

19 thoughts on “So Long, Facebook!

  1. Emma Fradd says:

    “On the island of relation, we live in crowded isolation”!!
    things can only get harder form here Matt, now you know what you do that is uncool, but now you will be in the presence of all of your friends and family who are still addicted..try correcting that! :s

    • Timon Piccini says:

      Emma you beat me to quoting your song! Blast!

      Love the post Matt. I have been curious and struggling with this, especially when there is so much good that happens with social media. Separating the inane from the fruitful is a difficult task.

      I’ve been trying to take more time to fast from it. You know abstaining from meat on Fridays, why not abstain from Facebook one day of the week, as a matter of habit?

  2. wordsaver says:

    Jesus’ crowd is good and Facebook is a nice tool and nobody can be neglected who loves Jesus

  3. In giving thought to your posts, and avoiding offence, always remember who’s approval is more important.

    As Paul states.

    Galatians 1:10 (NLT) “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

    I’ve seen many apologists stray to seeking the approval of people over teaching the truth. However I do believe apologist should stick to defending and teaching their own beliefs rather than attacking others. Attacking others, to me, shows a lack of faith in ones owns beliefs. It can come across as an attempt to justify ones own position. I.E. You may see an atheist attack other beliefs because they fail to find strong arguments to support their own.

    • mattfradd says:

      Thanks for your comment, Steve, although I do think that some beliefs are worth attacking. I’m sure you do to; not to be too cheeky here, but you seem to be attacking the belief that attacking beliefs is poor form or an attempt to justify one’s own position.

      • “not to be too cheeky here, but you seem to be attacking the belief that attacking beliefs is poor form or an attempt to justify one’s own position.’

        Good point. Where I put “belief” I should of said “Faith(s)”. Either way you still have a valid point. It is after all my belief that we shouldn’t and I’m attacking others that believe they should by implying they shouldn’t. I guess “Where we draw the line” will differ from person to person.

        In general terms, watching protestants rip into Catholics, or Catholics rip into protestants, or just different denominations or sections of Christianity rip into each other seems counter intuitive to bringing people to “Faith.” I’ve held that view all my life. When I was an agnostic the infighting was the main thing keeping me from Christianity, and still keeps many others from seeing the grace of Christ. But were getting way off the topic of this post.

        I do appreciate and like your logical debating style. While I don’t always agree, I’m somewhat educated in different ways after certain posts.

  4. oldironhoss says:

    You will be back –

  5. Thanks Matt …..good and smart move ! …………..and no he won’t be back.

  6. Bennett says:

    I took time of Facebook and Twitter during Lent, and found it to be extraordinary how much peace of mind I gained (and how much more productive and focused I was). I never realized what a drain of time and attention it had become until I went cold turkey.

  7. Jessica says:

    I get what you are saying and understand your decision to close the personal account. Just wanted you to know, though, that I “discovered” you on FB and have been blessed by your insights and posts. I’m grateful that you had a FB account and shared a bit of your life with me.
    I’m grateful for your strong Catholic presence, for your witness, and for your courage. Prior to being the stay-at-home-homeschooling mom to 9 kiddos I worked in ministry. I’ve talked to my ministry friends about this battle we are in. Being courageous and fighting the pressure to keep our beliefs quiet becomes more and more difficult. People at every turn (on FB and other places) tell us we are wrong, hateful, closed minded, bigots, etc. etc. So thank you for your strong voice.


  8. Khira says:

    I’m 32 and never opened a Facebook page. There are so many reasons why and you voiced a few. I use Twitter to connect to a few good people for encouragement and REAL news throughout the day (you being one), which is better than what I would see on TV. I don’t Tweet often, only positive stuff, and don’t tweet pics. or names of family.
    I often forget that the people in front of me are the main ones God sent me to minister to. When I recognized this, I did the following simple exercise and encourage others to do so: when you go to the store or family functions look people in the eye and smile. Acknowledge their existence. Doing this, you will become greatly aware of the number of people who are addicted to phones, unhappy, and in need of joy. Our phones, fb, or twitter often times won’t bring them joy, but Christ shining through us can. Being present is truly a present-a gift of self, which requires sacrifice.

    • Khira says:

      I also want add though that social media is a great tool for evangelization…we just have to be prudent when using it.

  9. Michael P.Havens says:

    I”m beginning to feel the same way and am probably going to modify my FB page to only friends and family. Unlike you, I cannot totally delete my FB, because I have friends overseas that keep up with me. The other thing is that on topics I find two things that bother me on any social media these days: 1. That when talking about subjects of a philosophical/current affairs/politics, people tend to denigrate into a certain volatility. No one knows anymore about how to be civil. Of course, being “anonymous” behind a keyboard is a great temptation to loosen the tongue and forget propriety. 2. Somewhat related is the fact that many people give emotional, knee-jerk responses to what they see is wrong about this or that, sacrificing logic in the process, and in some cases, actually using examples that end up being deeply offensive. I have been thinking this social media thing through lately, and find wisdom in my pastor’s decision to not have a FB page, calling it “poison”, Indeed! I think he may be right! Blessings to you and your family. I respect you and all the reasons for your decision. Well thought out!

  10. katiebrigid says:

    Good on you, Matt! I think it must feel like a bit of a relief to not be checking it obsessively. As a stay at home mum the thought of giving up Facebook makes me want to cry a little because it is so nice to be able to connect with other mums when in this day and age I am the only mum at home on my street. I wish I could just go cold turkey but I’m not sure I could do it! Something to pray on for sure..

  11. Jennie says:

    I’ve imposed upon myself a day of fasting…from Facebook…each week. It gives me more time to pray for others and even to explore different forms of social media. 😉 It shouldn’t be the only thing I do, but I am happy to have a way to be more connected with the people I love and to hear about the mundane aspects of their day. 🙂

  12. Patrick Rico says:

    Smart move Matt… Since you are widely know, this decision is all around THE smartest Move concerning privacy. i myself took a 11 month hiatus from Facebook. I’m back now, but flooding my page with great catholic resources. and linking with those from my parish. Its soo cool to see updates from Catholic Answers, Patrick Madrid, Jimmy Akin, Relevant Radio.. Bummed that your off of it.

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