I have been on facebook for....oh....two years now. Since then, I have reconnected with hundreds (I am not kidding,hundreds!!) of people from my past, present, and future. It has been wonderful to see photos of people "all grow'd up" and catch up on the last twenty years (or more!) from some old friends. Facebook has been a catalyst for healing of some old hurts and a safe connecting place for some otherwise difficult relationships. It is sometimes far easier to keep up with a difficult relationship through short status updates and photo-documentaries.
So where is "the rub" you might ask?
It is two-fold.
First and foremost, it is addicting. People say that, probably a million times a day in cyber world and it is very, very, VERY true. I think it is absolutely, to some of us, what soap operas were to our Mothers and Grandmothers. It is escape. I love my family. I love my job as a home manager. I would be a big, fat LIAR if I told you that it wasn't a thrill to be able to sit here in my favorite chair and explore all of the ins and outs of other people's lives on facebook. I have enjoyed all of the mindless quizzes and "memes" to read. I have even had a cyber english bulldog named flash, who is surely dead by now! LOL! It is an escape-a ticket to journey through exciting events and other people's exciting lives. Plain and simple, it takes away from my first ministry-the one to my husband and my children. Even more sadly, it takes away from my relationship with the Lord.
1. an image or other material object representing a deity to
which religious worship is addressed.
a. an image of a deity other than God.
b. the deity itself.
2. any person or thing regarded with blind
admiration, adoration, or devotion
3. a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as
4. a figment of the mind; fantasy.
5. a false conception or notion; fallacy.
Almost all of these definitions apply to facebook for me. The bottom line:
My prayer life isn't what it should be, but my facebook status is always accurate.
So you might say, "get a grip and some self-control while you are at it!", right?
That brings me to the second issue I am having with facebook. It can be what I am calling False fellowship. When a woman has early labor pains it is often called "false labor" which equates to a lot of action that amounts to no real progress.
Facebook creates an artificial sense of "friendship" with people where there is no real relating to one another going on. There are at least a few people on my friends list that would comment away about status updates or posts I make on fb, but would never dare to come up and hug my neck after service on Sunday about the same thing. I know that I do the same thing!!! I think facebook creates a false sense of fellowship that, in reality, is building walls even higher in real life. We can seemingly communicate without judgement on facebook. The kind words, the sarcasm and even the unsolicited advice flow freely from the tips of fingers onto the keyboard, but are kept in tight at the lips when the chance to really fellowship with someone presents itself. Remember those difficult relationships I spoke of earlier? I wonder if it is indeed a blessing to have this "safe zone" to relate to each other or if it is actually just a place that we can be comfortable at, while avoiding the healing of those heart issues that make those relationships hard to begin with.
On the contrary, I have made friends through through groups on facebook that I think I could really get along with in real life. It can go both ways I guess.
I don't know what I will do. For now, I am taking a facebook break. I am leaning towards deleting my account, but I love getting to see some great old friends on there and hear about their lives. I have been encouraged greatly by more than one long phone conversation with friends from over the years that I have caught up with on facebook. I just wonder if the benefit is worth the risk.
So what do you think? Do you facebook? Do you find yourself sitting at the keyboard when you should be relating to someone face-to-face? I would love to hear your facebook thoughts :o)