For some time now I’ve been slightly bothered by Facebook -but it took me awhile before I actually thought about thinking about it, if you know what I mean. I made a short comment about that several days ago, but really didn’t have space to address the subject the way I would have liked.
Before I go into a lengthy and ‘scholarly’ review, I want to make a short disclaimer. I’m not an addicted Facebook user -in fact I rarely visit the place unless someone invites me to be their friend or makes a snide comment on my wall. I’ve been on more lately because I feel I should make a bit more effort at staying connected. But, probably I really have no clue what I’m talking about. At the same time, I’m inclined to suggest that those who really do have a clue, probably spend too much time online trying to keep in touch with their friends…or perhaps just trying to be accepted and well liked…or just plain trying to be cool.
One of things that bothers me most about facebook is that -true to its name- it’s pretty much facial. And I’m not talking about facial hair -I’m talking about ‘surface’. Beyond the fact that so-and-so is enjoying blazing internet at the café and what’s-his-face just bought a 2009 model BMW, we don’t get a whole lot more. On the other side of this, I am truly happy to learn that someone is about to graduate, or just started dating, or, for that matter, bless him if he’s enjoying blazing internet (I could use a couple days of just that here). BUT, when on a daily base I’m seeing that what ‘matters’ to you is the blazing internet or the BMW, or any number of things……
I think I’m correct in saying that our ‘surface’ hints and portrays more than we mean it to. Sometimes what we say doesn’t correctly portray who we are. Sometimes it does. But either way, it comes back to us. We’re responsible for what we say -and and at least partly responsible for the impressions we give. Even on facebook where we can control our friends, we aren’t completely safe from that. I, at least, am friends with people I don’t know very well -with people who don’t hold the same convictions I do. If my muslim friend had a facebook I’d probably be friends with him -and what would he think?
Recently I peaked over the shoulder of a friend who was checking out the activities on facebook, and I couldn’t help but notice a post by someone. I don’t know who this person is. But he had a picture of some sort of sports car with a comment underneath to the effect of ‘My sweet new car! My love!’. Is that young man’s focus on an eternal kingdom? If his car is his ‘love’ than what is Christ to him? I, the reader, concluded many things the writer did not say directly…
It is true, that facebook is about keeping involved in a simple way with your friends -even making new friends. And I haven’t written this to say that Facebook is an evil that we should avoid. Neither am I giving everyone a hard time for telling me that you ate fruity-loops this morning, made a tree house, or just broke the high score in chicken invadors. I only am attempting to encourage all my friends to use Facebook as a stepping stone in their friendships -and not a corner stone. And to look at what you’re writing from the point of view of the reader.
I am to blame for carelessness as much as anyone. More so, because the idea of being careful isn’t new at all to me… Often I even attempt to ‘write’ the ‘blanks between the lines’ and because of that my writing has been critcised and corrected more than once. One of my failures was a recent Nicaragua update that I wrote more for my sake than for yours. Someone I respect very much wrote me and kindly suggested I keep such episodes to family and friends who know me very well. And of course, he was correct.
In the end – I want all people to see that my highest calling lies beyond cars, computers, sports, simple pleasures of life, or education…. I want them to see God working in and through me. I want them to be challenged by my life.
Blesings to you all,
‘It’s All about you Jesus, it’s all about you!”