Thursday, February 24, 2011

Facing Off With Facebook

"Remember, it's not the quantity of friends that you have on Facebook as much as it is the quality of the relationships you maintain. Accumulating a huge number of friends is not a contest so let go of the numbers...Each time you add a friend, commit to being open to praying for, listening to, engaging with, and loving that person as God puts his or her needs in front of you." -@StickyJesus, p. 141
 Some people say FB is like a high school reunion.  
This is what a real 10 year HS reunion looks like- some of my favorite friends.  And me, with bangs!

I had resisted signing up for Facebook for quite some time, figuring I stayed in touch with enough people.  I am a very loyal friend and still keep in touch with friends from grammar school, high school, college, and most of the jobs that I've held.  Why would I want to check up on people outside of that?

I remember the day I caved.  I had received a very sad phone call before starting work.  I wasn't sure whether I'd be leaving town that day or not but I knew I wasn't fit to go to work.  When you're in a helping profession, it's better if your mind isn't clouded and you're not prone to crying spells.  I took the day off of work and while I was trying to figure out what to do next and wait for another friend to get off work, I suddenly craved the comfort of the past.  Facebook it was.  It proved to be an excellent distraction as I reconnected with people I hadn't quite forgotten.

Facebook, like all social media, is what you make of it.  People can waste a lot of time playing games, scrolling through pages, and uploading pictures.  People can also gain much from maintaining friendships from afar, staying current with family happenings, and getting to know people all over again. 

I've heard a lot lately about the dangers of Facebook and how people are deleting their accounts or deleting "friends" of the opposite sex or going on a FB fast.  For some people, it's important to safeguard themselves and have better boundaries. 

However, I liked how this chapter of @StickyJesus focused on the opportunities that Facebook offers because there are plenty.  Because of Facebook, my high school pen pal and I have started exchanging letters again (that is the shortest version of the story.)  Because of Facebook, my family keeps up with my Nashville adventure.  Because of Facebook, I can relive the glory days of my college crew team- love those pictures!  Because of Facebook, I am able to post a prayer request and know that I am bathed in prayer.  Because of Facebook, I can express opinion and have interesting discourse with all manner of people.  These are Opportunities!

I am discerning about the friend requests I accept and request.  For me, it's not about the numbers.  I don't necessarily want some random guy from my sophomore year math class to know all about my life.  And some people from your past are better off staying in your past.  My focus with my Facebook circle, as in my real life circle of friends, is quality over quantity.

Yet, I'm not sure that I always look at Facebook as an opportunity to serve and minister to others.  I like the last sentence of the quote above.  Purposely being open to praying for and engaging with FB friends as their needs are brought to your attention. Here is an area to grow.

Do you view Facebook as the enemy or as an opportunity?  How do you care for your Facebook friends?

This post was written for the @StickyJesus Read-Along hosted by Michelle Sarabia.

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1 comment:

  1. Facebook scared me - twitter is easy - and it's now. I have a page - rarely visit it. With blogging I guess we'll have bloggy relationships - and a few of those will cross over to real life - and then real life family and friends - don't know yet. But like you I still think I can stay in close enough contact with those I love the regular way. ANd twitter has a more cute name :)

    God Bless You Leigh - still can't believe we didn't meet at blissdom.


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