I started my 21 day break from Facebook on the 1st of January. Prior
to that, I was a daily/all day facebooker. I’ve got the app on my
phone, so it was pretty easy to scroll through a few dozen status
updates on my phone at any given time.
Having spent a week off (I’ve still got two to go), I’ve got a few
observations that I have noticed about facebook:
1. It has become the conversation. No one calls. No one texts. No one
stops by. Everyone Facebooks. It has become the primary means of
communication. Often times meeting people around (my own mother and
brother included), they reference “did you see my post about…”.
People don’t personally share news anymore. They broadcast it on
Facebook. People put a post and expect you to read it.
2. Most people are sharing day to day stuff. I’m missing hearing about
the new first steps for the toddler. The day to day updates about the
cancer progression. The job search. The job frustrations. The day to
3. It provides a means of connection. Some nay sayers quip that
facebook ruins relationships because people don’t interact as much.
The truth is that my life is so busy that I often don’t have time for
multiple 15 minute conversations everyday with people from every stage
of my life. I do on the other hand have time to read 15 updates in 3
minutes while standing in line at the bank. I like the connection.
4. There is far too much drama. One bad point, which honestly has
caused me to re-think my long-term facebooking style. The sad part is,
facebook has become a way for disgruntled people to broadcast their
frustrations to a wide audience, usually to theirs and others
detriment. The “facebook post heard around the world” reaches past the
web, and into the lives of those who are not on facebook. The constant
bickering, slandering, and veiled put-downs of people, politicians and
persuasions is vicious. It used to be you could just distance yourself
from these people. Now you must hide them or unfriend them.
Whats this all mean? If you’re a facebooker like me, let me assure
you. Life goes on without facebook. I’m getting along just fine. I
know that if I completely removed myself from facebook I would live.
The challenge for me, as a Christian and member of this global society
is, what role does facebook play in my world? Its a difficult question
to answer, but here’s what I got.
This morning I was reading my bible (Acts 9) I was thinking, the whole
bible is status updates. Long, well written cosmically influencing
status updates, but updates none the less. As a Christian I base my
faith on written words. I read them and they inspire me. They comfort
me. They influence me. The connection I made this morning (albeit in a
self-loathing facebook withdrawal) is that while people may have
negative things to say about facebook, it is somewhat like the Bible
in that it is a written text that provides connection.
The largest difference is that one is inspired by the Holy Spirit, the
other, for the most part is not.
I encourage you to take a facebook break sometime. Its refreshing. I
think it provides perspective on what really matters in our lives.