Feb 27, 2012

The Facebook Conundrum

Ahhhh Facebook. You're a very divisive topic. We either love you or we hate you. You've reconnected relationships and ruined others.

Suddenly, I'm just not sure how I feel about you.

Last Spring, I took the Facebook app off my phone. I had spent one too many evenings, while giving The Boy a 2am feeding, scrolling my wall. I also paused one too many games of "Go Fish" to check in on everyone in the middle of the afternoon... or upload a picture of my precious kids... or tell about some great thought I had just had. Having it on my phone was allowing FB to consume me. I was thinking in status updates.

More recently, a few friends have given up Facebook for Lent. Noble. I don't consider myself an "addict," but I am now wondering what Facebook really does for me.

Spilling the truth of this conundrum is even more radical for me, as I am a certified continuing education instructor for the use of social media in Real Estate. Don't get me wrong, there are many great uses for this website, I don't dispute that at all-- especially in the business realm-- but that's not what I'm using it for any longer.

A few months ago, The Hubby and I deleted our individual accounts and created a joint one. One of the reasons we did this was that starting a new one was easier than deleting the more than 500 real estate related "friends" I had after teaching those CE courses-- and no longer felt I needed to foster those relationships after being called home to raise our children. Having a joint account also created an accountability that neither of us realized we needed. For the most part, we were communicating with all the same people via individual accounts. As we "accepted" friends to our new account, we asked ourselves the question "Is this someone that I would mail a birthday card?" (Those of you that are reading this that ARE FB friends know that we don't actually do this... but I digress...)

Some small group friends brought my attention to this Piper quote:
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” --John Piper

Ouch. I am SO convicted, SO guilty.

I spend more time scrolling through the happenings of my "friends" and "followers" than I do at the feet of my Savior, interceding for them in prayer. It's true. Ew. Sick. Gross.

So, now I'm doing some soul searching, and dragging The Hubby along with me. (Honestly, I don't think he really cares whether or not we have a FB account.) Some thoughts to ponder: Does FB still distract, even after you've whittled down to your nearest and dearest? Is it keeping me from authentic conversation with these nearest and dearest because it's as if I already know what's happening in their lives when we're actually together? Am I communicating via FB or coveting?

As I mentioned before, The Hubby and I are revisiting "Purpose Driven Life" during Lent. A few days ago, I was reminded of that huge question I will be asked of the Lord when I stand at His feet on Judgement Day: "What did you do with what I gave you?" This is a loaded question, which deserves a full blog post. But, relating to this specific topic, I would be highly embarrassed to answer.

So, if one day we vanish off Facebook, you'll now know why. It is not a judgement to our friends that continue to use the site. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of things I would miss. There are friends across the country and around the world that I don't get to see regularly, and FB allows us to "keep in touch." I get a lot of breaking news from FB, and can keep tabs on politics, sales and incoming weather. And, who knows? We might actually feel the call to jump back in.

But you can rest assured that if I'm no longer on Facebook, I'm spending the time praying over you. You're worth it.

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