Thursday, March 3, 2011

Facebook Fiasco

Today I’m thinking about relationships.
Our lives are driven by them, fuelled by love – or lack of – and often full of drama.
We centre our lives around relationships.
One thing I noticed, however, is that our current society is full of some whacked out different form of relationships called: SOCIAL NETWORKING.
Ring a bell?
Let me bring it down for ya.
Even this blog is a form of social networking.
So don’t get me wrong, but I LOVE social networking… I have each of the things I just listed. 

Facebook: it keeps me in contact with my friends when they’re far away, provides an outlet for sharing important events in my life, I can upload photos so others can see them, I can look at OTHER peoples photos so I can spy on THEIR lives… the list goes on and on.
Twitter: basically I use this as an outlet for my slightly deeper thoughts, as many of you do. I also enjoy it for a form of hearing from other great people in ministry who provide great encouraging thoughts.
Youtube: well, I’ve heard you can upload videos, but since I have none to upload, never really cared. I have this account so I can play a “favorites” list of my favourite bands, or look up other inspirational stuff to share with others. (usually thru facebook) J

All this said, social networking is amazing. For the first time in history we can “log on” and be in contact with people from all over the planet! This is pretty cool. I’m a fan of this concept since my big sister moved to China a year and a half ago. And since I have friends all over the world that I’d like to keep in contact with.

But… (and you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)
I can’t stand the fact that our generation has become SO dependent on our facebooks! (insert favourite social networking program here)
I mean, can you even communicate in person anymore?
A lot of people I know won’t say two words to me in person, but we are friends on facebook. So that’s ok. I mean, they continually ‘like’ my status, <3 my stuff about church and youth, but If I talk to them at church or at youth or even on the streets all I can get out of them is:
Me: hey! how are you today?
Teen: good (clicking phone sounds insert here)
Me: that’s good… just good? Or really good? Why just good?
Teen: uh I don’t know
(here is where I peek over the shoulder to see if Teen is logged on to facebook thru cellphone, or just plain texting her friend across the room – also on her phone)
Me (in attempt at real conversation): ok, so how’s school?
Teen: good…
(clicking continues as Teen continues ignoring me)

I think we are messed up somewhere in our social networking structure. Somewere along the way we got so involved that we forgot that there’s a real world out there! Real people wanting real conversations… real beauty in a real friendship.
Again, I have a facebook. I love it. I go on it often… too often, I’ll admit.
I would rather hang with you in person.

The problem, I think, with our generation is that we have gotten so used to communicating thru facebook and other forms of technology that we forget how to talk in real life.
Did you know that life isn’t about how many facebook friends you have or how many notifications you have when you get home from work or school?
Did you know that Jesus doesn’t have a facebook profile?
Yeah, he actually set it up that way so you’d have to turn OFF facebook in order to spend time with him.
That’s what real God-given relationships are meant to be!
It’s not about logging on and filling your life with superficial ways to stoke your ego. That’s what this world wants you to think.

Think about it.
Is it about having a selfish craving to see how many people “like” your status?
Or would you rather someone take you out for coffee.
Would you rather have 1,000 friends that you never talk to in person (cuz you’re glued to your data phone)?
Or would you rather have 5 friends you could talk to about anything. Friends who will build you up and make you be more of who you really are. Friends who want nothing more than to see you succeed.
Can you imagine what would happen if we all just logged out of facebook?
What if we actually talked to eachother and were real? Honesty seems a little lost to our culture lately. We’d rather live thru our facebook profiles than live out in the open where people might see us and judge us for who we are.
Let me tell you this.
I do have a facebook profile.
But I don’t want to limit my friends to that.
I actually do have 5 friends I could talk to about anything… honest friends. I know them, they know me. We talk… but not usually on facebook.
I have outstanding spiritual leaders – my pastors, Loving parents, And an incredible mentor. All of whom know me and want to see me succeed in life and experience all that God has for me.
I know this because they tell me. But never thru facebook.
It’s not about selfishly seeking our own plastic facebook faces… it’s about having real relationships.
God wants to have that with you, and he wants you to have that with other people.
I love what Philippians 2:1-4 says in the Message version:

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

How can you be “deep-spirited” friends without personally seeing the person. How can you really know who they are?
I’m not asking these questions to get an answer… I just want you to think about it and reevaluate how you handle your relationships.
Are you the kind of person who will hide behind the facebook profile in order to obsess more about “your own advantage”?
Or are you going to use this form of technology to help others… be there for others when they need to talk. Put yourself aside, help others get ahead.
If you have a facebook account, great. But don’t use it to your own advantage. Try building others up through your status updates – if nothing else.
And after that, log off. Read a book. Have some Jesus time… cuz he’s always waiting for that.
Go out and spend time with real friends. People who have a good influence on you and want you to succeed. (and if you don’t know anyone like that,pray about it… God will send some. And then facebook me and I’ll invite you to my church and introduce you to my friends who will love you. J )

Life is more than just facebook and social networking… I don’t know about you, but I wanna go out and live a real life with purpose. I want to be a deep-spirited friend and live in community with real people.
I want to think like Jesus thought of other people…

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m literally going to log out, have me some Jesus time, and then go spend some time with real friends in the real world. J

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Michelle! Keep it real! None of the tech stuff will be needed in eternity. Yeah, God!!!