Saturday, November 22, 2008

Facebook Be-Gone

Let none of my burgeoning list of "friends" be offended, but I have disabled my Facebook account. I think I was on for about two weeks. I was troubled by some of the photographs and really did not see any point to it. The signal to noise ratio did not cut it. It was also a bit taxing to keep up with "friends" requests and to develop a rationale for what a "friend" was and, thus, who should be a "friend." It was all too virtual for me, I afraid.

Back to embodiment:

1. Face to face conversations
2. Telephone conversations
3. Meals together
4. Time alone, unplugged, focused
5. Reading books, magazines, not screens
6. Time and space with real friends here and now
7. Time and space with real students from my classes here and now

In other words, back to faces and books, not Facebook.

10 comments:

Soulcraft - East of Eden said...

Hurrah! Good choice!

http://inchristus.wordpress.com said...

I recently joined Facebook since our kiddos have been on it for some time and we're empty nesters now. It's another way to keep up with them. And a few mindful folks I know are on it too. But, there is way too much noise and ~75% of what's there is useless. Nevertheless, I shall remain for a time, but if I find the time I am there is not worthy of my time, then I shall take the time (a few clicks) necessary to remove my profile. After all Facebook cannot compete with the biblical view of friendship, because:

A friend ...
-- Provides more than companionship; a friend offers stability in times of instability (Pr. 18:24)

-- Preserves confidentiality and builds trust in the relationship (Pr. 16:28)

-- Loves at all times, especially when it's hard to do so (Pr. 17:17)

-- Hurts only when it's necessary to heal (Pr. 27:6)

-- Looks beyond the external (Mt. 11:19)

-- Sacrifices for the sake of others (Jn. 15:13)

-- Believes in you and gives the benefit of the doubt (Jm 2:23)

-- Speaks directly and openly (Ex 33:11)

-- Does not take a friendship for granted but is explicit about the friendship (1 Sam 20:42)

-- Helps pick you up when you fall (Ecc. 4:10)

Just thinking...

Daniel said...

You have made a grave error.

Okay, not really. ;)

Pseudo said...

face-to-face, face-to-book....



...but you're still going to blog?

Doug Groothuis said...

Blog, I will--to some extent.

Doug Groothuis said...

Paul:

Excellent reflections and verses on friendship, biblically understood.

Jim Pemberton said...

Your 7-point list sounds great! Now if you can find someone who isn't too busy on Facebook to join you...

I think it's interesting how a curmudgeon can draw to himself so many "friends". It reminds me of a recent post on Tominthebox News Network (theological satire) where a friendly guy with too many friends looked at Proverbs 18:24 and decided that he needed to stop being so friendly.

Lisa Thompson said...

I agree that we should try and personally engage in the lives of our friends and to do so, inasmuch, as we are able, face to face. I also feel, however, that facebook is an awesome tool to reach and have communication with a whole population of people with whom I might not otherwise have contact. Properly managed (it can get away from you) Facebook is a great tool. I wonder if the Apostle Paul would have taken advantage of such a tool (had he been able) in order to communicate with his friends... all things to all people. It's a fun thought.. "Paul is conscious of nothing against himself, yet is not by this acquitted; but the one who examines him is the Lord." He would have great status updates. :-)
I found a blog on the subject by an excellent Bible teacher that you may be of interest. http://www.compasschurch.org/blogs/pastormike/why-facebook/

Lisa Thompson said...

I agree that we should try and personally engage in the lives of our friends and to do so, inasmuch, as we are able, face to face. I also feel, however, that facebook is an awesome tool to reach and have communication with a whole population of people with whom I might not otherwise have contact. Properly managed (it can get away from you) Facebook is a great tool. I wonder if the Apostle Paul would have taken advantage of such a tool (had he been able) in order to communicate with his friends... all things to all people. It's a fun thought.. "Paul is conscious of nothing against himself, yet is not by this acquitted; but the one who examines him is the Lord." He would have great status updates. :-)
I found a blog on the subject by an excellent Bible teacher that you may be of interest. http://www.compasschurch.org/blogs/pastormike/why-facebook/

Jim Pemberton said...

Lisa,
That's a very good point, although I usually don't do it on Facebook because everything is friend specific.

One thing I do is scan social blogs for people who don't have decent friends to speak of and are spilling their lives publicly hoping to find some resolution to their unmet emotional needs.

I can't say I've been successful on a large scale, but I have managed to help a few people get some much needed godly counseling or encourage them in their distress. Often it means telling them things they don't really want to "hear", but the truth is compelling.

In this respect the Internet can help reach troubled people we otherwise wouldn't even know were there.