Oh Mark Zuckerberg you lovable little genius you. The thing you predicted would blow up has taken over and altered the way we communicate and connect with the rest of the WORLD. Thank you and darn you all at the same time. I could not be more grateful to follow and keep track of my sweet friends I met and did life with in Uganda. I could not be more grateful for the ways I can keep a “visual eye” on that beloved place and the people who live there. But then I honestly get tangled/trapped in the mind numbing scrolling and sometimes am completely sucked in to a video of a pug pouncing up the stairs or I “need” to know what animal my face looks like!?! Several seconds of my life later THIS pops up.
Completely.unneccesary. But in the “Facebook moment” I NEEDED to know. (Love/hate.)
On the inspirational side of this communication highway–Facebook carries vital messages of hope and encouragement in to my world. This platform is wrapped in relationships with people I love and relationships I hope to continue to cultivate. With a press of a button I am able to stay connected to precious stories of real people I care about and “like” to “follow”! There are inspiring quotes, and passionate pieces of news stated in ways that are humorous and a bit more palatable to consume. Mark has even made a simple way to tell my friends “Happy Birthday” because he somehow knew my brain is too cluttered to keep all of that straight! This is when I feel all the feels and am full of Facebook love.
Then there are the more annoying posts…the I really didn’t want to see that post. You know when your child gashed his head open and received 5 staples post. (For my nerdy doctor and nurse friends out there I know you find those fascinating–but as for me and my eyes–no thank you.)
Oh and let me go ahead and call out right now that little side biz of mine. From the bottom of my heart a big thank you to my Facebook friends who have no interest and will NEVER purchase R+F products. Grateful for your willingness to power through my page–pushing past my business posts to get to the heart of what is going on in my world. You are patient my good people…thanks for not un-friending me, but for exercising a restrained eye roll and quick two fingered flip as you scroll on by. (I try to not to be obnoxious or create white noise–but I understand: if this is not your thing–it is not your thing.) I found my job on Facebook–as well as answers to something I was looking for…so I will always be an “intentional poster”–but I also understand that there is a lot vying for your attention so forgive me for adding to the mental clutter. (Love/hate.)
Then there is the more sinister and serious side that I must address because people behave very badly on Facebook. Especially within this election year we have become downright hateful and aggressive. (I am not super swimmy with our options–but in my humble opinion, Facebook shouldn’t be the platform for us to make up our mind or change the minds of others.) Oh and while on the topic of persuading others–the hateful and embarrassing things Christians say on Facebook…y’all I just want to hide under a rock and throw my laptop away. The cruelty and unkindness does not represent me or my tribe. My lack of words on the subject is absolutely intentional–it is a distancing of sorts between myself and the obnoxious, hurtful words daily spoken in the name of Christ and Christianity. We feel compelled to “speak truth in love” on our STATUS UPDATE or on the update of another!?! No. Not the platform little lamb…not the platform. The Good Shepherd is calling and begging you to stop doing more damage than the good you think you are doing. My lack of words on this subject in no way expresses my lack of love for my good Shepherd…but I see far more folks standing up for something they believe in while crucifying their “friends” for not having the same preferences or religious/political beliefs. True connection and friendship happens face to face one conversation at a time. Period.
I thank God for my ability to stay in touch with my friends who I met years ago in Indiana, or while doing YL at Apex high school, or via POWER, or Hope, or while traveling the globe…but to be clear…we FIRST met: FACE TO FACE. Only then did Facebook become an important messenger and delivery service. Our purpose in posts matter. Or at least it matters to me. I want to bring far more love and grace in to this space… (Love.)
Because I can assure you that when looking across the kitchen table from said “friend” eye to eye, face to face, the kind of hate we write on Facebook would so very unlikely be spewed in spoken spaces. Yet with written words we shred from the comfort of our couches…hidden behind our screens forgetting the humanity of others. This hate and harm (as well as a few random quizzes and mind-numbing videos that I get sucked in to and spend too many minutes of my precious life completing) have caused me to want to close my account forever. (Hate.)
But Facebook can be full of light, love and inspirational stories about humanity that bring me back around and cause me to place a stake in the ground. I will be different. My posts will have purpose. My words will be building, kind, and constructive. Life is hard y’all. This world can be brutal. Let’s not pollute this platform. Let’s be better than that. Much better.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed,
2 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship with Facebook…”
While we haven’t yet met face to face, I know we are meant to be friends based on a similar mission: love for our Savior, our neighbors, and our world. (I should have invited you join us for buna tonight!)
Jennifer, thanks for sharing your heart on this subject……I agree that controversial subjects such as politics, religion etc cannot be discussed rationally in sound bite posts which are often passive aggressive and laced with hate, bias, sarcasm…..
Also, sitting here thinking about what you wrote has inspired me to think……if FB were around during the earthly ministry of Jesus, what would some of His posts or responses to posts be? Also, could you imagine receiving a friend request from Jesus Christ or Paul?
Thanks again for sharing and for the spirit in which you share…..