The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Buechner

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To Facebook Or Not To Facebook...

...that is truly a question we all need to ask ourselves. When facebook first birthed itself into our world of technology, it seemed like a fabulous way to find old friends. It gave way to possibly faster communication and more networking. E-vites and virtual event invitations took on a whole new meaning. Heck, I can even buy used clothes for my kids through the wonders facebook. I have found out about engagements and break-ups, moves and new jobs...goodness, just yesterday I found out through Facebook that my sister ran around the White House. She literally ran around Obama's new place of residence.

Then the race was on: who could accumulate the most number of friends. Who could score the highest in Scrabulous (did I even spell it right)? Who had travelled the greatest distance or uploaded the most photos?

And as with many things new, it's novelty fueled incredible success.

I'm not discouraging facebook. I frequent it more often than I should...but there are lessons I have learned.

Initially I received a few friend invites and in turn I would seek out some old friends from my high school days - after all, it's tough to track down friends who now live around the world but attended school in England. It was great...for awhile.

There came a point though.. and I think this is where we need to be careful...when we lose sight of who we are, for the ideal of how many friends we think we want. Facebook really is a reflection of ourselves. Are we edifying who we are and who we want people to know us, by our facebook"friends"? What do those little squares with profile pictures really say about us?

Realizing that as with most good things - this could turn into a bad thing, I purged. I would hate for anyone who knows me as an honest person to facebook-befriend me, only to find that I'm now with the drinkers, the swearers, and the like. I'm not judging...just expressing how I do not want to be viewed. I seek to live a Purposeful, Faithful, Integral, and God-Honouring life. While I am nowhere near perfect, my friends - close or distant - should reflect Me.

When declining some friend requests and deleting others, initially I felt guilty. Upon further reflection I realized there's no reason for this. I don't need to maintain the friends status just so my "numbers" are high. For me it is not - The More The Merrier.

Quality superceeds Quantity.

I want to have loving friends, not loads of friends.

I want to know Character not Countless Numbers.

So will I continue to facebook? Sure. For awhile at least. But I will take it lightly. Chose carefully. And I will be certain that my friends are those who know me for who I am and I actually know them. They know what I stand for. They are the ones who actually contact me. I am a person to them, not just a profile.

If someone were to hack into my account and look down my (facebook world) list of friends they would not find many. My list doesn't number up in the several hundred. The friends they would find, however, would be a cut above the rest. The hacker would find a relatively accurate depiction of myself. I hope they would take note that those who are "friends" are those with whom I keep in touch. They are friends with a purpose. They are from all different walks of life but each walk is wholesome, moral, and integral.

If someone were to hack into my account, they would come across this quote posted in one of my friend's profiles:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Nelson Mandella

2 comments:

sharona said...

i have been mulling the 'facebook' repetoire over in my own mind the last few weeks as well and echo your words....i don't care how many "facebook friends" i have, i can count on 2 hands the really really important ones in my life and was a little blown away to see how many "facebook friends" i had accumulated since i first signed on...i don't have THAT many friends...there is no way!!--but i KNOW OF that many, there is a difference there!

I actually went to purge a pile of them from my list based on the quality of whom i want to associate and got an email the next day from a 'friend' who was sad to see me go!! how did she KNOW i deleted her? it has made me much more gun-shy about accepting and purging too. Nice post....thanks

Papa/Grandpa said...

It brings to mind a quote that says, "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."

I am not sure who wrote it but it does express how I feel.