Tonight at church Mike preached on Facebook, it was a really challenging talk because I’m a frequent facebook user, and I’m sure many of you are too. And not only that but it seems applicable to any sort of social networking, blogging included.
I’m just going to give a summary of what I found challenging but the whole sermon will most likely be available here
For starters Mike addressed the dangers of facebook. One that particularly challenged me is the danger of falling into narcissism – of using facebook to promote yourself and to expect that everyone is interested in you. Essentially assuming you are the centre of the world.
I think its something many people do. Facebook has become a place where we can remake our identity, make people think things about ourselves or make us think things about others that just aren’t true. So I was challenged as to whether what I do on facebook is really just about making myself look good.
A good challenge is to talk about others and encourage others instead of talking about yourself.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your interests but to the interests of others.”
So Big Challenge #1
Be authentic about myself on facebook and use it to promote others and not myself.
Time Wasting was the next danger Mike addressed. Our society has this dying need to always be contactable, the thought of being disconnected is so strange. Not having phone reception can become catastrophic. The number of times I have checked facebook in the morning before reading my Bible is actually ridiculous.
Big Challenge #2
No facebook until I’ve read my Bible.
Facebook also poses limitations on relationships. Written words can lack the meanings we mean, we can use it as an online space where we sort out our problems or where we can quickly share our opinions and gossip.
Check this out. This guy really challenged how facebook has come to redefine what it means to be friends with someone. Now we distinguish between ‘friends’ and ‘facebook friends’.
It’s important to remember how much more sufficient real face to face physical friendships are, and they should have priority.
However, facebook is also a great gift, if used properly. If you use it to relate to people and share with them rather than to just report to ‘your audience’ things about yourself.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men…”
Facebook can be used as a unique opportunity to live louder for God.
So often the letters in the NT begin with verses such as these:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”
Facebook could be a useful prayer tool, a means to see what people need praying for. But not only praying for them but letting them know that you are. Mike challenged us to either gradually go through our list of facebook friends and to pray for each of them or maybe to pray for people as their posts come up on your newsfeed.
Big Challenge #3
Use Facebook as a prayer tool.