Have you considered how much Facebook and pornography have in common? They both:
- are addictive
- give the illusion of an intimate relationship
- require minimal commitment (other than time)
- are “guilty pleasures” that leave more guilt than pleasure
- are worldwide, fortune-creating industries
I posit all this as a recovering FacebookAholic. I love Facebook – too much. I genuinely love people and hearing what they are doing and where they are going. And I enjoy sharing the highlights of my life and family and ministry. I even appreciate the ridiculous videos on Facebook – like how to ice a cake using bubble wrap.
In a way, Facebook maximizes my time: I can keep up with 600 people without ever picking up the phone. With a click and a scroll, I can stay in touch with friends from infancy to college to the nice gal I met on the airplane last week.
And yes, I love “likes” and comments and hearing from more people on my birthday than I ever dreamed possible! What’s not to love?
According to my husband and children, plenty. For starters, it’s hard to “like” a wife and mom who is face down in a screen instead of being present body and soul with the people who matter the most. But, (please don’t judge me) the thing is, my family frequently isn’t as affirming or “un-demanding” as my Facebook world. They ask a lot of me without taking the time to “like” what I do for them or without leaving a nice comment in my comment section. Or if they do, it’s only four people. Not forty people.
Hey, remember – I asked you not to judge me!
Then there are those down days when Facebook’s highlights magnify my “lowlights” – when everyone’s world seems far more wonderful, their children more gifted, their travels more exotic, their lives making a greater impact than mine. A friend, who is a recovering alcoholic, said it best:
“It compares your insides to other people’s outsides.”
That is never healthy. Like pornography, the carefully cropped and scripted world of Facebook can become more satisfying and indispensable than the original reality show: my actual life.
And yes, what about God? I describe myself as a follower of Christ, but given where my “spare” time and attention went, I was actually a follower of Facebook. I appreciate the honesty of Twitter that labels people as “followers” instead of as “friends.” Followers!
I could recite the psalm: “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” But I wasn’t really meditating, considering and delighting. And I was neglecting. The Bible was becoming more of a book of quotations than my daily sustenance.
So, what did I do? I’ll tell you next week – which, of course, is ironic that I’m leaving you hanging, if you happen to be seeing this on Facebook.
But you’re still going to “like” this and leave a comment, aren’t you? 😉