Friday, January 30, 2015

Gotta LOVE Facebook....Right?


We're all on it (I guess not ALL).

It's great!

It's helpful!

It keeps us all connected!

But there's something that's been bothering me.

Facebook is becoming a substitute.
I can't speak for everyone else, but I assume some of you have a similar struggle.

A substitute.

I have noticed myself substituting personal relationships with keeping up with someone on Facebook.  Substituting personal conversations with comments on Facebook.

I never intended it to be that way, but after several years of sharing things on Facebook, I really think things have gotten too far.

My husband has been telling me that forever, but I had an "ah-ha" moment the other day.

My brother was preaching one Sunday morning and I was struck with the reality that I am sitting UNDER the Biblical teaching of my LITTLE brother.  And I was extremely convicted by the message he was bringing from The Word.

Here's where it went wrong - I immediately thought of how I could phrase this in a Facebook status.  How I would express my humility while also being proud of my brother and also commend his preaching and how it affected me.

That's when I realized how Facebook had become a substitute.

Instead of having a conversation with my brother, I was going to post it on Facebook for everyone to see.
So I started to really examine my heart in regards to this.  How often do I post things on Facebook in order to communicate to someone specifically?  Or in order to perhaps avoid a conversation with someone?  Or maybe even to express my convictions about Christian living?

I don't think it's wrong to share certain things on Facebook - it can be a great tool to connect people to one another and find out what their interests are, and keep in touch with friends and family from afar.  However, if we've gotten to the point where we'd rather share something on Facebook then share by actual interaction with humans, then I think we've gone too far.

I'm all about texting, emailing, and FB messaging in order to communicate quickly with others while there are loud children running all over, but at least that's a personal conversation right??

I'm starting to think about how my habits will transfer to my children.
We have some pretty strict rules when it comes to the kids and electronics - I mean, the girls are 3 and 5 years old, they don't need the internet to study for reports or keep in contact with their long lost cousins.

We allow them to play on the iPad for 10-30 minutes at a time normally and we try to keep it to their educational games.  Obviously, there are exceptions, but we have seen first-hand the ramifications of allowing too much freedom with electronics.  Perhaps some children don't respond the same way, but we see a definite attitude change when they are allowed unlimited play on a device, so we keep it to a minimum and it's a special treat instead of an everyday norm.

ANYWAY, my point is not about kids and electronics, my point is that if we have certain standards for our kids and electronics, then what will they be learning if they see the opposite in me as they get older?

I don't want my kids to grow up learning how to communicate online better than they learn to communicate with human beings.  Facebook didn't exist when I was younger, so this has been gradual for me.  But our kids are excellent little learners and can navigate our iPad better than their grandparents.

They learn quick and I want them to learn that we don't nurture relationships by posting encouraging statuses on Facebook.  Can that be helpful?  Yes!  But we can't make it a substitute for the real thing.

We also can't find our fulfillment in the praise of others online.
Sharing accomplishments is fact I've been sharing how I made our baby's bedding!  It's been super fun and exciting sharing it with others.  But I've seriously examined my heart in sharing it....trying my best to make sure I'm not posting in order to receive praise from others.

I've definitely been there - feeling compelled to post certain achievements and feeling so accomplished as others praised what I had humble and meek of me (not)!

Should we not find our fulfillment in Christ????
As we stand forgiven by His sacrifice?
And as for our earthly accomplishments - perhaps we shouldn't need such praise?  Not saying it's wrong, but if we need to be praised by others, then what is our motive in the first place?  If I do something at home that I'm proud of - like doing laundry 3 weeks in a row (yes.  YES this is a definite accomplishment for me), the praise of my husband is enough for me!  

Wait.  What if he didn't praise me?  

Well...I'm pretty sure that if my motives were to serve my family as I strive to be the wife and mom that God has called me to be, then I should be content to praise The Lord for granting me ability to get certain goals accomplished!

This all may have come out jumbled, but these are things that have convicted me in recent days and I am resolved to make some serious changes.

  • I feel the need to post things too frequently.
  • I feel the need to share too many things instead of enjoying the moments with family in private.
  • I resort to posting a status instead of having a conversation with someone in personally.
  • I have shared accomplishments in order to receive praise from others.
  • I have spent FAR too much time learning the accomplishments and family life of "friends" on Facebook that I may never even have a normal conversation with!

And it's changing.
It won't be easy, but it has to change.

And I invite you to change with me!

Let's be content and excited to share things with our families without needing the world to know.

Let's seek others out in personal conversations without needing everyone else to know about it.

Let's be excited about what is going on in our family's life and yes, the live's of those that are close to us - yet without wasting precious moments skimming through others' posts that have nothing to do with us.

Let's NOT allow Facebook to become a substitute for real life.

Let's NOT allow our children to grow up thinking they must share things with the world in order for it to matter.

The fact that WE know and the fact that WE commend them should be enough....and it should be enough for US when they say "thanks, mom".  

I don't need to receive praise from others, when I've got little ones thanking me at home....when I have a husband who loves to support me and recognize all that I do at home....and when I have a Savior who has forgiven me and loves to see me worship and praise HIM in all that I do.

This may not be a "goodbye to Facebook," but I do pray that it will be a "see ya way less frequently, Facebook!!!!"  :)

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