Fakebook: How Many Friends Have You Really Got?
Five minutes goes by and I get out my iPhone, open up my Facebook app and check if I have any new wall posts, hoping that someone has sent me a message or ‘liked’ my status. What did I do before Facebook? How did I stay in contact with my friends before I had them all at the click of a mouse or the tap of the keyboard?
Have you ever missed an event or not turned up to something because it wasn’t on Facebook. I even rely on Facebook to tell me when my families’ birthdays are. Social networking sites like Facebook have changed the way we live our lives. This has great implications for the church.
The pace and way of life is increasingly shaped by the technology we create and utilize. The way we communicate is often the basis for relationships, community and culture. New, powerful ways of communicating affect and transform the way we interact with each other in our schools, colleges and places of work. The Internet and social networking sites, like Facebook, have a big potential to allow Christians to share our faith in new relevant ways. They also have their dangers.
We can sometimes become so reliant on Facebook that we miss out on building relationships in person. Many times I get home from seeing my mates only to realize I’d forgotten how much I love spending time with them face to face. Nothing beats it. While Facebook is a powerful tool, it doesn’t replace the quality time that comes from hanging out with your mates and doing what you love best together.
We only need to look at the Bible to see that words are powerful used in the right way, at a distance or face to face. Facebook gives us the ability to be involved in many lives across many worlds. What we do with this technology will shape the future of our relationships with one another and the way we interact with God. Your status, your wall posts and your comments demonstrate who you are and what you believe in. What have you posted in the last few weeks? What does it say about your life and your world? What does it say about your bond with God?
If we use Facebook as a way of challenging people’s attitude towards God then it can be a powerful tool. If we use it as replacement for relationship it becomes a poor imitation of friendship.