Monday, July 20, 2009

Too Many Facebook Friend-ships

I have a confession to make. I like Facebook. Didn’t think I would when I joined it, but, well…I do. Now you will never get a poke, superpoke, or a pig thrown at you from me. I don’t play any of the games or apps, and although I had to sign up for Speed Dating to see a quiz my son made, I don’t plan on using it to connect with a future spouse anytime soon. But I do like Facebook. It is a great way to share information about your life. A quick “here is what is going on, check out the photos, or see the video”. I like to look at other people’s photos, do a quick funny post of something stupid my kids said (which could keep me writing full time), or find out what is happening in someone’s life.

But there is something that I think is true. I think that many of us have too many facebook friends, and not enough real ones. If I were pasturing in the States, I would preach a message called, “Too Many Facebook Friends”.

Now don’t jump to conclusions and defriend me. I want to be your facebook friend. What I am saying is this. For many of us…our friendships are limited to a superpoke on facebook. All we do is let people on the outside look in…but we don’t let people inside. We keep them an arm’s length, or a web page, away from our heart. We will let them see our lives…but not our soul.

Facebook is safe. I can control it. I can post, or not post. I can read, or not read. I can choose what I expose to you, and how much of you I expose myself to. I don’t have to accept your invitation, take your quiz, or view your video if I do not want to. I can limit the level of my involvement, of my relationship to you, with little or no pain.

That is the issue. This describes the majority of our friends doesn’t it? We are facebook friends, even when we are not on facebook. We limit our involvement. We keep our distance. We might do a quick ‘throw a lamb at someone’ but it really isn’t going to change anything about us.

If there is anything that I have learned from living on the mission field it is this. I need heartbook friends. Friends that connect. Friends that sometimes drain, and yet still fill me. Friends that do not respect my limited involvement and who want to be a part of my life. I need friends who are not just there to chat when or if I log on, but friends that are there all the time. Denise and I have found some here on the mission field…but only some. We need more. Do you? Maybe you are like me and you find yourself with a lot of facebook friends…yet lonely. Maybe it is time to risk, to step out of the web and into someone’s life. Maybe it is time to start doing what it takes to become part of another person’s life. Come on my facebook friend, lets face it…that is what Jesus did for us!


Rebecca said...

Hi, I've been lurking for a while. I really enjoy reading your posts and your wife's post too. My family recently got back form Asia with SIM and are now working in Charlotte at the office. You have summed up much of what we felt during our time in Asia. Thank you for putting it into words; real heartbook friends are what we need in life.