12 November 2009

8 Reasons to Have a Facebook Account

I recently came across a blog post on why we (or at least the author) shouldn't have a Facebook account. After considering the author's reasons and knowing many others would agree with his reasons and have other reasons, I thought I'd give a quick run down on why I (we), as Christians, should have a FB account or at least be understanding of those who do.

8. Though I don't need up to the minute reports on what's going on with my friends, it's often cool to know what's happening in their daily lives. It allows me to become a deeper part of their lives & I can also pray for needs that arise suddenly during their day. If their comments are banal and boring I can skip to the next message. After all, not all my friends are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for my next post either. But that does not diminish my desire for their friendship and communication at whatever level that is. I've often been helped and inspired by messages that I have received throughout the day that otherwise I would not have benefited from. Likewise it's also great to see new photos friends post of special and not so special events.

7. I don't have a constant need to share what's going on in my life but I do like to share what's happening at varying levels of frequency. I may post 3 times a day or not at all. Some of my FB friends post countless times a day (often by Tweeting). If someone isn't interested (I know - who wouldn't be interested in my life?) they can just skip to the next message on the wall. I'm not so vain as to think everything I do should be shared on FB and if I do post it's not big deal if my friends skip it - I don't know anyway. I like to post photos as well. It keeps others up to date visually and makes them envious of how I've aged so well.

6. Because most of my friends have an account and they could let me know what's going on doesn't mean they will or are obligated to. By the time I might see them the flame has probably died down and I've been left outside in the cold. I'm not saying I need to be informed of everything but if something is posted on FB I can then be up to date and in the know. FB has kept me in the loop on conferences, podcasts, new blogs and more. Without it I'd be missing, at least what I consider, good up to date information. Besides, if something is urgent I'm going to get a phone call or email anyway, right?

5. Farmville - or should it be called Wasteville. I have to agree that these and other FB games are a waste of time. As Christians we have no time to waste. Staying in touch with friends near and far is one thing, playing silly games is another (can you tell I have an opinion on this?). I cringe when I get an invite to Farmville or Mafia Wars and very eagerly & happily hit the ignore button. C'mon folks, don't you have something better to do? Did you spend an equal amount of time memorizing Scripture today as you did playing Farmville? 'Nuf said. Use your time wisely on FB - make friends and stay in touch with them.

4. People accept Facebook and other social networking sites without due consideration - that's true. Should it's proper use be ignored because of that? I don't think so. For every blessing in this world there seems to be an evil that accompanies it. Social networking should be done Biblically and modestly. It should be noted that FB friends will never replace a real friend and/or one on one time with a friend. It's not Biblically a suitable replacement anymore than internet church replaces actual attendance with a congregation on Sunday morning. Nevertheless, the improper use of FB in this manner doesn't discount its value. I've made many new friends on FB and hope to make more.

3. Addiction to FB is a possibility. So is blogging, writing, talking on the phone, listening to music and a host of other good things done to the extreme. As noted earlier, we need to use our time wisely, in every area. If you can control yourself in other areas of God given enjoyment then time on FB shouldn't be an issue.

2. Don't let pride get in the way. If you had reasons before not to have a FB account but have changed your mind because of its benefits, by all means go for it.

1. I do(n't) want Facebook friends. Well, I wouldn't want my only friends to be FB friends but having them certainly doesn't hurt. Having true friendships as Christ did will never happen only on the internet. We're encouraged to foster deeper friendships in the NT and so we should. I will always first pursue in person, actual friendships. Human contact is critical. However, I have got to know several people on FB and have benefited by their friendship and all that attends that friendship. I've been exposed to good things that I otherwise would have missed. The use of FB has allowed me to regularly stay in touch with a friend in Texas, renew old friendships from years ago, stay in touch with church family during the week, and strike up new friendships with like minded folks from whom I have learned a great deal.

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