My husband hates Facebook. He always has and probably always will. As an I.T. teacher, always keen on the latest technology, it was a surprise initially that he would so strongly be against something technological. After all, we first started dating through MSN (too young to remember? I’m sure Wikipedia has a page on it…)
I distinctly remember our first discussion about Facebook. I was sitting at our computer spending hours trying to work out which photos I should upload that would make me seem exciting with a side of awesome. I remember looking at him and asking when he was going to make his Facebook page. His response? “Never.” That made my fingers hesitate, momentarily suspended in between status updates. “Why?” I asked. “Because Facebook is the spawn of Satan” came his cheeky reply. From that moment, I have tried to present my man with the endearing qualities of Facebook. The fact it helps you connect with long lost friends. You get to share great enlightening blog articles. And recently, it helped me find out about a fantastic Vistaprint Sale where I managed to SAVE money! (The last one sounded better in my head). In spite of being a pro-Facebooker (and I know there are LOTS of positives to Facebook), over the last few days I’ve been wondering if maybe my hubby may just be on to something. Quietly, I’ve been convicted that maybe it isn’t as amazing as I think it is and maybe, just maybe it has a bit too much of a hold on me.
Hi. I’m Emily. I’m a Christian. Wife. Mother. And I’m a Facebook Junky. Here is My Confession. Yes, ironic I know- I am using social media to discuss a social media site.
1. Facebook Promotes Narcissism
In “How to Spot a Narcissist” by Samuel Lopez De Victoria, he defines Narcissism as the “egotistical preoccupation with self…and how he/she is perceived by others.” While it is disputed whether Facebook is a cause of Narcissism, or if Narcissists are drawn to Facebook for its ease of presenting the self to others, I know on a personal level that my self-focus increases in proportion to the amount of time I spend on Facebook. How am I being perceived? How many Likes do I have? I haven’t seen many status updates from so and so- have they deleted me as a Friend?
Essentially, the preoccupation with ones ‘self’ over that of God is idolatry. While we may not be fashioning a graven idol (Exodus 20:3-6), we may be writing a status update or uploading a photo to point others to how great we are instead of how great our God is. 2 Timothy 3:1-8 also warns us against the preoccupation with self, informing us that in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves and evil.
2. It Enslaves Me
With over 1.35 billion users, latest stats say that 72% of online adults use Facebook at least once a month and on average a user spends 21 minutes a day on Facebook. We are able to download apps that ‘conveniently’ inform us of online Facebook notifications at any time and in any place and broadcast how long it has been since we were last on Facebook or if in fact if we are online right now. This accessibility also becomes a little addictive for me, luring me online to see what people have been up to and how people are responding to what I have been up to. I can almost hear Paul’s admonition to the Galatians to stay free from the bondage of slavery ringing in my ear (Galatians 4:1-11).
3. It Leads Me To Sin- Gossip, Lie, Pride, Lust, Deceit… etc.
When I’m on Facebook, I am usually found quietly ‘stalking’ my friends. Looking at their photos, reading their posts and often not even letting them know I’m doing so. But as soon as I get together with an in-the-flesh-friend, Facebook statuses, photos and posts often become the topic of conversation. Without even meaning to, we have slipped down the slick slide of gossip, separating friends and spreading strife (Proverbs 16:28). At other times, particularly when I’m knee-deep in the mothering trenches, I find myself lusting after the more interesting and glamorous life of a friend, or wishing it was me sipping those cocktails on the beach of Bora-Bora. In these moments, I am reminded of Galatians 5:19-21 and find my mind is not being filled with truth and things that are pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).
4. It Makes Me Forget My Home
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20). As a child of God, my name is written in the Book of Life alongside the greats like Paul and Moses. Yet as I look at Facebook, my focus on eternity gets just a little blurry. I start forgetting that I shouldn’t belong to this world (Romans 12:2), that I should be eagerly awaiting my Saviour, not my next popular status update. One day, my Lord Jesus Christ will transform me into something pretty amazing (Philippians 3:21). But it won’t be for my glory, it will be for His. He will be the radiant beauty, the one all eyes are drawn to (Hebrews 1:3).
At these moments, I am glad that I stand under the sweet sweet grace of Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). I am forgiven and set free. And so, I will press on toward the goal of heaven (using Facebook or not). And in the meantime, I might just take a little respite from the glossy world of Facebook to conquer this oh-so-enjoyable time-wasting addiction.
photo credit: thomas pieper via photopin cc