When Facebook Defines You

FACEBOOK

I enjoy Facebook. Sometimes, I enjoy it too much. It is a curious social thing, an experiment of sorts, that we won’t know the full effects for years to come . It would be difficult to deny that Facebook has changed us. Not all for the bad, but not all for the good either.

I wonder, how much are we seeking to be defined by Facebook? As I write this last sentence, I had a train wreck of thoughts in my head…..

“No…. seriously?!?

Come on Tim!

Defined by Facebook??

That is over the top!

Who, in their right mind would let a status update, a number of distant friends, or ones latest profile pic define them?”

So, I grabbed some scrap paper and pen, and began to scribble down a quick list of how Facebook might be defining us.

Here is that list in no particular order:

1.)  You have been contemplating turning Facebook off, or getting away from it for a season. Fueled by a desire to spend time in more worthwhile places….. but you just can’t quite seem to pull the plug or make any significant changes.

2.)  You find yourself more connected to people you hardly even know or, checking the status of a friend that you have not spoken to in years becomes over and above the friends and family that you know genuinely love you and care about you.

3.)  Checking the status of a distant Facebook friend, while having coffee with a face to face friend, is more important to you than the friend that you have in front of you.

4.)  The number of social friends (who really do not know you, or truly care about you) is of greater value than the few genuine friends a person can actually have.  (There, I did it! I just checked my Facebook and I have 728 friends. Wow, how impressive am I?!? What…. you are not impressed? Why? Because you know a person can only have so many genuine friendships.)  Don’t let the number of people who befriend you or Add you as their friend…. Define you! And for that matter, don’t let those who “Un-friend” you define you either.

5.)  Ladies…. Hearing “you’re beautiful” “beautiful family” or “you deserve it” can take on an inflated meaning when Facebook defines you. Is it ok if people do NOT tell you “beautiful family” or “you deserve it”? Or, are you defined by those sentiments made by “friends” who are flying through their News feed and are compelled to leave a “You’re so beautiful” comment.

6.)  You just realized…..I wasted how much time on Facebook today?

7.)  You are no longer bothered by how much time you spend on Facebook.

8.)  You regularly over react by defending yourself and your Facebook time to your spouse, parents, or friends who, ever so gently mention: “it seems like you spend quite a bit of time on Facebook.”

9.)  You no longer send Birthday cards or write letters that express your feelings or affection.

10.)  You’re offended by this blog post!  :-)

11.)  You do not read books like you used too because Facebook is a distraction. (Personally, I have been using my iPad less as my book reader because there are too many distractions… Facebook being one of them.  I am considering going back to the Kindle.)  (PM me  ;-)  if you have one you want to sell.)

12.)  You are unwilling to admit your lack of self – discipline and cannot walk away from it.

13.)  The number of people who “like” your status update matters far too much. This is revealed by how often you check in to see who liked your post and how many likes you have amassed.

14.)  You feel the need to document your life on Facebook as if there is something in you that says people need to know that you are on vacation or out with your family.

15.)  Selfie, selfie, and yet another….. selfie.

 

The above may be offensive to some. Please know, that is not my intent! Nor is it my intent to, in some way, come across as if I don’t struggle with any of this myself. And lastly, it is also not my intent to start the “Shut down the Facebook” club. There are some benefits to Facebook. Maybe I will write about Facebook benefits in a future post.  Again, this is not a Facebook bashing of those who like Facebook. It is however, a call for serious and sober reflection.  And, if for some reading this post, decide to walk away permanently or for a season, I don’t think their life will suffer for it and perhaps it will benefit instead.

 

I would love for you to add to the list above.  You can comment below on other ways Facebook can define us.  Or if you disagree with this post feel free to share that as well.

It is ok to disagree with me….. because, this post doesn’t define me.  :-)

 

 

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4 thoughts on “When Facebook Defines You”

  1. Yes! This is so good. I’m currently taking a one-week break from Facebook and other social media and it’s been so nice. I’ve found myself being more productive during the day and getting more sleep at night since I’m not up super late checking my news feed! (Imagine that! ;) ) For me, Facebook is a great way to connect with people and organize various events, but recently I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to convey to the world that my life is perfect, whether through status updates or pictures (basically number 13 from your list). God has been working in my heart, telling me that I am not defined by how many likes I get on a picture I’ve posted or how many people write on my timeline. I am solely defined by Christ and Him crucified! Thank you for posting. :)

  2. I’m the scroller who doesn’t get the time to visit in person with some of the people on fb, but yet I can get an idea of what’s going on in their lives and when I see them, I feel like I can relate a little better such as asking how things are going with whatever they post on fb. Very rarely do I post anything anymore. Every couple of days I scroll through Instagram and do the same. HOWEVER, it does have a grip on me! I feel I have to check in like it’s on my “to-do” list or something. And because I don’t have my phone on me all the time or too busy on certain days, it takes more time to go back and “catch up”, if you will. It can interfere with more important things that need to get done including some valuable time I could be spending doing something with eternal value or spiritual growth, or knock off tasks I’ve been procrastinating in around the house! I’ve thought about how fb could be used for evangelism, but it takes effort in thinking of what I would like to share and I get lazy. (How to word it. What to say in a few words that mean a lot. etc…and then to reread it and check my spelling…ugh! Takes time!) I agree with your list and being that it is brought to my attention (thank you, Tim), I need to take a good look at what, if any, changes I need to make. (I look awful in selfies btw! lol)

  3. I couldn’t agree more. FB has many advantages as Cindy mentioned and as a result, most people have a love-hate relationship with it. Man’s fallen nature is on display with no apologies!

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