Facebook – An Opportunity Lost

Posted on April 28, 2013 · Posted in Communication, Culture, Wisdom, Worldview

We humans are social creatures. Actually, we are driven to be social. In a different day the front porch or the street corner were places to socialize. With the age of electronic communication the front porch became virtual. For a while email was the social choice. But email was specific, you wrote to a particular person of group of persons.  Email turned out to be not very social. Then, one bright young man figured how to create a virtual front porch. He called it Facebook.

Now, you can say whatever is on your mind to everyone or to no one in particular. You just hang out on the virtual front porch. People can stop and listen or keep going. The electronic social network was born. 

LIke any other human convention, the value of social networks lies in how much God is valued by those who use the network. I realize when a statement like this is made things can seem a little crazy. Someone is thinking, oh great, he wants me to post all my pastor’s sermons in my status updates. Someone else is thinking this means they can only post bible verses or share tracts. But none of these are the reason for my statement.

What I mean by valuing God is just that – do others know how much you value God by the way you use Facebook? For example I frequently see someone appreciating a tip about housecleaning and posting it so that anyone on the virtual front porch will hear about it.  Other times, I see constant updates about vacations, sporting events, or day trips. I know what people think of their bosses, friends, children’s teachers, or auto mechanic. I read about meals, liked or disliked.  Then there is a category of posts that are related to prayer requests. But comments about God and how he is running your world are few and far between. 

Let’s face it, facebook elevates the mundane parts of life and glorifies them. Oh really, how does that happen?  It happens when we post more about the latest coupon or sporting event than we do about God’s goodness to us each day. Keep talking about your everyday stuff – just include God!

If you are still breathing while you are reading this you owe that breath to God. Sounds like something you might want to let others know about – God kept you alive today. Seems newsworthy to me. Maybe you realized that for the 1 millionth time that your sins are forgiven. What better thing to tell others about.  

Facebook encourages you to focus on what doesn’t matter. When the unthinkable events of life happen, Facebook quickly loses its appeal. Facebook can be a good thing. it can help you redeem the time. It can help you encourage others with what is vital rather than what is mundane. Facebook can help you realize how much you value God over the mundane. Don’t let Facebook be an opportunity lost.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.